For almost 140 years, the Swiss watch manufacturer Alpina has been intimately linked to nature, the great outdoors and their respectful exploration. In 2020, the Maison unveils its new Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic line, worthy heir to this commitment and made from plastic waste. Technological innovation, craftsmanship and an ecological manifesto are the driving forces behind these five models launched to support World Oceans Day (on June 8th, 2020). On this occasion, the Brand goes even further by announcing its partnership with start-up Gyre Watch, which is responsible for sourcing the recycled material, and with Surfrider Foundation Europe, a non-governmental organisation which has become a reference in the fight for the preservation of the ocean and its users.
A composite case made from fishing nets
If humanity is caught in a climatic whirlwind that is difficult to slow down, the same is true of the ocean, where between 8 and 10 million of tones of plastic waste are dumped every year. Where does it go? Mainly into ocean gyres; vast vortices formed by different sea currents and distributed across the globe. They toss our plastic waste, propelling it over huge areas and into the abyss.
Now, Alpina is harnessing the power of these gyres in a new and actively engaged range within the Seastrong collection. Its name? Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic. For the first time in the history of the Maison, the Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic range features a case comprised of 70% plastic debris derived from fishing nets collected in the Indian Ocean. To ensure its durability, it has been strengthened with 30% fibreglass.
This line as well as its name draw their inspiration from the encounter between Alpina and the watch journalist Bernard Werk, in the Netherlands, three years ago. Personally involved in the preservation of the oceans, he created the concept as well as the name "GYRE", in reference to these giant circular ocean currents - and consisting in reusing the ghost fishing nets from the Indian Ocean. In order to protect an environment dear to Alpina as well as to GYRE-founders Bernard Werk and Jorrit Niels - and leave a sustainable footprint - the Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic line is the beginning of a long-term collaboration between Gyre Watch and the Maison.
It is also the first time that this eco-responsible blend has complied with EU REACH legislation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). Its aim is to control the use of chemical substances in order to improve the protection of human health and the environment, while promoting a high level of innovation – objectives perfectly expressed by the new Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic range.
A creation in ocean-inspired colours
The Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic range now comprises five variations, including: three men’s models (44 mm) and two ladies' models (36 mm). They share three dial finishes evoking the reflections of the sea, in blue shades, turquoise and dyed mother-of-pearl, complete with luminescent hands. The seconds hand is finished with the famous triangle from the Alpina logo, which also features as an index hour marker at 12 o’clock.
Completing the look are three two-tone NATO style straps made from recycled plastic bottles. In addition, Alpina is offering a black vegetable leather strap comprised of recycled apple waste with every men's model.
Each model is powered by the AL-525 automatic movement featuring three hands and the date, housed in a black composite case (70% PA6, 30% fibreglass) and presenting a unidirectional bezel that recalls the nautical pedigree of the Seastrong collection. Each piece is certified water-resistant to 300 m.
A limited and committed edition
These timepieces will be made in strictly limited series of 1,883 pieces each, in reference to the year that Alpina was created. They will be presented in an exclusive and eco-friendly gift set comprising an inner box of FSC Mix paper housing a case made entirely from recycled plastic (ABS) with lining made from recycled plastic bottles (rPET). Completing this gift set will be a single leaflet (guarantee and certificate of authenticity) printed on FSC Recycled paper.
To reduce its ecological footprint further still, Alpina has also opted for a paperless user manual, accessible via a QR code. The latter will direct buyers to a dedicated site presenting the concept behind their watch and its materials, as well as the instruction and maintenance manual.
Supporting a global cause
Lastly, the Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic range embraces an ecological manifesto: Alpina has decided to launch these five new models to support World Oceans Day (designated by the UN, on June 8th, 2020). The aim is to draw the attention of the international community to this event, which brings together all the initiatives aimed at cleaning up and protecting our oceans in a lasting way.
Founded in 1883 by a collective of leading Swiss independent watchmakers known as the 'Alpinists', Alpina has been intimately linked to nature, the great outdoors and responsible exploration for nearly 140 years. The Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic range is the worthy heir to this commitment.
Supporting Surfrider Foundation Europe
For the launch of these new products, Alpina has chosen to support Surfrider Foundation Europe. Created in 1990, in France (Biarritz), by a group of surfers wishing to defend their playground, the Foundation bears the citizen mobilization for the protection of the ocean and the coast in its DNA. In total adequacy with these values of sharing and respect between humans and nature, Alpina became a partner of this international non-governmental and environmental non-profit organization, recognized for its fight led daily by nearly 2000 volunteers across 12 European countries.
Gyre Watch has been founded in The Netherlands in 2017 with the aim to produce a watch made out of recycled ocean plastic. After 2,5 years they found the solution by using recycling ghost fishing nets, saved from the Indian Ocean. Local fishermen collect the fishing nets from the sea and deliver them to the recycler. For this they receive a fee, which means Gyre also contributes to the local economy. The nets are then cleaned and made into pellets for the watch case.