Beautiful and functional? It’s a difficult balance to strike. You have to combine emotion and reason, subjectivity and objectivity, luxury and functionality. It’s a fine line that Alpina has long managed to maintain. Its Startimer collection, devoted to aviation, is not only one of the most popular with pilots, but the one that has proved the most successful for the Brand. A rare middle ground appealing to professional pilots, enthusiasts and collectors alike.
The Startimer Pilot Automatic model, which belongs to this flagship Alpina collection, now comes in a new 40 mm diameter version, already on sale in five readily available references.
Beautiful, functional... and universal
Vintage-inspired, camouflage, stylish stopwatch or three-hand, the Startimer collection has long made its mark on Alpina. It has become a pillar for the Brand, a customer favourite for many years.
Identified by a 44 mm rose gold-plated or PVD coated steel case within which features a date counter and three hands, the Startimer Pilot Automatic range has now had its characteristic features replicated in a new 40 mm diameter watch. Being more restrained, the latter opens up new prospects for the Startimer collection and will look perfectly appropriate for a professional environment, under the sleeve of a suit. Being more contemporary, it can also be worn 'urban style', looking youthful and dynamic when teamed with a simple shirt or t-shirt.
Being more universal, it has also become unisex; many women already wear 40 mm watches every day, a diameter long adopted by men, but which now benefits them both. Traditionally, the 39 mm and 40 mm diameters were preferred by collectors and historic manufacturing companies (especially in Geneva), who thought them the most tasteful, restrained and timeless over the centuries. Alpina, founded in Geneva in 1883, is no exception.
Five new models within the collection
For these new 40 mm models, Alpina has preserved the essence of the Startimer Pilot Automatic range: open dials with large luminescent hands for telling the time at night, a date display at 3 o’clock and a long seconds-hand sweeping over a timer with index markers every 5 minutes.
In addition, fans of the Startimer Pilot Automatic won't fail to notice what makes this model unique. Index hour markers at 12 and 6 o’clock have been replaced by luminescent horizontal indexes that are easier to distinguish, especially when flying at night, with "II" and "I" referring to 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock respectively. Midday always features the vertical red triangle, the Brand’s Alpine symbol, which can also be found at the end of the seconds hand. Finally, the screw-down crown at 3 o’clock has kept its delicate ridges for improved grip.
As for the movement, Alpina remains faithful to its mechanical self-winding AL-525 calibre, which promises a power reserve of 38 hours, protected by a steel case-back engraved with Alpine peaks and offering guaranteed water resistance to 100 metres.
A design in tune with the times
In response to demand from the many collectors that have helped make the Startimer Pilot Automatic so successful, the Brand has revived the five iconic designs that forged the legend: a rose gold-plated case with a grey dial and a brown calfskin leather strap, two steel versions with "Navy Blue" or white dial on a black calfskin leather strap, plus one in PVD coated steel on a black calfskin leather strap.
The final design combines a rose gold-plated case with "Navy Blue" dial on a black calfskin leather strap. This model perfectly captures the "aeronautical" spirit of the Startimer, drawing on the "nautical" bronze tones of the on-board fittings and naval blue, here replicated in the "aero" fuselage of the Startimer.
These five new pieces are available now, starting at 895 euros (recommended retail price).