Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic: the Aviation Icon is Back
Alpina has been dedicated to pilots for over 50 years. As an official supplier to various air forces, it has specialised in meeting the requirements of pilots at work by delivering steadfast resistance, unfailing precision and perfect readability. For fans of air travel comes the new limited edition Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic with a new design and a new case, in addition to its famous "hunter caseback". A rare piece for collectors of great pilot watches.
The Startimer Pilot Heritage is well-known among collectors. In 2015, Alpina paid glorious tribute to the heroes of aviation with its cult manual winding 50 mm Startimer Pilot Heritage watch, limited to 1,883 pieces. It came complete with a "hallmark case back", an historic hinged case back that opened with a click to reveal the Swiss Made mechanics of the calibre inside.
A tribute to the 21st century
Building on this wonderful momentum, Alpina can now unveil the Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic in an ultra-resistant 44 mm steel case. Thanks to this new limited edition of 1,883 pieces, Alpina is returning to the origins of large diameter pilot watches. Presented against matte black, the hours and minutes stretch out in luminescent beige, carefully chosen to replicate the shade that was used on vintage dials. Large hand-polished steel hands in the same luminescent shade hover over a 24-hour counter designed with long-haul flight in mind.
The devil is in the detail
Collectors are bound to appreciate the vintage touches that reveal just how much care Alpina took in drawing on vintage watches. Firstly, the "Alpina" logo features in the original font used by the Geneva-based brand founded in 1883. Then, there is the legendary Alpina triangle, symbolic of the Swiss peaks. Located at 12 o’clock, it helps differentiate between "II" and "I", 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock respectively, during flights. The watch is also distinguished by the red counterbalance on the large seconds hand, hovering over the date display at 3 o’clock.
As for the case, the "hallmark case back" makes its big return. Decorated with a delicate perlage pattern, it reveals the sapphire crystal through which the Swiss Made AL-525 movement can be seen, a high frequency calibre oscillating at 28,800 beats per hour.
The brand has also revived the grooved design for the crown at 3 o’clock, making it easier to grip, even when wearing gloves. Finally, the brown calfskin strap is embellished with topstitching in the same vintage beige as the hands. As the watch develops a patina over the years, each piece takes on a life unique to its owner.