Alpina is one of horology’s more accessible gifts—the prices are generally affordable than other better known brands, but that does not necessarily mean compromises in the quality and aesthetic appeal of its timepieces. The watchmaker proves this once again with the latest Alpina GMT model, the Startimer Pilot Heritage Watch. Aviation-inspired like the rest of the collection, the watch in question takes on a vintage appearance. The mechanism at work is not lagging behind though, with Alpina tweaking its Sellita caliber to give a tiny but welcome surprise in the timepiece.
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Release Date: September 2018
The Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage, with a design right from the company’s archives, boasts of a twin crown layout that is put for the purpose of controlling the hour through the hands as well as the 24-hour bezel inside. It comes with a decent water rating at 100m and is protected by sapphire crystal glass. Part of its appeal is also the timepiece’s availability in four lovely colors: dark gray, navy blue, light blue and rose gold. The watch was made available in September this year, with an initial price of US$1,395.
- Caliber: AL-555
- Winding: automatic
- Power reserve: 38h
- Frequency: 4Hz
- Jewels: 26
- Diameter: 42mm
- Case Material: Steel
- Strap/Bracelet: Leather strap with pin buckle
- Functions: HMS, date, GMT
- Water Resistance Capacity: 100 meters
The Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage, priced below US$2,000, has very few competitors at this range, but it emerges as one of the best. Tailored for a traveler’s needs, the watch allows for local jumping hour, easing moving from one time zone to the next without affecting the time. Your phone and other devices may do the job without the need to adjust, but the Alpina timepiece is a handsome statement to put on your wrist. The availability of four colors is definitely an advantage, and all dials are complemented by their leather straps. The watch also sits comfortably at 42 millimeters although it is slightly chunky.
The details on the watch may cause difficulty reading if not accustomed to its design. One can easily confuse the 12-hour with its broader counterpart. Although the Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage has lume, not all parts have been applied with it. In particular, the GMT pointer and the 24-hour bezel won’t glow in dimmer environments and the watch would only show the main indicators.
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Image credits: Alpina, Monochrome Watches