Boy oh boy – if you are a fan of dive watches, and also happen to like GMT complications, this is the watch season for you. Sure, you’ve got plenty of “standards” that can meet that criteria (a GMT watch you can swim with), and I’ve got a few sport watches that would meet that criteria as well (if you don’t believe me, just check out my Insta feed). However, last week, we had two new announcements. The first, from Bremont, John covered here. The second, from Alpina, we’re getting into, well, right now. So, what does the Alpina Seastrong Diver have for you?
Well, for starters, it’s got some classic, sporty Alpina good looks. I’ve become a fan of what the brand is making over the past few years, no doubt. I won’t say that everything they do is a home run for me, but these watches have a lot of the design DNA that I’ve rather come to like, primarily in the dial design. Expanding outward a bit, we’ve got a vaguely cushion-style case, which is a solid choice for a dive watch (and one I’ve liked since I put a Magrette on my wrist for the first time). That case enables a 300m WR rating, which, along with the bezel, ostensibly allows for timing a dive (or, as I did recently, timing the stove while out on a camping trip).
It’s when we move to the inside of the Alpina Seastrong Diver that things diverge from what you might expect. You see, it’s a quartz movement, the AL-247, tucked inside – not a mechanical movement. On one hand, it brings to mind their recently-launched smartwatch (which we reviewed here). On the other side of the coin, we tend to expect mechanical movements from Swiss brands. For us price-conscious watch lovers, quartz offers something of a compromise, bringing pricing down on what would otherwise be a more expensive watch. And, at the end of the day, if you are looking for accuracy and robust reliability, it’s hard to beat a quartz movement (without spending a good deal more, that is).
So, what does that make the Alpina Seastrong Diver, at least for me? I love the tiny mechanical heartbeats of traditional watches, and I’m really not a diver. I do see a use for something like the Alpina Seastrong Diver, though, and it’s sort of teased out up above – as a camping watch. With a dive watch, you get inherent robustness from the overbuilt nature of the watches, meaning it should stand up for anything that you might be doing, as well as allowing for basic timing with the bezel. Also, as a travel watch, it again allows for that flexibility to adapt to your situation (be it the remote office or poolside), as well as being a good travel companion with the dual time zones.
So, on paper, I do have a soft spot for the Alpina Seastrong Diver. When we get one in here shortly (we’re working on a review loaner), we’ll be able to give you a proper hands-on impression of the watch. For now, however, you can pick up one of your own, with pricing ranging from $795 to $995, depending on the particular color scheme or strap/bracelet selection. You won’t see the awesome seatbelt buckle that I love from them here, but those fabric straps don’t make sense on a water-oriented watch. Though, I’d still be super-tempted to put one on if the lug width was right. No matter, we’ll see what the stock one on the loaner is like soon enough. alpinawatches.com
- Stainless Steel with titanium PVD coating with uni-directional turning 60min diving bezel with white luminous markers
- 44 mm diameter
- Scratch – resistant sapphire crystal
- 30 ATM/300m/1000ft Water-resistant
- Engraved case-back
- Screw-in crown and caseback
- AL-247, Quartz caliber
- 1 jewel, 25 months battery life
- Applied white luminous indexes
- Date window at 3 o’clock
- Hand polished silver color hours and minutes hands with white luminous treatment, white second hands with red triangle and black color GMT with red arrow and white luminous treatment
- Strap: stainless steel bracelet or rubber strap
- Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, GMT, Date
- Pricing: $795 – $995
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