In my book (and I think that of my fellow writers here at WWR), Alpina is a brand that doesn’t seem to get nearly the attention that it should. I still hold their Alpiner lineup in high internal ranking (both the Alpiner 4 and the Business Timer), and their latest re-introduction of the Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage should have classic Flieger/pilot watch fans square in their sights.
The first time we saw the Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage was back in 2015, when they introduced it in 50mm guise. Sure, that fits with the heritage of large watches that pilots wanted for visibility, but let’s call it what it is – more or less unwearable for a large number of us. Thankfully, while it’s still a larger case, the 2020 version of the Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage is a much more wearable 44mm.
What I really dig that they kept from the original model is the hunter caseback. I’ve handled a few watches that have this feature, and while it’s needlessly complicated, it’s fun to play with. Sure, the solid cover does give the exhibition caseback some more protection, but these days that’s less of a concern. Doesn’t make it any less fun to play with, though!
On the dial side, the Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage looks the part of a vintage pilot watch, complete with “antique” luminous paint and the usage of the original logo that Alpina used back in the day. The hands are a bit more rounded than what you’d find on a classic Flieger, but I like them, as they remind me of propeller blades.
The Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage is available now for $1,295. As with the prior edition, this one is limited (1,883 pieces, to match the year the brand was established), so you may want to move more quickly. To get more info, and to order your own, head on over to us,alpinawatches.com
Specs from Alpina
- AL-525, AUTOMATIC CALIBER
- MAT BLACK DIAL, APPLIED SILVER INDEXES WITH BEIGE LUMINOUS TREATMENT
- HAND POLISHED WHITE AND BLACK COLOR HOURS AND MINUTES HANDS WITH
- HAND-POLISHED SILVER HANDS WITH BEIGE LUMINOUS TREATMENT AND SILVER SECONDS HAND WITH RED TRIANGLE
- CALIBER: AL-525, AUTOMATIC CALIBER
- JEWELS: 26
- POWER RESERVE: 38 HOURS
- FUNCTIONS: HOURS, MINUTES, SECONDS, DATE
- MATERIAL: POLISHED STAINLESS STEEL 3-PARTS CASE
- CRYSTAL: CONVEX SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL
- WATER-RESISTANCE: UP TO 3 ATM/30M/100FT
- DIAMETER: 44MM, THICKNESS OF 11.55 MM
- STRAP MATERIAL: DARK BROWN CALF LEATHER STRAP WITH OFF-WHITE STITCHING