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Alpina

Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: Alpina Alpiner 4 Chronoflyback

Jason Pitsch

Overview After three years of development, last year, Alpina unveiled an in-house chronograph based on their base caliber AL-710. A serious feat for any watch manufacture. Parmigiani Fleurier, for example, who has been in business for roughly two decades, just like the Frederique Constant group (which owns Alpina), introduced their first in-house chronograph this year. Notably, the Alpina chronograph has been added to an existing movement as a module, as opposed to being integrated directly caliber design from the start, however, it does have one proprietary feature that sets it apart from other chronographs: patented direct flyback technology. This allows for Alpina to produce a fairly complicated chronograph, for a relatively low price. The dial Legibility is the key to a good watch dial. I mean who says, “I want a watch with a busy dial that is difficult to

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Jason Pitsch

Two new Alpina Heritage timepieces, and the vintage watches that inspired them

Jason Pitsch

A trend in recent years has been for watchmakers to produce timepieces heavily inspired by past designs from within their archives. Longines has an entire collection of modern timepieces influenced by their past models, including, most recently, the Heritage Military COSD, and the Longines Heritage Diver 1967. Oris too, has started recreating past models, starting with the Sixty Five Diver, which looks practically the same as the original model from which is was designed, and it has been so success that they have already created additional variations, such as the Deauville blue version. Tudor, who has essentially relaunched their brand around the best selling Black Bay range, used inspiration from multiple past models to create a look the harkens back to models from the 1950s and 1960s. This year, Alpina has followed suit, starting with the launch of the Seastrong

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Jason Pitsch

Introducing the Alpiner Heritage Manufacture KM-710

Jason Pitsch

Today, Alpina announced a new retro timepiece, similar to the throwback diver’s watch they launched this year at Baselworld, which is also based very closely on a historic model. As you can see from the image above (the vintage timepiece on the left and the new version on the right), they made a larger, modern version with a dial that closely resembles the military service watches they produced for Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. The Alpina Alpiner Heritage Manufacture KM-710 comes in virtually the same 41.5 mm stainless steel case as the Alpiner AL-710, that we covered here, and the Alpina Alpiner we reviewed here. However, the case on the Heritage model is slightly thicker, at 13 mm versus 10.8 mm. A silver colored dial with black printed Arabic hour numerals and beige colored luminous coated indexes pays homage

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Jason Pitsch

Citizen to acquire the Frederique Constant Group

Jason Pitsch

Today, in Tokyo, Japan, Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Frederique Constant Holding SA. The Frederique Constant Group consists of Frederique Constant, Alpina, and DeMonaco – which maybe most importantly has over a dozen manufacture calibers available to use at these three brands, and now, presumably to use within the Citizen group of brands, which includes Swiss brands La Joux-Perret (manufacture), Arnold & Son, and Angelus. Although we had not heard anything about this in advance, it is not that much of a surprise, as it has become common practice for acquisitions to occur during the industry down times (and right now the industry as a whole is down in terms of sales). And so, we expect more acquisitions to follow. Moreover, the Frederique Constant group, with a large Swiss-based production infrastructure

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Jason Pitsch

Hands-On with the Alpina Seastrong Diver Heritage at Baselworld

Jason Pitsch

Yesterday, at the start of Baselworld 2016, Alpina unveiled a retro diver watch called the Seastrong Diver Heritage, based on their iconic “Seastrong 10” Super Compressor Diving watch from the 1960s. The new collection consists of two variants: one with a white and black dial (Ref. AL-525S4H6), and the other with a grey and dark blue dial (Ref. AL-525G4H6). The former has a more sporty appearance, and similar color scheme to the original, while the latter has a darker, more elegant aesthetic. The 42 mm stainless steel supercompressor case is thin, with a box sapphire crystal and solid steel caseback, along with dual locking crowns. The crown at 2 o’clock controls the internal rotating bezel, and the crown at 4 o’clock controls the time setting, date setting, and allows for hand winding. Water-resistance is 300 meters. A Sellita SW-200 4Hz

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Jason Pitsch

Baselworld 2016: Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph Full Black

Jason Pitsch

Alpina has just previewed their soon to be released Full Black Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph, which is essentially a black version of the Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback that debuted in steel last year at Baselworld. The Alpina Flyback Chronograph caliber AL-760 represented quite a milestone for the brand when it came out last year at Baselworld. Why? Producing a chronograph movement in-house is one of the most difficult challenges for a watch company, which is why more often than not, companies just outsource the movement if they want to produce a chronograph. And, this is no ordinary chronograph, it is actually a “flyback” which is even more complicated to produce. The new “Full Black” Alpiner Manufacture Flyback comes in a matte black PVD coated stainless steel case (44 mm x 14.88 mm) with what the brand calls “beige luminous

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Introducing the Alpiner Manufacture AL-710

Alpina equips its Alpiner model with a manufacture movement. The AL-710 caliber movement is an evolution of the brand’s first in-house movement (caliber AL-950), with the notable addition of a central seconds hand. The Alpina Alpiner Manufacture AL-710 has the same 41.5 mm by 10.8 mm thick stainless steel case as the Alpiner model we reviewed HERE. However, in addition to the new movement, there are a few changes. The hour and minute hands are baton-shaped versus dauphine-shaped, the hour marker configuration is slightly different and now instead of a date aperture at 6 o’clock (by way of a date wheel), the date is displayed via a hand and subdial. There are two dial options: silver or cream. A sapphire caseback offers a view of caliber AL-710 which runs at 4Hz, has a 42-hour power reserve, 26 jewels, and 134

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Alpina Introduces new in-house flyback chronograph

After three years of development, Alpina has unveiled a new in-house chronograph movement that is based on the brand’s automatic AL-710 caliber, with the addition of a flyback chronograph module (it’s not an integrated chronograph). It operates at 4Hz, has bi-directional winding, a 38-hour power reserve and 233 components (96 for the flyback module). “An unmistakable characteristic of high-quality chronographs is a column wheel rotating on bearings to control the three start, stop and reset functions. In conventional mechanisms, this component has several columns. In contrast, caliber AL-760 has no standard-type column wheel, but a star-shaped one. Together with the operating lever, which is controlled by the start/stop push-piece, this component is responsible for the exceptionally smooth operation of the mechanism,” according to Alpina. Instead of using a horizontal wheel coupling, oscillating pinion or vertical clutch, Alpina created a new

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Jason Pitsch

Introducing the Horological Smartwatch Platform

Jason Pitsch

On February 26, 2015 at the Lodge at the Regency Center in San Fransisco – in front of a large audience of journalists and retailers from North America – the CEOs of Frederique Constant, Alpina and Mondaine announced the MotionX-365® Horological Smartwatch Open Platform. This is the first platform developed that allows smart watch features to be incorporated into traditional watch cases. The technology is quartz based and uses an add-on smart module that tracks things such as activity and sleep. Elizabeth Pitcairn playing her Stradivarius violin at the Lodge Regency Center, San Fransico Following the announcement of the platform, each brand individually previewed their new smartwatch collections – which maintain the aesthetics of their respective brands – but feature the same technology inside. To develop and execute production of the new platform, MMT (Manufacture Modules Technologies Sàrl) was formed

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PHOTO REPORT: Alpina Heritage Exhibition at Tourneau

Alpina recently had an exhibition at the Tourneau Time Machine in Midtown Manhattan highlighting the brand’s heritage, which dates back to 1883. On display were a variety of the brands important historic wristwatches, pocket watches and movements. Alpina CEO, Guido Benedini, joyfully explained that he had recently acquired a few of the vintage pieces for the Alpina museum collection. He also hinted at very cool new timepiece, inspired by history of the brand, that will be unveiled at Baselworld 2015 (that is all I can reveal right now).

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