SIHH is becoming a cloudy memory, but just in time there’s yet another Swiss watch show right around the corner that goes by the name of “Basel World” – perhaps you’ve heard of it? While there will be plenty of big reveals done during the show itself, we’re starting to get word of some of the new models ahead of time. One that’s grabbed our attention early on, is this new Alpina Watch Dealers Usa Replica Startimer that’s going by the name, Sunstar.
Where the Alpina Extreme Diver felt as though it had been designed by a committee intent on rehashing as numerous popular elements as you can at once, the newest Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 seems to have had a fantastic editor, because it finally feels less “wordy,” so to speak. Its new streamlined, minimized aesthetic complements the old instance with a more natural consistency and general ease, although the opinion is finally comfortable in its own skin that is moisturizing. Gone is that the derived mashup of tool and dress diver elements located on the outgoing Alpina Extreme Diver (reviewed here) version, in favor of a clean, classic, and confident decorative that gently brings priority to form more function — but hardly at the cost of the latter, since the Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 Automatic remains a 300-meter dive watch, after all.In fact, I’d even argue that the most striking design element is truly the lack thereof. Take, as an example, how the Alpina Extreme Diver’s sword hands have been replaced with a skeletonized handset, whose reduced surface area leads to a cleaner, more discreet view of the dial. Yes, these palms tear a comparatively familiar page out of this Panerai Luminor Submersible book, but the touch isn’t exclusive to Panerai, and it works well in complementing the minimalist aesthetic.
The luminous hands are a slender, curved sword style with a stick seconds hand that once again features the reddish Alpina Watches Horological Smartwatch Replica triangle, now for a counterweight. Dial print of this Alpina logo and touch is big, though awarded the 44mm situation and ample dial real estate, it is not overpowering. Other than that, the dial is marked with “Automatic 100M-330FT” and “Swiss Made” in its conventional six o’clock place. Overall, the dial is effective and attractive. Among the vital elements of any pilot’s watch is instant legibility and the Startimer Automatic has that in spades given its clean and clear layout. Some may take offense at the repetition of Alpina’s triangle which looks no less than three times in the dial and hands however, quite honestly, that is simply how Alpina rolls and you see their logo everywhere in their own collection. The addition of an anti-reflective sapphire crystal ensures unfettered screening of the dial despite variable lighting conditions.Moving to the case, which can be 44mm by 10.7millimeters in size with a brushed finish and an extremely minimal utilitarian design, we see again how Alpina are paying homage to significant pilot’s watches of days long ago. Absent are any intricacies in alternating finish or complicated circumstance shapes or bevels. The instrument watch feel is evident here and gives the watch a no nonsense aesthetic which plays into the pilot’s view idea. A simple but neatly engraved case back increases the pragmatic idea. A slight problem for me is the use of case plating on two of those four variations of the Startimer Pilot Automatic. While I know the drive to produce a “golden” and also a “titanium” version, I think the idea of case plating is a little distasteful for some who know this plating can easily wear off with use, particularly on a instrument watch.
Now, if you’re familiar with Alpina, you know that they’ve got quite the range of aviation watches, stemming from the fact that they supplied watches to military aviators in the first half of the twentieth century. That means it’s not much of a leap for them to come up with a new model. While I’m not deeply familiar with others in the Startimer line, I do know that the Sunstar is a sharp-looking piece.
Where the Alpina Extreme Diver felt as though it were designed by a committee intent on rehashing as many popular components as possible at once, the new Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 appears to have had a fantastic editor, because it finally feels less “wordy,” so to speak. Its new compact, minimized aesthetic complements the older instance with a more natural consistency and general ease, although the opinion is finally comfortable in its own skin that is moisturizing. Gone is the derived mashup of apparel and tool diver elements found on the outgoing Alpina Extreme Diver (reviewed here) model, in favour of a clean, timeless, and confident aesthetic that quietly brings priority to form more function — but hardly at the cost of the latter, since the Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 Automatic is still a 300-meter dive watch, after all.In fact, I’d also argue that the most striking design element is actually the lack thereof. Take, for instance, the way the Alpina Extreme Diver’s sword hands have been replaced with a skeletonized handset, whose minimized surface area results in a cleaner, more unobtrusive view of the dial. Yes, these palms tear a comparatively familiar page from this Panerai Luminor Submersible book, but the signature is not exclusive to Panerai, and it works nicely in complementing the minimalist aesthetic.
In addition, the Alpina Watches Tourbillon Replica Startimer Automatic’s width of 44mm at a relatively thin 10.7mm might be a challenge for all those who have smaller or rounder wrists although I understand why the watch is a bit large as dimensions is another important aspect of a pilot’s eye. Think about the favorite IWC Big Pilot in a whopping 46.2mm or some true vintage military pilot’s watch such as the Laco B-Uhr at a now unwearable 55mm (supposed to be worn over a flight-suit) along with the Alpina starts to seem like a more reasonably sized option with just enough heft to allow you to know it was designed with aviation heritage in mind.When you’re talking about a fully featured Swiss made watch at a price point such as that of this Startimer Automatic, you hope to end up with a somewhat less impressive movement to supply some economies but in this circumstance, the Alpina AL-525 caliber gets the job done. Even though it’s basically a base tier ETA 2824-2 having an Alpina rotor, the 38-hour power book AL-525 is exactly the correct type of movement for the spirit of the watch and enables the exceptionally approachable price of entry. When you return to it, a pilot’s watch requires little more than a precise and powerful movement and the ETA 2824-2 has had that precise reputation for decades. Servicing is also simple with such a ubiquitous quality and any capable watchmaker ought to be able to keep it in form. One thing I want to mention that I love is that the large crown, which is a nice tapered design.
Instead of focus on what is different about the new Alpina Seastrong Diver 300, what’s the same is almost as interesting — particularly once you consider that its dramatic new identity is built atop the specific same 44mm situation and oversized crown of its predecessor. This time round, but the curved, ellipse-shaped indices on the dial and bezel provide a more pronounced comparison to this unique, angular shape of this semi-square circumstance, producing a symmetry and purpose-built minimalism that seems to draw inspiration from aquatic icons like Panerai’s PAM 389, or even the Nautilus 5711 from Patek Philippe.Intentional or maybe, even the 5711’s signature “ears” at 3 and 9 o’clock appear here, giving the Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 Automatic an atmosphere of Gerald Genta’s porthole-shaped masterpiece — easily one of the trendiest silhouettes in watchmaking. What’s particularly nice, though, is that despite several subtle similarities between the aforementioned, none of the new components feel derivative — almost like homage has been paid in fleeting glimpses, re-drawn out of memory.
As is befitting for an aviator watch, the 44mm case is treated to a satin finish (the better to reduce reflections) and is topped with an AR-coated sapphire crystal. Under that crystal is where this watch gets its name – the grey dial with it’s sunray finish. When done properly, a sunray dial can be a sublime way to add subtle texture to a watch. You are also going to love the raised hour markers. And, when it comes to pilot watches, that’s a welcome bit of detail, breaking up the sometimes monotonous look we get from flat black dials.
On top of that dial you’ve got what’s probably my favorite bit of the watch – a whole lot of applied bits and pieces. The minute ring is applied on top (along with it’s indices), as are the large lume-filled numerals. This gives some lovely dimension to the dial, meaning that light is going to play along the face of this watch in some interesting ways.
Topping it all, you’ve got a handset that’s evocative of the blades of a plane’s propellers (you know, in case you forget the inspiration for the watch). This is also where the signature red triangle makes its appearance. Rather than popping in up at the 12 o’clock orientation mark (as you might expect), it instead attaches itself to the second hand. Perhaps not a prominent placement, but I’m OK with that.
That little touch of red gives a splash of color to what might otherwise be considered a bit of a monochromatic watch, given the black strap, grey dial, and satin finishing to the case. While I realize that it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I personally rather quite like the look. It doesn’t hurt that it’s all done in the name of reducing glare, which is what you’d look for in a pilot watch – assuming you’re flying a plane. Even if you’re not, this is still quite a nice watch to sport around town. Coming in at a price of $1,495, you’ll have a watch that’s ready to fly off into the sunset, even if you aren’t. alpina-watches.com
Frankly, I can not argue with what Alpina has done together with all the Startimer Pilot Automatic. Sure, there are far more striking watches with aviation styling although not many come close when you take into consideration the list of features available on the Alpina. You are getting a trusted Swiss movement in a Swiss created package with a tastefully done pilot remedy for a price of around $1,000, and it is a sweet spot for many collectors and overall buyers alike. In a watch world of ever growing choices, together with micro shops nipping at the heels of major players, Alpina have lived and thrived by producing value propositions like the Startimer Pilot Automatic. Alpina have mastered the art of shooting some of the higher end design thoughts of larger brands, sending them through the Alpina mixer, and releasing them at costs regular folks can actually afford. Despite my minor difficulties, for me, it is a concept which really takes off.Keeping the Alpina Startimer Pilot Automatic faithfully attached to a flight-suit, or typically, your wrist, is a heavy black leather strap with contrasting white stitching, which is the exact same regardless of which of those four versions you select. No word about a bracelet was yet declared. As previously mentioned, the Alpina Startimer Pilot Automatic AL-525 is available in four variants; stainless steel with a black dial, stainless steel with a white dial, a polarizing increased gold plated version using a white dial, and a “titanium coloured” model with a dark gray dial.