Alpina has been involved with pilots for more than 50 years. An official supplier to various air forces, it has made a specialty of the constraints that pilots encounter in their missions: foolproof resistance, unalterable precision and perfect readability. A new limited edition awaits purists of the conquest of the skies: the Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic. It returns with a new design, a new case and, above all, its famous “officer background”. A rare piece for collectors of the heyday of aviation.
The Startimer Pilot Heritage is a model renowned among collectors. Already in 2015, Alpina paid a vibrant tribute to the heroes of the conquest of the skies with a cult piece, the 50mm Startimer Pilot Heritage, with manual movement and limited to 1,883 pieces. The watch was fitted with an “officer case back”, this historic case back mounted on hinges which, in one click, allowed it to be opened and to discover the Swiss Made mechanics of the caliber.
The homage of the 21st century
It is on this glorious momentum that Alpina today unveils the Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic, in a new ultra-resistant 44 mm steel case. With this new limited edition of 1883 pieces, Alpina returns to the origins of large diameter pilot's watches. Hours and minutes stretch out against its matt black background, the luminescent beige of which has been carefully chosen to reproduce the color of the dials of the time. The large steel hands - all polished by hand - are also luminescent in the same tone, hovering over a 24-hour counter specific to long air trips.
These details that make the difference
Collectors will notice the vintage touches that mark Alpina's care to stay as close as possible to vintage watches. First, the “Alpina” logo, inscribed in its original font, that of a Geneva house founded in 1883. Then, the legendary Alpina triangle, symbol of Swiss summits. We discover it at noon, making it possible to clearly differentiate in flight the “II” and the “I”, respectively 11am and 1am. It can also be distinguished by the red counterweight of the large seconds hand, hovering over a date window at 3 o'clock.
On the case side, it is the big comeback of the “officer background”. Decorated with fine pearls, it opens onto a sapphire crystal to reveal the Swiss Made AL-525 movement, a high-frequency caliber beating at 28,800 vibrations / hour.
The Maison has also adopted the striated design of the crown at 3 o'clock, which makes it easier to grip, even with gloves. Finally, the brown calfskin strap is embellished with a topstitching in the same vintage beige as the hands. It will acquire a patina over the years, giving each piece the unique traces of life of its owner.