Alpina watches was created in 1883 when founder Gottlieb Hauser developed his vision of mixing horological innovation with a design that would stand the test of time.
A luxury sports watch emerged in 1938 in the form of the Alpina 4. It certainly set the bar for quality by imposing four requirements to make a watch a sports – material (stainless steel), shock-resistance, water-resistance and antimagnetic.
The Alpina 4 quickly placed itself as a favourite with the special forces, air force pilots, navy divers and the military. Furthermore, during a time of cheap mass production of watches and the severe lack of quartz in the 1970s, Alpina refused to give in and stuck by their promise of quality.
In 2015, Alpina launched the Horological Smartwatch. This has a combination of smart technology and traditional craftsmanship.
In today’s world, Alpina is known for making some stunning timepieces, all by hand. They don’t just look good, they last.
How do Alpina blend craftsmanship with technology?
Though the Alpina 4 had proved itself, the company was determined to continue to innovate. This was reinforced when they opened a new manufacturing site in 2006, in Geneva. This site meant Alpina could test its own devices in a meticulous way.
At the Alpina HQ where the Alpina 4 was released, an evolved version of the iconic watch was released. One year after that, its first smartwatch, the Horological Smartwatch was released. That same year Alpina developed its own movement and this is seen inside their AL-760 Auto Flyback.
Alpina has retained its hold of its brand style and it’s barely aged at all over the years. It has kept up with modern trends in design without destroying the great elements of the core product.
Let’s take a look the most iconically designed Alpina watches
The Alpiner Chronograph ($1,195 / £909) is so striking you won’t be able to peel your eyes away for a moment. It has a gunmetal face and a delicious brown leather wristband.
On the dial is three sub-dials. Inside there’s auto-movement with 46 hours of power reserve. The face is made of sapphire crystal which is scratch-resistant. This watch is accurate as it is rugged and you can’t fail to notice the Alpina logo that sits on the face in a retro font.
The Seastrong Diver 300 Extreme ($699 / £531) has so many incredible features you’ll be amazed that’s all it costs.
This unmissable orange bezel and dial are easily read in the murkiest of deep waters. It shows how long you’ve been underwater and how many minutes left of air supply you have.
When you’re on land, the black face and bracelet of stainless steel make for a stylish timepiece that can be worn for business or pleasure.
What about the technical watches?
The Horological Smartwatch for women ($600 / $560) sits on the highest of pedestals at Alpina. It’s the device that makes Silicon Valley and Swiss watchmakers the best of pals.
It offers smart functionality like fitness and activity tracking and it’ll tell you about the quality of your sleep. This information can be displayed in analogue format or you can sync it to your smartphone via an app.
The app really makes the most of the watch. You can use the coaching function to aid your training and there are alerts that keep you active. The watch has an impressive battery life which is unprecedented in the smartwatch world at two years or more.
The face is ice-white and lined with stones. The rugged stainless steel case has sapphire crystal atop. The strap is silicone and all of these materials mean the Horological will stay with you even in extreme circumstances.
What do Alpina watches typically cost?
The Alpina collection offers the chance to own a Swiss-made timepiece for a decent price.
The Startimer Pilot Big Date ($760 / £730) was specifically created for pilots. It delivers all the data needed in a quick glance.
It has a navy face and the date display is over-sized and has three sub-dials and a tough black leather wristband. The case is stainless steel and it has a sapphire crystal face. All in all, it’s a really durable watch.
Inside is quartz movement. It offers an incredible level of precision and accuracy. What’s even more impressive is that it has a battery life of two years.
The Alpiner automatic watch for men ($1,450 / £1,675)
This Alpiner is known for how beautifully minimalistic it is. It has that retro vibe that sticks to the brand’s initial design in the 60s.
The face has a silver pattern with Arabic markers. There’s a stainless steel case with a leather strap in black. There’s some detail in the stitching that makes it a real classic.
Pilot Heritage 130 auto chronograph for men
($3,050 / £2,820)
This automatic watch was a commission to celebrate 130 years of Alpina. The inspiration for this timepiece comes from their own pilot design way back in the 20th century.
It has a striking gold-plated, stainless steel case and a supple tan calfskin leather strap. The dial has three sub-dials and it’s so good-looking, you’d expect to see it on James Bond’s wrist.
It has 46 hours of power reserve, dual chronographs and an auto calibre AL860 movement. The hands and markers are luminous so you can see them in the dullest of lights. It’s a serious timepiece.
What alternatives are there?
Alpina makes watches for people who love luxury and classic watches, offering both timeless style with up-to-date features and tech.
If you’d like to check out something similar, you’ll find our review on Frederique Constant watches.