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Alpina - Alpina adds a bespoke chronograph to the Startimer Pilot Heritage

Alpina Alpina adds a bespoke chronograph to the Startimer Pilot Heritage

La Joux-Perret, the in-house manufacture belonging to Alpina’s parent group, has designed a new chronograph for the Startimer Pilot Heritage collection. This niche model with its enhanced performance marks a major step forward for an unusual timepiece.

This may not be one of Alpina’s best-known watches, but it is certainly one of the most popular with collectors. In comparison with Alpina’s flagship ranges, the Alpiner and AlpinerX, the Startimer is definitely niche. It’s a more limited collection, designed with aviation enthusiasts in mind. 

The range includes one particular highly targeted variant: the Startimer Pilot Heritage. This is a sought-after range. It’s the only one with its own specific case design, a studied combination of cushion and the bullhead shape that has marked some of the proudest moments of timekeeping history. 

It’s also the only collection to feature a clever GMT function in the form of a triangle (a nod to the Alpina logo), governed by a central disc. And it’s also the only one to offer just one movement option: three hands, date and GMT. Until now.

Alpina offre un chronographe sur mesure à sa Startimer Pilot Heritage

Startimer Pilot Heritage © Alpina

An in-house movement – manufacture, even?

The introduction of a second movement variant was therefore hotly anticipated. And it’s certainly been worth the wait. Today, Alpina is unveiling the very first chronograph in the Startimer Pilot Heritage collection. And it’s not just any chronograph: it’s an in-house movement, designed specifically for this model. 

Could we call it a manufacture chronograph? That might be overstepping the mark, but it’s not too far from the truth. Today, Alpina, but also Frédérique Constant and Ateliers deMonaco, are all part of the Citizen group, which also includes movement manufacturer La Joux-Perret, a historic manufacture based in La Chaux-de-Fonds recognised for its expertise in modular and integral complications. La Joux-Perret is basically the in-house movement manufacturer of the Citizen group, and its brands, of which Alpina is one, can thus take advantage of its immense watchmaking savoir-faire.

Alpina offre un chronographe sur mesure à sa Startimer Pilot Heritage

Startimer Pilot Heritage © Alpina

Startimer Pilot Heritage version 2.0

The new Startimer Pilot Heritage Chronograph is the product of these family ties. Alpina came up with the very good idea, which was greatly appreciated by collectors, of not adding a chrono to the existing complications (date and GMT), deciding rather to create a new model, and making the chronograph function its primary focus. This Startimer Pilot Heritage is a chronograph, pure and simple. 

It’s also a chronograph in the noblest sense of the word: it’s a monopusher, like the historic models from the turn of the century – a coherent approach for a collection with the word “Heritage” in its title. The cherry on the cake of the new dedicated calibre, the AL-727, is that it provides a power reserve of 55 hours, representing a 40% improvement over the GMT versions. The watch thus enjoys a good two days of autonomy, a welcome improvement that means it can spend the weekend on the nightstand and still keep perfect time on Monday morning. 

Alpina offre un chronographe sur mesure à sa Startimer Pilot Heritage

Startimer Pilot Heritage © Alpina

Three variations, and counting

Minimalist and functional, classic and classy, the new Startimer Pilot Heritage Chronograph has been launched in three variations: two blues and a grey. The difference between the first two lies in the chapter ring and the chrono hands, which can be either grey or red, to accentuate the sporty vibe. 

The third, more urbane version, plays on variations of light grey and anthracite. Together, they form a new pillar of the Startimer Pilot Heritage collection – a sophisticated chronograph equipped with a landmark movement.

Each of the three versions is sold for CHF 2895.

The brand

Established in 1883, Alpina is recongised as the inventor of the sports watch as we know it today, having presented its Alpina 4 model back in 1938.

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