Alpina Extreme Diver 300 Chronograph Automatic Watch Hands-On

Alpina Extreme Diver 300 Chronograph Automatic Watch Hands-On


Last year we really enjoyed the new version of the Extreme Diver 300 (reviewed here) that Alpina released. A great value for the money, it was one of our top pick divers for the year. For 2013, Alpina added a chrono with the Extreme Diver 300 Chronograph Automatic. Fundamentally, the Chronograph is a similar watch with an added chrono function, but the dial and case have also been updated for this new piece. As chronographs go, the design is rather good. Alpina has kept it toned down so as not to disrupt the normally "open" style of dive watches, something that you don't see all that often in diving chronographs.

I always have to ask myself how big the market for diving chronographs is. Most (not all) chronographs can't be used underwater because pressing the pusher can break a seal and allow water into the case. The Extreme Diver 300 is water resistant to 300 meters as its name implies. I am not sure what the case is for the Extreme Diver 300, but unless a brand specifically mentions that you can use the chronograph underwater, then you shouldn't. In that case, it is best to start the chronograph before a dive and stop it once you get back to the surface.



That is supposing a lot though, as we know most people who own dive watches don't dive (much or at all). Don't blame the wearers, there are just too many nice dive watches to go around! With that factor in mind, a diver chronograph makes more sense. In order to keep the dial simple on the Extreme Diver 300 Chronograph Automatic, Alpina decided to remove the running seconds hand. This doesn't bother me as I appreciate the two sub dials and the more balanced main dial. If you really need to measure seconds you can just use the chronograph.

Compared to the three-hand version of the Extreme Diver 300, the Chronograph has more simple, circle-style applied hour markers. The hour markers and hands are all filled with SuperLumiNova lume. These make the dial look elegant and not at all cluttered. However, Alpina decided to keep the "open date" window that we didn't particularly love about the original. It is actually a bit larger here which makes it more conspicuous. It isn't a big deal, but is a design feature that we don't fully understand as having a ton of appeal to watch designers.


  • JasonDunn

    I like the geometry of this watch, particularly from the side.  I saw one with the link bracelet, and I think it looks better with the rubber strap.  The bracelet makes it seem more plain-looking, whereas the black rubber gives it a nice contrast.

  • mikesnow

    I also am generally confused about open date windows.   Completely understand it on aviation watches which try to simulate similar instrumentation in a cockpit.    However, I find it takes me longer to register what I’m seeing for a quick glance at the date.     I imagine it is a fad of sorts that will also soon fade from style (much like grossly oversized watches).  It is more technical looking than a singular number, and on this Alpina I like the busier look of it in contrast with the more minimal 2 chrono dials, but from a functional point of view it will never make sense to me.   The new IWC Ingenieur Digital is the most extreme example of the open concept, and although I would gladly wear that watch, I do think it would slowly drive me insane. 

     It would be interesting to know the sales figures that designers have access to, and see to what extent the market is favoring open date windows.

  • aleximd2000

    mikesnow My first impression was the same! Furthermore how can you say from the pictures shown here the exact date it is 14 or 15 ! I use the date complication extremely frequently( when prescribing medication ) I took a glance several times a day and it is very important for me. But in this case it is a little dizzying! I agree with open date window only when the space between figures is big and when the pointing arrow is painted with 1 kg of luminova!   Cheers