Building on the strong aesthetic of the Alpiner range, Alpina has decided to launch a new model that features many familiar traits from the automatic range, but that are, instead, powered by a quartz movement. The Alpina Alpiner Quartz is a visually striking and a significantly more accessible watch from this much-loved Swiss label.
The Alpiner range has its routes in an automatic model produced by Alpina in the 1950s. The modern iteration has some very nice finishing on the faceted lugs, with a high polish sitting comfortably alongside brushed surfaces. The case is 42mm-wide and a pleasingly slim 9.4mm-thick. It is water resistant to 100 meters and houses the quartz caliber AL-240, which has an expected battery life of 45 months.
The absolute stand-out selling point for this watch is the glacier-blue dial. Finished with a sun-ray pattern, the color is perhaps only rivaled in this price point by the new Oris Ocean watches released earlier this year. The color, shine, and allure of this dial is really something special. Finished with polished and applied hour markers, filled with Super-LumiNova, their multi-faceted surfaces catch the light along with the dial and create a sparkling show on the wrist.
The Bracelet Option
The option of the bracelet is a real boon. For $100 dollars more than the standard leather strap (which is beautifully coordinated with the sunray blue dial) you can ramp up the bling with what is a surprisingly well-executed bracelet. At this price point (and, depressingly but realistically, those significantly higher) I have almost come to expect a generic, off-the-shelf link structure with simple, vertical brushing on all surfaces. While the links themselves won’t be winning any design awards, the contrasting finishing (with the central links being high-polished) adds a real luxury feel to the bracelet. The best thing about the contrasting finishes, however, is the way in which they mirror those of the case. This gives the watch an overall cohesion that, to my eye, elevates the perceived value of this piece.
If you’d asked me in isolation how I would feel about paying $795 for a time and date quartz watch on a leather strap, I wouldn’t have been interested. However, I must admit that the first time I saw the Alpina Alpiner Quartz, I fell in love with its aesthetic a little bit — and jumped for joy when I read the price. At that point, I didn’t know whether it was quartz or automatic. When I found out, it didn’t bother me much, having been hypnotized by that bewitching blue dial. Weirder still was the lack of interest I had in the (almost identical) automatic model for $600 more. I found myself adopting a mentality I haven’t experienced since I started working in the watch industry. Somehow, without really trying, I had justified my satisfaction with the quartz movement on the basis that there was no need to buy the (bog-standard) automatic because I was buying it for the way it looked (and horology be damned, apparently). Normally, when asked to choose between a quartz and an automatic that look (pretty much) the same, I would take the auto as a kneejerk reaction, but here Alpina has managed to subvert my normal reaction in what feels like a positive way. Purchasing this watch over its automatic brethren is a cost-motivated decision I’d be happy to make in this case. Would I like it to be $500? Sure, that would see the Alpina Alpiner Quartz hit my wishlist right away. But do I think there’s a market for a well engineered, reliable, and very attractive watch at under 800 bucks? Yes, I do. Learn more at alpinawatches.com.