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Alpina ‘Full Black’ Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph Watch

Alpina 'Full Black' Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

With Baselworld 2016 just around the corner, we see the release of the Alpina “Full Black” Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph. For those not in the know about the Alpina Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph, it debuted the in-house AL-760 calibre, and this all-black version is the refreshed and sportier sibling of the original 2015 model. While its predecessor donned a classic brushed and polished steel suit, this new version presents a more virile attire courtesy of the black PVD coating that covers the 44mm-diameter case. In addition, the PVD coating is great protection against daily wear and tear and gives the chrono a sportier and more contemporary edge.

Alpina 'Full Black' Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

The chronograph is the one of the most popular complications in the watch arena, and with the proliferation of cheap quartz chronos on the market, the function is often taken for granted. This is hardly the case here, as developing and manufacturing a chronograph complication is, well, pretty complicated. So, when Alpina announced the debut of its AL-760 in-house calibre last year, ears pricked up in the watch world. For a company of its size to develop a flyback chronograph movement from scratch and do battle in such a fiercely competitive segment of the market was in itself remarkable. A fresh new look for the watch is certainly a welcome addition to the collection and for buyers who prefer a cool PVD look.

Alpina 'Full Black' Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

Alpina 'Full Black' Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

An unusual feature on the Alpina “Full Black” Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph is the positioning of the rectangular pushers which are aligned with the crown. The crown, engraved with the Alpina logo, rises above the pushers and the lack of protectors on either side calls for caution as a direct hit might well break it. It was actually for this very reason that Omega fitted the crown of its Speedmaster with protectors. It is, however, a screw-in crown, a vital aspect for a watch that is water-resistant to 100 meters.

Alpina 'Full Black' Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

The black sunburst dial houses three sub-dials with a 30-minute counter at 3, date at 6, and small seconds at 9 o’clock. The three counters are slightly sunken and have circular rings, which improves legibility while providing depth to the dial. Big, sturdy indexes and hands of the Alpina “Full Black” Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph accentuate the masculine look of the timepiece and are visible in low light thanks to the beige luminous coating. The color beige is also used to highlight the telemeter located on the outer rim of the dial.

Alpina 'Full Black' Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

The AL-760, first debuted in the Alpina Alpiner 4 Flyback Chronograph

Despite housing a movement measuring 30.5mm in a 44mm case, the AL-760 sub-counters have plenty of space between them, which makes for a more attractive and legible layout on the dial. And there must be plenty of space inside the flyback chronograph module too, because it is composed of just 96 parts. Even though the caseback is solid (we’ll try and have images of that once we get hands-on with the watch), the calibre has been adorned with Côtes de Genève and perlage decoration, anglage for the bridges, and a PVD-coated rotor. The movement operates at 4Hz, but has a power reserve of 38 hours which may be a bit low for some.

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The refreshed, dark look of the Alpina “Full Black” Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph provides a nice variation on the line and, really, we hope to see even more come out. Price for the PVD coated watch is actually around the same as the original version at $4,750alpina.com

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  • TechUser2011

    Nice watch. But why don’t more watchmakers create all-black watches with a black steel bracelet?

  • SuperStrapper

    PVD s far too cheap a finish to be up for consideration when you’re going to drop $5k on a watch. Shame, as the watch is fairly sexy otherwise.

    • Better than spending twice that much on a black Panerai in my book. Cheers.

      • egznyc

        I wonder whether a generation from now collectors will wonder what we were thinking, coating watch cases the way they used to gold-plate them back in the day.

    • 1droidfan

      I am surprised more don’t use nitrocarburizing, which is as impervious to scratches as DLC but looks better.

      • SuperStrapper

        Got any examples for show and tell? DLC can be finished in a variety of ways, many of them quite attractive. I’ve seen nice blasted effects, as well as matte, satin, and gloss finishes. I do agree that brushed DLC is tough to get right.

        • 1droidfan

          Just on handguns, as all three ( DLC, NC and PVD ) are popular, but NC is the best IMO. Its actually a surface treatment, so its not skin deep but imparts a rich black lustrous finish, makes the metal more resistant to corrosion ( so carbon steel will resist rust similar to stainless ), and reduces friction.

          • SuperStrapper

            I have guns that are finished with cerakote and gun Kate, one of which is done with a lubricating finish throughout the action. They look great and are very hard wearing, I can attest to it.

          • 1droidfan

            That’s pretty much PVD.

          • SuperStrapper

            What’s pretty much pad? Cerakote? Not in the context of this discussion. The watch case pvd treatments don’t use ceramic, and it’s not a fair comparison.

          • 1droidfan

            Same tech, different material. It’s a coating, where as DLC is more akin to case hardening, and nitriding is actually changing the surface. Both of those methods are superior except if you consider ease or ability to refinish.

          • SuperStrapper

            Tomato, tomato. I had it done on rifles that I actually carry and after knocking around for years, including a few scrapes with bare Canadian shield the treatment is absolutely flawless. I’ve seen old watch cases that scratch horribly if you think about them too hard.

  • I wonder if a crown which screws down is as in need of crown protectors as a non-screw in crown (as the threads protect the winding stem from lateral/shearing forces).

    Anyway, a very nice looking watch and I love the chronograph activation on the AL-760 movement. Such cool tech to do it with so few parts (and not resort to the dreaded cam activation).

    Nice to see you authoring a post amigo. Unrelated but Santiago, I have photos up on my FB page of a production Crash of ’29. I will bring it to BW in a few weeks for ya.

    • Boogur T. Wang

      Nice to see you authoring a post Señor Tejédor.
      I am of the belief that a screw-down crown is protected sufficiently for just about all knocks and hits. Plus there is the selant against dust, grit, and environmental debris.

      • Sevenmack

        Pretty much. The ability to screw down and avoid the knocks and hits is the point of a screw-down crown. Adding crown protectors would be nice in those situations in which you have the crown unscrewed. But if you keep it screwed-down, then the protectors are just there for show. In short, superfluous.

        • egznyc

          Believe me, you don’t want those situations where the crown is unscrewed! If you happen to submerge the watch in that state, it’s a very sad state of affairs.

      • Hey thank you Boogur! It’s an honour I must say.

    • I lost a screw-down crown whilst soaking like an old codger in the Mediterranean sea, which is the quietest sea in the world. A small wave came by and there went the crown. And the one on this Alpina protudes more than it should. Which doesn’t mean you do not have a point there.

      And I will email you about BW.

  • explorerdial6200

    what`s up with the calender numerals?

  • Ulysses31

    It’s good-looking except for the date sub-dial, which looks overly crowded and upsets the balance of the dial. I have a thing for that particular shade of lume; it gives an otherwise simple watch some depth.

  • This would have looked amazing in a two-register layout without that silly crowded date subdial on the bottom, a la:

    • Dinkee, H. O.

      TAG Heuer certainly did fail with that case and the jarring white date wheel, didn’t they?

      • Sevenmack

        Not to me. For one, date wheels should be black lettering on white background for the sake of legibility. White on black would just strain the eyes. As for the case: Very old-school and nice. I’d pay good money for it. Let’s just say that TAG did a better job on this Carrera than Alpina did on this watch.

        • egznyc

          I agree that TH did a better job than Alpina here. A very attractive watch. I’d say the white on black date wheel would be just as legible to me – and definitely more legible than a white on white or black on black 😉

    • Sam Anderson

      Yes, very nice indeed.

    • I_G

      Is this a Speedmaster “homage”?

  • mtnsicl

    This is a very nice looking watch. I thought it might be perfect for me. But, there is no see through case back to see the slightly decorated engine and I think the numbers on the sub-dials need to be applied in a brighter white. Actually I’d rather they dump the in house engine and cut the price in half. Then I’d buy it!

  • iamcalledryan

    I really want to like it. The non-black version is better. Something about the fautina.

    The movement is cool. That column/star/cam wheel actuator is novel.

  • LapYoda

    The black case and fauxtina work for me, especially with that rally strap. I find the whole package appealing and, while expensive, is not outrageously priced considering it’s a manufacture movement with a flyback chronograph.

    For those of you hating on the calendar subdial, however, there is a reason for that. Since this movement is based on the Frederique Constant/Alpina 700-series manufacture movement (with chronograph module), it retains the date wheel of those movements. It’s a matter of engineering (they can keep the preexisting pinion) as well as maintaining the family resemblance among their manufacture lines.

  • egznyc

    For this coin, I’d have wanted to see a ceramic case. Not bad looking at all – if it were to stay this way.

  • BNABOD

    most likely will get a decent drop grey market but I am no fan of that date dial. a shame really they used the same idea for the date as to what they do for the Startimer and while it works much better on that other model here I think it really messes up the balance. shame really would have been super nice if not for that and the faux lume of course.

  • Mike Burdine

    When I saw the photo of this watch in my email, i thought maybe 2k-3k. It is very attractive but a little to pricey.

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