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Alpina Startimer Chronograph Watches Join The Pilot Heritage collection

Alpina Startimer Chronograph Watches Join The Pilot Heritage collection Watch Releases

There is, in my opinion, a real dearth of single-pusher chronographs available at an entry-level price point. While the style is not for everyone, it always seems to me to recall a bygone era of sports and aviation timers that were, in the past, the most accurate tool available for the job. The Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Chronograph watches released recently are excellent examples of how to bring a throwback flavor into the modern day. Oozing vintage appeal and outfitted with all the benefits of modern manufacturing techniques, these three new timepieces amount to a serious value proposition.

Alpina Startimer Chronograph Watches Join The Pilot Heritage collection Watch Releases

This release boosts an already strong arm of the Alpina catalog. The Alpina Startimer range is one of the brand’s cornerstones, and frequently references Alpina’s long history as a supplier of military and aviation watches. These watches, however, take things in a slightly different direction. Three dials — pale anthracite, a rich sunray blue, and one that takes both colors and blends them for the sportiest livery of the bunch — completely change the look of the watch, giving customers three distinct styles to choose from.

Alpina Startimer Chronograph Watches Join The Pilot Heritage collection Watch Releases

The September 2018 debut of the Heritage style really brought the range to life. A far less run-of-the-mill case silhouette offered a completely different wearing experience, along with an appearance that ticks the throwback trend box that appears to be in full force. (We are only a few months removed from the release of the not too dissimilar Tissot Heritage 1973 Limited-Edition watch, which seems like too much of a coincidence to ignore.)

Alpina Startimer Chronograph Watches Join The Pilot Heritage collection Watch Releases

Alpina describes this case shape as a clever blend between a cushion and a Bullhead (a case style more commonly associated with motor racing). Non-round cases like this one can wear quite large and have the potential to come off rather blockish. Fortunately, the Pilot Heritage collection has been blessed with some very refined finishing, which reduces the overall visual impact. Radial brushing around the crystal gives way to nicely polished, generously wide shoulders. This gives the impression that the watch is collapsing into the wrist rather than leaping out from it. The crown and pusher are wisely scaled-down and do not detract from the overall package. For a non-round 42mm-wide case, the Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage watches wear surprisingly small.

Alpina Startimer Chronograph Watches Join The Pilot Heritage collection Watch Releases

Last year’s well-received GMT model was a great first step for this sub-family, but these handsome mono-pushers are a further reminder that Alpina is, 17 years after its re-foundation, trending in the right direction. One criticism of the GMT model was that its hands were perhaps a little slim, and the GMT arrow had the tendency to get lost given its notable distance from the 24-hour rehaut. Here, the proportions seem much better. The slim hands (which could maybe be the slightest bit longer) fit in with the dial, and the widely spaced sub-dials, showing the chronograph minutes at 3 o’clock and the going seconds at 9, give the whole ensemble an excellent balance.

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Alpina Startimer Chronograph Watches Join The Pilot Heritage collection Watch Releases

Ticking away inside these new chronographs is the caliber AL-727, which has been designed by movement manufacturers La Joux-Perret. A 28,800vph chronograph with a 55-hour power reserve, the AL-727 makes for a nice change to the ubiquitous reliance on 7750 derivations commonly seen at this price point. At $2,795 USD, the Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Chronographs offer a lot of bang for your buck. Learn more about Alpina and its Startimer and Startimer Pilot Heritage collections at alpinawatches.com.

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Comments

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  • Raymond Wilkie

    A watch with bingo wings,…No thanks.

    • Gokart Mozart

      Every one gets them sooner or later

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Speak for yourself : )

  • Alex A

    Not bad

  • Farkbinder012

    Not bad at all. They are 50% off their list price at the Alpina web site. Hmmmm……..

  • TheChuphta

    Is “Heritage” the single most overused term in all of watch marketing now?

    • Sheez Gagoo

      Yes, before it was “revolution” and “inspired by…”

    • Raymond Wilkie

      The one I hate is ” Homage “

      • Swiss_Cheese

        Nearly as bad as the pre-patinated ‘replicas’.

        (To the tune of “My Favourite Things”)

        ? Replicas, Homages ?

        ? All falsely patina’d. ?

        ?? Mismatching date windows ?

        ? With oversized Lug Width ?

        ? Watches that are as tall as a masonry brick ?

        ? These are a few of my favourite nitpicks ?

        It loses something without Julie Andrews in a night dress I grant you…

  • Luciano

    It shows 2,895 EUR for me, which are 3,200 USD, so I guess Europeans are not that lucky.

    • Brian Williams

      Confusing, the main website shows $1395 but the US store still shows $2795

  • NaJo

    A good bull-cushioned watch! Value wise it competes with the heritage likes of longines and hamilton chronos.

  • SuperStrapper

    I like the watch. It is an unusual Alpina, but it is well done. The dials are nice and designed well. The hands are probably just a scoc too smol but not deal-breakingly so. I do enjoy that black Chrono seconds hand on the panda dial.
    I smiled when you referred to the case finishing as refined. Not mockingly so, but it looks to me like the watch case design took some simple oaths, but then executed them quite well. In terms of design, you’d never call this ‘refined’:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9751f378e9e42f93ded51c6c3959905a60d602e92b72aae89f21798762af8b64.png

    It’s just the corner of a box! But, it does look finished well and the lines all look good.

    I’m not really a fan of monopusher chronographs but this one is pretty cool and I’d like to try it on. The movement is a fun choice, I’d be interested in a hands-on review.

    (When are they going to update the avalanche/regulators?)

  • SuperStrapper

    Can you show? I see full MSRP as well (Canada).

  • I find the Starscreamer (Why do I keep saying it!!), I mean the Startimer Pilot Heritage Big Date or the Alpina 130 with the Telemeter scale a much more useful complication in the tropics, know what I’m sayin’….
    I suppose Alpina won’t been throwing in a free model Cessna Mustang model plane https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/97b66a5786a09835b45c80d2692c7677f73052acc81e276f6a7f0ca1a5c99f89.jpg
    Megan’s recommendation: The Startimer Pilot Chrono Manufacture with the Sunray burst dial. That’s a seriously gorgeous looking dial and it’s ‘unlimited’ to 8888 timepieces https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/92d0584a00035e5a781808f1fe1deae17b32afad9365a82db6721056441a158b.jpg

  • Brian Williams

    Awesome that’s it’s $1395 right now, sucks that’s it’s sold out!

    • Brian Williams

      Nevermind, they’ve updated the site, no more 50% off.

  • Brian Williams

    Sold out though