SIHH is becoming a cloudy memory, but just in time there’s yet another Swiss watch show right around the corner that goes by the name of “Basel World” – perhaps you’ve heard of it? While there will be plenty of big reveals done during the show itself, we’re starting to get word of some of the new models ahead of time. One that’s grabbed our attention early on, is this new Alpina Startimer that’s going by the name, Sunstar.
Now, if you’re familiar with Alpina, you know that they’ve got quite the range of aviation watches, stemming from the fact that they supplied watches to military aviators in the first half of the twentieth century. That means it’s not much of a leap for them to come up with a new model. While I’m not deeply familiar with others in the Startimer line, I do know that the Sunstar is a sharp-looking piece.
As is befitting for an aviator watch, the 44mm case is treated to a satin finish (the better to reduce reflections) and is topped with an AR-coated sapphire crystal. Under that crystal is where this watch gets its name – the grey dial with it’s sunray finish. When done properly, a sunray dial can be a sublime way to add subtle texture to a watch. You are also going to love the raised hour markers. And, when it comes to pilot watches, that’s a welcome bit of detail, breaking up the sometimes monotonous look we get from flat black dials.
On top of that dial you’ve got what’s probably my favorite bit of the watch – a whole lot of applied bits and pieces. The minute ring is applied on top (along with it’s indices), as are the large lume-filled numerals. This gives some lovely dimension to the dial, meaning that light is going to play along the face of this watch in some interesting ways.
Topping it all, you’ve got a handset that’s evocative of the blades of a plane’s propellers (you know, in case you forget the inspiration for the watch). This is also where the signature red triangle makes its appearance. Rather than popping in up at the 12 o’clock orientation mark (as you might expect), it instead attaches itself to the second hand. Perhaps not a prominent placement, but I’m OK with that.
That little touch of red gives a splash of color to what might otherwise be considered a bit of a monochromatic watch, given the black strap, grey dial, and satin finishing to the case. While I realize that it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I personally rather quite like the look. It doesn’t hurt that it’s all done in the name of reducing glare, which is what you’d look for in a pilot watch – assuming you’re flying a plane. Even if you’re not, this is still quite a nice watch to sport around town. Coming in at a price of $1,495, you’ll have a watch that’s ready to fly off into the sunset, even if you aren’t. alpina-watches.com