Earlier this year, Alpina released a duo of limited-edition watches to celebrate its 140th anniversary, which were based upon a rectangular model from 1938. Featuring polished silver cases and powered by restored vintage hand-wound movements from the 1930s, the pair of commemorative watches was truly a small-batch offering, with production limited to just 14 pieces each. Now, as one of its latest new releases for Geneva Watch Days 2023, Alpina has created two standard-production versions of this pair of anniversary watches, and the new Alpina Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years models take the same core vintage aesthetic of the original 14-piece limited editions and turn them into contemporary wristwatches that are powered by modern automatic movements.
Offering a rectangular profile with stepped sides that measures 32.5mm wide by 39mm long with an overall thickness of 9.71mm, the case of the new Alpina Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years is slightly larger than those of the original limited-edition models, and it is now crafted from stainless steel, rather than being made from polished silver like the original 14-piece editions (hands-on images of the original black dial model included in the gallery below for reference). A domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment sits above the dial, while another sapphire crystal is fitted to the screw-on display caseback, and given the relatively dressy design language of these particular models, water resistance comes in at the expected 30 meters to protect against daily incidental contact. Lastly, to complete their classic retro-themed appearance, the lugs of the Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years are fitted with a light brown ostrich leather strap that features white contrast stitching and is completed by a stainless steel pin buckle.
Just like the original 14-piece anniversary models, the new Alpina Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years watches are offered with either a black or silver dial, with each one offering its own unique take on the reference’s signature Art Deco styling. Both versions follow the same overall layout with a pair of central leaf-shaped hands for the hours and minutes, Arabic numeral markers, and a running seconds sub-dial located at 6 o’clock. With that in mind, while the black dial variant (ref. AL-530BA3C6) is not available within the U.S. and features gold colored printing with beige hands and numerals, the silver dial version (ref. AL-530SAC36) is the international model, and it features black hands and printing with a cream colored section occupying the space around its hour markers and running seconds register. Additionally, the font used for the Arabic numerals on the silver dial is slightly more geometric, and its running-seconds register is rectangular, rather than being circle-shaped like on the black dial version.
Powering the new Alpina Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years watches in the brand’s Caliber AL-530 automatic movement, which runs at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz), while offering users a power reserve of approximately 38 hours. While information on this particular 31-jewel movement is relatively minimal, Alpina’s AL-5xx series of mechanical calibers is based upon the core architecture of the familiar Sellita SW200, and the Cal. AL-535 movement is essentially the small-seconds version of the SW200-1. Given that the new Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years is a time-only watch, the Cal. AL-530 that powers it is more than likely just the no-date version of the brand’s small-seconds Caliber AL-535 movement.
Given the miniscule production numbers for the original limited-edition models, a follow-up version of this Art Deco themed timepiece seemed like somewhat of an inevitability, and while the new Alpina Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years watches offer much of the same core aesthetic as their 14-piece LE siblings, they are substantially different timepieces due to their larger stainless steel cases and modern automatic movements. Additionally, compared to the limited edition models with restored vintage internals and polished silver cases, the new Alpina Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years watches are significantly more affordable, and the new models are accompanied by an official retail price of $,1595 USD. While the Alpiner collection typically consists of sports watches with contemporary styling, the new Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years models represents a significantly different offering within the lineup, and they are a highly compelling option for those who are looking for a reasonably priced dress watch with a rectangular case and distinct vintage styling. For more information on the Alpina Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years watches, please visit the brand’s website.