Aplina has been making quality watches since 1883, so it’s no wonder that it’s the creator of one of the most reliable and functional watches in the world, the Alpiner 4. That 1938 model is also widely regarded as one of the forefathers of the Swiss sport watch as we know it today.
Today, Alpina remains a mainstay among watch aficionados that love the outdoors. And despite the brand’s name, its watches are more than capable instruments to use both at high altitude and at depths of 300m under water.
- Alpina Seastrong Diver GMT
The new Seastrong Diver models, for example, are being marketed as the perfect watches to “swim against the tide”. But as far as I’m concerned, the collection very much “goes with the flow”.
That’s because in many ways this is a very traditional diving watch collection. It is also very true to the brand’s own rich DNA in sports watches mentioned earlier.
Alpina has been riding on the wave of the Seastrong Diver for about 50 years now. The collection first made real news in the industry back in the 1960’s because the watches boasted 200m water resistance, a relatively impressive feat at that time.
Of late, the Seastrong Diver hasn’t gone through many radical changes. The last few iterations of the model have all come in a similar, robust 44mm case, with the Seastrong Diver 300 - released in 2016 – being the latest example.
In line with its predecessor, the new GMT models are packaged in a 44mm case with a uni-directional ratcheting diving bezel and luminous indexes. Customers also have a choice of colour for the chunky 60-minute bezel, including: navy, grey, burgundy, orange and blue with luminous indexes.
True diving fans will probably opt for the orange accessory colour. But in an attempt to make the model more versatile and not just a diving instrument, Alpina is relying on those other bezel options to make the Seatrong Diver more appealing to a diverse audience.
That’s important, because the watch finds itself in a hotly contested segment of the watch market.
- The Seastrong Diver in iconic orange bezel
Yet, I feel that the overall appearance of this watch still leans more towards diving instrument rather than a versatile sports watch.
Its sword hands have been skeletonized, which adds a bit of lightness and modernity to the dial. But that semblance of lightness is offset by the seconds’ indices, which I feel clutter the dial unnecessarily and remind us of its strong diving roots.
Nevertheless, the dial remains legible and indicates the hours, minutes, seconds, GMT and a date visible at 3 o’clock. Keen observers will notice other Alpina design codes like the white second hands with the red triangle and black color GMT with the brand’s iconic red arrow.
These models are powered by an AL-247 quartz caliber. As ever, the movement is developed, produced and assembled in-house. And wearers can rest assured that it will remain protected by the sturdy case, which like its predecessor boasts a water resistance up to 300m.
Overall, the new Alpina Seastrong Diver models add a new skew to the collection. But with a price of around 1,000 USD/Swiss francs, I would have liked to see a slightly more pared down dial, which I reckon would make the watch more versatile and make the price more appealing.