The Swiss brand does a lot of things well with the Alpiner 4 range, but what’s the one things that’s off?
According to Alpina, it is the brand responsible for creating the concept for the modern Swiss sports watch as we know it. In a quest to conquer everything alpine - from mountains to lakes - the brand focused on 4 core features when making its sporty watches nearly 80 years ago: 1) Anti-magnetism, 2) Anti-shock, 3) Water-resistance, and 4) Stainless steel.
These were the essential features of all Alpina sports watches, and they’re still around in the “Alpiner 4” range, dedicated to the universe of alpine sports. Two models in particular caught our eye, the Alpiner 4 Automatic and the Alpiner 4 GMT Business Timer.
Let’s start with the Alpiner 4 Automatic. The watch is powered by the AL-525 Automatic movement, which is essentially based on the ETA 2824 automatic calibre. Its dial is simple and effective with a 60 minute turning bezel for sports measurement functions. The brand has also re-introduced its signature “Glacier Blue” colored dial, the colour they’re most known for, in addition to black and silver.
Getting down to business time, we also have the Alpiner 4 GMT model, which has a user friendly GMT caliber featuring a jumping hour function. So you can set local time by independently moving the hour hand from hour to hour, while the 24 hour hand always displays home time.
You might ask, where does the business part come in on this “Business Timer” model? Well, the watch has a 24 hour scale that’s been decorated with a distinctive red and blue “Pepsi” color scheme that indicates business-opening hours from 9am to 5pm. With a quick glance you can confirm whether or not things are open for business back home. Not everyone sticks to this standard working schedule (I certainly don’t) but it’s still a nice touch, even if it’s mostly decorative.
Both models have the 4 core Alpina sports properties: the watches are certified according to the ISO 764 standard for anti-magnetism and anti-shock properties meet the ISO 1413 standard. Then there’s the 44mm stainless steel case and 100m water resistance.
Combined, both the base automatic model and the GMT model are attractive and solidly build, and should be able to entice a wide range of consumers. That’s especially the case at their price points, expected to top off at around 2,500 Swiss francs.
The one thing that I felt detracted from a solid overall package was the liberal use to markings in the lower part of the dial. For example, we have the “4”, “ICE LEGACY”, “BELIEVE, PRESERVE, TRANSMIT”, “GMT-ANTIMAGNETIC” and “100M – 330FT” written across the dial of the Business Timer.
Some of those markings are quite obvious – the 4 core principles, the water resistance - but I’m not quite sure about the rest. The dial would have looked cleaner without the additional text, which could have been reserved for the packaging, for instance. But you can call that nitpicking because it’s not enough to dissuade me from liking these two new additions.