The family-owned Swiss-based watchmaking house, Alpina, has been inspiring designs and time-telling since 1883. The harbingers of Swiss sports watches have steadily impressed upon us the fine art of watchmaking and how it can create a fresh experience for those who don it, with each ticking second. Even to this day, Alpina watches are regarded as end-to-end pieces of art as the company develops, produces and puts together the movements themselves. This is testimony to the holistic attention paid to the mechanics and design of each chronograph that emerges from the house of Alpina.
The Alpiner 4 Black Flyback Manufacture Chronograph AL-760 is yet another marvel to behold. The original version arrived at Baselworld 2015, celebrating 132 years of the Geneva-based company. What really stood out among the accolades of this unique chronograph is it being Alpina’s first in-house Manufacture Flyback Chronograph, bearing the patented ‘Direct Flyback Technology’. This sees a completely different and rather simplified return-to-zero mechanism. The flyback function is native to Alpina’s line of pilot watches with split second functions. Devised way back in the 1930s, the mechanism greatly aids pilots with greater visibility of time and precision. The Full-Black, sportier rendition added zest and vigor to the Flyback Manufacture Chronograph, which set many eyes on it at this year’s Baselworld.
So what really sets this year’s version apart? The apparent absence of brushed and polished steel is plainly visible on the timepiece. It comes with a PVD coating that creates a fine highlight for the beige highlights. The black dial is immersive and the luminous beige hands adorn its face with consistency. This, with the Alpina 4 attributes of being water-resistant, antimagnetic, anti-shock and remaining stainless, make the chronograph a rather desirable wear. Being a true companion to the sporting kind, the watch can withstand water pressure even at depths of 100 meters. The sapphire crystal is no less tough, bringing with it the assurance of scratch resistance. An elegant black leather strap with beige stitching adorns the wrist of the active wearer, bringing its own charm to the ensemble.
Coming to the mechanics of the watch: the modular caliber is easy to service, thanks to the integrated chronograph build that has fewer components, fulfilling the ‘simplicity’ aspect that Alpina insists upon. The screw down winding and the setting crown are consistent with former watches from the company. The in-house-made movement comprises of 32 jewels and a 38-hour power reserve. The push-piece at 4 o’clock and the associate mechanism that accompanies it performs three tasks sequentially. First, the clutch gets disengaged, second, a single-piece hammer ensures that the hands position themselves vertically, thus setting the chronograph to zero and finally, the clutch engages once more when the push-piece is released. All of this happens sequentially, with precision and with the single press of the push-piece. The date hand can be found at 6 o’clock and is truly legible, without the unsightly well that is found in most conventional builds.
The original version of the Alpiner 4 Flyback Manufacture Chronograph was around $4,750. We expect this year’s full black rendition to be priced around the same range, though prices have not been announced as yet.
Discover the Alpiner 4 Black Flyback Manufacture Chronograph AL-760.
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