Time Flies

Timekeeping: Alpina Startimer Pilot Collection

Of the classic tool watches genres, the pilot’s watch rivals the dive watch in popularity. And for good reason. The classic pilot’s oversized case dimensions fit modern tastes, the dial is clean and legible and it emanates a sort of masculine je ne sais quois that is reminiscent of more adventurous times, when brave men took to the skies. Today it seems like almost every watch company is putting out a pilot’s watch. Most are modeled after the classic Fliegeruhr design of the 1940s. But only a handful use an in-house mechanical movement. Add to that short list the new Startimer from Alpina.

Alpina is an old name in Swiss watchmaking that was recently resurrected and revitalized. Remarkably, for such a resurgent watch company, they’re able to design and manufacture many of their own movements, rare in this age of off-the-shelf calibres. The new Startimer is an extension of Alpina’s aviation range of watches and they’ve released a special limited edition in partnership with airplane builder, Cessna, and Swiss private jet firm, PrivatAir. The Startimer comes in a few varieties: a three-hand automatic, a regulator (central minute hand with off-center hour subdial), a pointer-date model and a two-register chronograph. All are housed in a 44mm steel case with the requisite sapphire glass, luminescent markers and hands and classic pilot styling. The bold Alpina logo and splash of red on the seconds hand lend some color to the otherwise sober configuration.

The Startimer collection is being presented at BaselWorld 2011 and will be available soon. Check out Alpina’s Website for details.