The Alpina AlpinerX
Baselworld 2018: This Swiss Watchmaker Is Trying to Perfect the Outdoor Smartwatch
Verdict: Alpina and its fancy brother Frederique Constant are two of the few Swiss watchmakers that are trying to embrace the smart technology in their products. We saw this in the latter’s mechanical hybrid a couple weeks before Baselworld, but at the show proper, Alpina debuted its newest entry into the hybrid smartwatch market: The AlpinerX.
The AlpinerX is a chunky watch, though it’s made from fiberglass and has a rubber strap, so it’s lightweight and comfortable to wear. The dial is an analog-digital configuration (and the movement is quartz-based) which allows it to display tons of information. How much info? Well, the AlpinerX — in addition to telling time — is an altimeter, barometer, compass, thermometer, fitness tracker and sleep tracker. It also, quite uniquely, has a UV sensor, letting the wearer know if and when they should seek shade or bust out the SPF. The watch can also connect to GPS, but a phone is needed. A built-in GPS wasn’t included because it would absolutely drain the battery life which is, according to Alpina, two years.
What’s also interesting about the AlpinerX is how it’s being sold. The brand debuted the watch on Kickstarter, and it’s already been funded nearly thirteen times over, with 21 more days to go (as of writing). Obviously, Alpina doesn’t need crowdfunding to bring this watch to fruition (it’s an established watchmaker owned by Citizen), but it is a way to drum up hype and offer the watch with pre-release savings — you can get it for about $555 now. If you wait until it officially goes on sale that price will spike to $995.
Who It’s For: Clearly, Alpina is targeting outdoors enthusiasts — especially climbers, hikers and backpackers — who want a more traditional-looking watch. Given the AlpinerX’s pre-sale price and the litany of features (as well as the battery life), they could do far worse.
Key Features: Smartwatch functions. Fiberglass case. Water resistant to 100 meters.
Size: 45mm diameter; 14mm thick
Movement: MMT-283-1 quartz hybrid
Release Date: April, 2018
Price: $555+ (pre-order); $995+ (MSRP)
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