In 1883, Gottlieb Hauser founds the “Alpina Union Horlogère S.A. (UH) / Schweizerische Uhrmacher-Genossenschaft (SUG)”—Corporation of Swiss Watchmakers. His vision was the “Alpinist Principle”: uniting Swiss watchmaking industry forces to achieve the highest quality and technical innovation in manufacturing. Soon the Union was making its own calibers. In 1890, the Union moves its headquarters to Biel/Bienne where Jacob Straub, an important member, had his caliber manufactory—J. Straub & Co. The ébauches at that time were made by the Alpina Ebauches factory, owned by Duret & Colonnaz, in Geneva. After seventeen successful years, Alpina Union Horlogère participates in the 1900 Universal Exposition in Paris and displays its calibers and creations to a cosmopolitan and distinguished public. In 2002, Alpina is bought by Aletta and Peter Stas, the owners of Frédérique Constant and in 2003 they unveil their first sports collection with huge success. Today, Alpina is the official watch of the Cessna Aircraft Corporation.
At their pavilion, Alpina presented a nice variety of historical timepieces from their museum, in addition to the unveiling of three new models, all inspired by Aviation, Diving and Sailing.
The three new models include the 130 Heritage Pilot Chronograph, the Extreme Diver 300 Chronograph and the Startimer Pilot Chronograph Big Date collection. All these models inspired either by aviation, diving or sailing. The first two models fitted with automatic calibres while the third one is fitted with quartz movements.
While the Startimer Pilot Chronograph Big Date collection is one of our favorites due to its vintage rugged designs, versatility of colors and strap options, we feel that the quartz movement is a major downside and not very appealing to demanding watch collectors in the upper tiers.
Here are the new pieces that were unveiled. For more info click here.