Alpina Unveils The Alpiner Extreme Automatic With A Modern Makeover
Founded in 1883 of alpine origins, Alpina is a name synonymous with robust watches for the outdoors. The Swiss brand introduced the Extreme line to the Alpiner collection in 2005 at a time when monster watch sizes were all the rage. Reflecting the modern hybrid lifestyles, the Extreme line has undergone its most significant design refresh this year. The latest release is the Alpiner Extreme Automatic in a sensible 41mm case and three colorways to cater to both urban settings and rugged environments.
A fresh look
Alpina first revealed this design renovation at Geneva Watch Days 2022 with the Alpiner Extreme Regulator, which Thomas covered here. The new look instantly won me over. It is super stylish with lots of strong lines and features. But I am most impressed by how much Alpina has managed to retain the design language from the original model, which you can see from Thomas’s review. You can certainly tell they are from the same family! If you didn’t know it all started in 2005, you’d be forgiven for thinking it looks familiar somehow. In fact, the new Extreme casing has evolved from the same style but in a more compact and complex construction.
A complex new case
The emblematic cushion-shaped case features a round bezel with triangle-head screws and an integrated rubber strap. The triangular motif has been an aesthetic hallmark in the collection since 2009 as a representation of the Alpina logo. The three-part brushed steel case and angular lugs bear small facets and polished bevels throughout. Evidently, a lot of work has gone into this case, which makes it a lot more interesting to look at no matter the admiring angle.
That is not just thanks to the form, but also the light reflection produced by the finishes. Even the screw-down crown is specially styled with a rubber grip matching the strap and the logo engraved on the head. The left flank and the crown protectors further provide reinforcement to the case. The new case measures 41mm in diameter and 11.5mm thick.
Inheriting design DNA
The three-handed Alpiner Extreme Automatic comes with a date at 3 o’clock, and the Alpina logo sits under 12 o’clock. The hand-polished hour and minute hands as well as the applied indexes are luminescent in low-light conditions. These features are all in silver color to pop against the finely stamped dial with a triangular motif in relief (you can find the same pattern on the dial of the 2005 model). Same is true for the polished seconds hand, which carries a red triangular counterweight. White minute markers decorate the rehaut. Topping it all off is a mildly convex sapphire crystal.
The engine inside
Turning over the watch, you will find a screw-down exhibition case back. Engraved on the perimeter are general details such as the 20 ATM water-resistance rating and Swiss Made designation. Although Alpina has developed five in-house movements since 2002, the caliber inside the Extreme Automatic is not one of them.
Powering the time-and-date model is the AL-525 caliber, based on the Sellita SW200. The automatic movement has a utilitarian and clean look. That said, Alpina has jazzed it up with a few lovely touches, such as the blued screws and the asymmetrical black-coated custom rotor. Visible through the sapphire back, the AL-525 features 26 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz), and provides 38 hours of power reserve.
Alpina has included a strong remark with the Alpiner Extreme Automatic release. The brand says this timepiece is a turning point and that its “future direction will be to concentrate on its mechanical DNA and its outdoor vocation”. This seems logical for a 139-year-old watch brand that has been tirelessly staying the course. It is a bit curious that this statement did not come out during the launch of the Extreme Regulator with an in-house-modified movement. Perhaps the underlying message, though, is that we can expect only sports or adventure watches from Alpina going forward.
On that note, rounding off the Alpiner Extreme Automatic new look is a textured rubber strap. It has an updated design to ensure optimal comfort and strength. The Alpiner Extreme Automatic comes in three color variations — all-black, midnight blue, and forest green — as nods to the colors in alpine nature. All three are non-limited editions and priced the same at €1,495 including VAT.
For more information, visit Alpina’s official website.
This is a preferred-position post. Learn more.