Alpina, the Geneva-based brand were founded in 1883, yet a quick glance at their portfolio and you realise that their watches are modern, fresh and contemporary. The Startimer Pilot Collection is new for 2011 and is "inspired by original Alpina designs from the 1920's and 30's". Part of the new range is a rather handsome chronograph model. Matt black dial, generous white numerals and markers, the red triangle on the seconds hand - it's all good.
The minute and seconds counters are located at 9 and 3 o'clock, overlaid on the dial, obscuring what lies beneath, adding depth. The case is satin-finished stainless steel, 43mm with nicely proportioned pushers. Inside is the automatic AL-860 chronograph movement. A vintage feature of these pieces is the leather strap which closes on the front of the wrist rather than on the back or lower side - a steel bracelet is also available, but I'd bet the leather looks better. All told, the Startimer Chronograph is a worthy rival to other pilot watches out there. Still not convinced? Alpina add further kudos to the collection by collaborating with both Cessna Aviation and PrivatAir on this project, buy one of these watches and a Cessna Citation Mustang scale model in PrivatAir livery will be included in the box.