The re-creation of historical timepieces is something which Alpina accomplish with aplomb. In celebration of the company's 130th anniversary, this is the Alpina 130 Heritage Pilot Chronograph.
Gottlieb Hauser, the man who formed the first watchmaking co-op to help craftsmen buy components at reduced prices and find the best route to market for their products is also credited with founding Alpina. Peter Stas has worked his own form of enterprising magic to revive the brand and now he hands over the mantle to a new CEO, no doubt relieving the day to day pressures incurred from running both Frédérique Constant and its more sporty sister company.
Designed to replicate pilot's watches of the 1930's this one nails it with a superb bi-compax layout, applied numerals which catch the light on a silver or black backdrop, telemeter scale at the edge and a tachymeter seductively curled in the centre.
A telemeter on a watch measures distance based on the speed of sound, a scale which is perhaps familiar to enthusiasts of military pieces where it was once used as a crude type of range finder. Maybe you are more familiar with the Tachymeter scale, which is used to measure speed. Each was created to be a useful addition to a watch dial, one is often accompanied by the other.
To feature both scales on a watch dial along with chronograph counters, presents the designer with a certain conundrum – how to maintain readability of the indications with such a level of on the dial busyness - the solution is a little gentle overlapping as with this piece which always adds a certain charm.
Domed crystal, a trim bezel and 41.5mm rounded case with poke-out pushers complete the traditional styling. Two editions, steel or gold plated promise the now expected priced-to-sell appeal synonymous with Alpina.
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