Alpina Involves Its Community In Designing Three New Timepieces
Alpina Involves Its Community In Designing Three New Timepieces
Following the success of its previous crowdfunding campaigns, Alpina is excited to unveil its latest participative project involving its community in the design of three new watches, one per universe - Air, Land and Sea.
From April until June 2021, the community members will be able to choose the movements, cases, dials, hands, straps, and finally vote for their favourite combinations. To create these timepieces, Alpina will be re-using existing components in order to reduce scrap and up-cycle materials. For each watch sold, a donation of 25 Euros will be made to the Salomon Foundation on December 11th, 2021, on the occasion of the International Mountain Day.
In 2018, Alpina launched the AlpinerX Smart Outdoors on Kickstarter. This innovative initiative brought the sporting community together and allowed everyone to get involved in designing their own timepiece. The result? Three thousand individually designed watches delivered and four best-selling designs used to build the AlpinerX Smart Outdoors line.
In 2020, the Brand introduced the AlpinerX Alive timepiece through a crowdfunding campaign built around an online configurator, and the four most successful designs were also integrated within the retail collection and available for sale. Building on this momentum, Alpina wished to move on to the next level by involving its community members in the design of three new watches from scratch.
Inspired by the community
Between April and June 2021, the Brand will give its community members the opportunity to choose between movements, cases, dials, hands and strap variations and vote for their favourites to finally present three new timepieces, one per universe: Startimer for the Air, Alpiner for the Land, and Seastrong for the Sea. All the information relative to the project are available on the dedicated website, from where participants will be able to vote (in the WATCH CREATOR section).
The Air, The Land, The Sea
Alpina’s collections are inspired by three universes: the Air, the Land, and the Sea. These elemental entities drive the Brand’s designs and timepieces’ functionalities.
Alpiner for the Land: in 1938, Alpina set the standard for modern sports watches with the famous Alpina 4 timepiece. Crafted from high-quality stainless steel, it was anti-magnetic, shock-resistant, and water-resistant. True to Alpina’s DNA, the Alpiner collection presents strong and sturdy watches that can resist the toughest conditions whilst remaining pure and easy to wear.
Seastrong for the Sea: Alpina’s diving watches are brought together in the Seastrong collection, presenting strong and readable features true to the Maison’s legacy. Designed to please water sports lovers, these models perpetuate the brand’s proud tradition established over the last century and can be used at depths up to 300m underwater.
Startimer for the Air: since the 1920’s, Alpina has been developing pilot watches to accompany aviators and help them navigate in those early days. The Startimer collection stays faithful to the spirit of its predecessors and presents clean and legible dials enhanced by traditional oversized crowns.
A sustainable initiative
These universes fuel the fire and shape the Brand’s identity. Alpina took inspiration from the Earth and now it’s time to find ways to reduce its environmental impact, by repurposing un-used components into new eco-responsible models that reflect the functionality, fit and style one would expect from an Alpina watch.
Indeed, significant amounts of components are destroyed or scrapped every year, as removed from the collection due to new product introductions. The case and the movement are the most expensive parts of the watch. By re-using existing components and integrating the community in the design of the watches, the Brand is finding an appropriate use of this material instead of reordering new components, thus avoiding any waste and useless pollution.
What’s more, since last year, Alpina has started to use recycled and up-cycled materials to create its watches. For instance, the Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic’s composite case is made out of 70% of plastic debris derived from ghost fishing nets collected in the Indian Ocean, and is mounted on a NATO style strap made from recycled plastic bottles. The watch is delivered in an exclusive and eco-friendly gift box including a black vegetable leather extra strap comprised of recycled apple waste. In 2021, the Brand presented an exclusive AlpinerX Alive Freeride World Tour limited edition featuring a strap made out of recycled plastic from an Alpina advertising banner.
Even though Alpina is still at a very early stage in sustainable development, this is the direction the Brand aims to orient itself in the upcoming years and working on such collaborations will increase awareness on environmental issues.
The design process
As a first step in this participative project, Alpina invites its community to choose a movement per universe. The choice is to be offered between quartz movements, known for the use of a battery, automatic calibers perpetuating the swiss heritage of traditional watchmaking, and a sportier chronograph automatic movement to keep track of time at any second.
The second step relies in the choice of cases. All Alpina cases are manufactured with 316L stainless steel, a marine grade stainless steel able to resist the corrosive effects of salt in seawater thanks to its low percentage of carbon. In addition, variations feature a rose gold plating and a titanium PVD treatment of 10 micron, which is highly resistant to scratches in particular.
Step three will define the hands and dials. In order to give an originality and differentiate from the standard collection, the hands and dials will be chosen from a variety of colours and styles. The indexes will be applied to the dials and the hands will be diamond cut. Followed by step four from, defining the straps and buckles.
The final vote will define the three watches’ designs. Once they will be determined, the participants to the project will have the opportunity to pre-order them as of July. The watches will be available on December 11th, the International Mountain Day.
Not only environmentally friendly, but also charitable
Inspired by the alpine universe since its creation, the Brand has always been deeply involved in outdoor activities and mountain sports. The International Mountain Day is thus the occasion for Alpina to support an organisation close to its heart: the Salomon Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to assist in the social and professional rehabilitation of competitors and mountain professionals who are physically disabled due to an accident or illness, along with the families of deceased athletes and mountain professionals.
On this day, for every watch sold, a donation of 25 Euros will be made to the Foundation, to help it sustain mountain professionals and their families on a daily basis.
Not only drawing inspiration from this world, the Brand is also committed to supporting young talents on their way to the top. For several years now, Alpina has been counting the alpine skiing French athletes Nastasia Noens, Nils Allègre, Victor Muffat-Jeandet and Robin Buffet (who stepped-out from competing in 2020) as members of its Alpinists Team. Equipped by Salomon, they also share a close relationship with the Salomon Foundation and are sincerely involved in raising the Foundation’s awareness.
*Offer excludes the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland and Japan.
(Images © Alpina Watches / Eric Rossier)