Squaring Off: A Closer Look at the Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years from Alpina

We’re over the moon about these underrated, ultra-elegant re-editions.

By Rhonda Riche

It feels like we’re entering into a new horological epoch. For the last decade, heritage sports watches grabbed the headlines, but now, enthusiasts are also embracing dressier designs. We’re not suggesting that stainless steel chronographs will suddenly disappear from the stage, but these timepieces are learning to share the spotlight with fewer, more formal shapes.

Case in point: Alpina’s rectangular Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years, two re-editions based on a squared-off watch from 1938 found in the maison’s archives.

As a perennially underrated brand with a dedicated cohort of collectors, Alpina has maintained its focus on exploring its outdoorsy, mountaineering heritage for the last decade or so.

However, these Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years models have a more classical feeling, which is why they have caused such a big stir among collectors.

Art of Deco

This tank-shaped timepiece comes with either a black dial or a silver and cream dial, but each has a small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock. Moreover, steeped in the geometric traditions of Art Deco design, these time-only watches feature many hallmarks of that era, including a stepped case, Arabic numerals, dauphine hands, and the original Alpina logo.

However, these tanks are not a completely faithful reconstruction of an original Art Deco model from 1938. Instead, their stainless steel cases measure a comfortable 32.5mm x 39mm and 9.71mm thick, making these Heritage Carrées a bit bigger than the case sizes of the 1930s and ‘40s. But since they aren’t meant to be worn as wrist cosplay, we’ll not nitpick.

Besides, the Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years’ streamlined silhouette works well with contemporary clothing, looking just as stylish peeking out from under the sleeve of your Lori Piano cashmere as it does when paired with a vintage French work coat.

Mod Squad

In the end, the Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years got our attention, not because of some impossible standard of authenticity to a specific period in time, but rather its ability to embrace a better tomorrow.

Alpina doesn’t see these new editions as mere copies of the original. Instead, the brand sees them as a continuation of its long history, which is fitting considering that these automatic models take their visual cues from two limited editions released last summer to celebrate Alpina’s 140th anniversary.

That series, which was limited to just 14 pieces each, was powered by restored vintage hand-wound movements and proved so successful that the brand had to bring it back as part of the regular collection – but with a couple of twists.

For starters, these handsome automatic watches are powered by a contemporary movement (the self-winding AL-530 mechanical calibre) with water resistance to 30m. Meanwhile, other modern developments include a domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment and a sapphire crystal display caseback.

Finally, to complement their dressy design language, the Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years models also come fitted with a light brown ostrich leather strap with white contrast stitching and a shiny stainless ardillon buckle.

Pricing & Availability

Both Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years models are available now and priced at $1,595. For more information, visit Alpina’s website.

(Photography by Watchonista)

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