Alpina Takes Its Alpiner Collection to the Extreme at Watches & Wonders 2023
The new all-steel versions of Alpina’s Alpiner Extreme Automatic and Alpiner Extreme Regulator Automatic feature integrated bracelets, delivering executions faithful to the spirit of the Alpiner collection but have a dash of handsome elegance to boot.
In the last year, we’ve seen Alpina’s ruggedly elegant Alpiner Extreme Automatic, which usually comes in attractive all-black, blue, and green versions, appear in a bold black-and-red execution to honor the brand’s partnership with the grueling Freeride World Tour winter sports event.
Then, of course, there is the brand’s attention-grabbing (but accessibly priced) Alpiner Extreme Regulator in a deep blue execution.
So it was little surprise that for the 2023 edition of Watches & Wonders in Geneva, Alpina shared a new vision for the Alpiner collection that is a natural, sporty, and a logical extension of its current design language, with its most consequential update being the addition of an integrated stainless steel bracelets.
The results couldn’t be more perfectly apt for watches carrying the word “extreme” in their monikers. But while the burly new three-link bracelets up the ante on what I like to call the “bar fight quotient” (they’ll leave a mark on the other guy), indulge me as I do a little bit of a “Profit & Loss” analysis that will point to both timepieces’ more sophisticated sides.
On the “P” side of the equation for Alpina’s new Alpiner Extreme Regulator Automatic: A time-tested AL-650 automatic calibre with a respectable 38-hour power reserve and which is visible through a transparent caseback.
Then there is the beefy brushed and polished 41mm x 45mm steel case, which features finishing that is obviously professional grade but does not look so refined as to lose its edgy, raw nature; ditto with the bracelet. Plus, sober navy-blue or black dial executions with the brand’s signature triangular cross-hatching add understated attention (although the black-dialed version is not available on an integrated bracelet).
And, of course, the rarity of a regulator display that tallies hours, minutes, and seconds with hands and sub-dial surfaces distinct from the main dial is another bullet for the “P” list.
And speaking of the main dial, it logs minutes, as is traditional in regulators, while a small seconds at 6 o’clock and hours sub-dial at 10 o’clock contrast subtly in a muted grey from the blue triangular real estate in a nod to the regulator construction being a more elegant interpretation of time-telling versus a full-on tool watch execution.
Yet, despite the innate sophistication of a regulator dial, the Alpiner Extreme Regulator Automatic emits toughness. For instance, its six-screw bezel encircles the dial as crown protectors do their job with a “porthole” hinge extrusion to balance the 9 o’clock side of the watch. Meanwhile, white lume graces the hands and baton indices so you can tell the time no matter the light conditions, and it can dive up to 660 feet underwater. Plus, it is a limited edition of 888 pieces.
On the “L” side? You’re out $2,395 for the blue-dialed version on an integrated bracelet (or $2,095 for the black-dialed iteration on a color-matched rubber strap), but that’s it. Even with just the limited edition run and a regulator configuration, most would expect to pay far more, so its value is hard to deny.
Applying the same exercise to the Alpina Alpiner Extreme Automatic models that debuted with a more-turquoise blue dial or light anthracite gray dial on integrated steel bracelets yields largely the same results.
But I’ll open with the “L”: Both list for just $2,095, which, again, is not bad for a watch with an integrated bracelet. Yet each features a 38-hour-power reserve AL-525 automatic calibre viewable via an exhibition caseback, a 3 o’clock date window, hand and index lume, and Alpina’s signature triangle dial patterning. Plus, the Alpiner Extreme Automatic has a color-matched crown ring (as do the regulators described above).
Finally, a red triangle balances the short end of the central seconds hand, delivering a handsome, impactful two-hander. And while not a limited edition, the new Alpina Alpiner Extreme presents a similar overall design language to its regulator sister.
The Alpiner Extreme Regulator and Alpiner Extreme Automatic are available at Alpina retailers as you read this. You can learn more at the Alpina website.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)