A Closer Look At The New Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic
This distinctive dive watch sets a new standard for sustainability.
Alpina is making its name as a champion of the great outdoors. As well as the brand’s ongoing partnership with the National Park Foundation, it is now pledging to protect the oceans with its latest dive watch, the Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic.
We wrote about this new collection of 36 and 44mm watches and the brand's commitment to sustainability when Alpina announced them back in June but decided that they needed a deeper dive to show just how impactful and innovative these timepieces – made from recycled fishing nets – really are. Environmental sustainability is a phrase that gets bandied about quite a bit, yet on the wrist and in principal, the Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic makes a positive statement.
If the Seastrong Gyre Automatic’s only goal was to raise awareness about our oceans being choked with plastics, then mission accomplished. Its eye-catching looks would certainly have passerby stopping to ask questions about the watch and its unique materials.
The case is a composite made of recycled plastic from fishing nets found in the Indian Ocean, and the paired NATO strap is made from recycled bottles. It’s not the first dive watch to use a composite material (the 1970s-era Fortis Flipper and Caravelle Bahamas spring to mind), but all things considered, high-end carbon cases are also technically composites.
The Seastrong Diver Gyre is made even more appealing by 21st-century technology. The case takes the geometric pillow-shape of previous Seastrong Divers, but the mix of recycled plastic strengthened by fiberglass lends it a distinctive matte texture. This texture provides a nice contrast to the glossy, unidirectional bezel with 60-minute diving scale. The bezel is also coated with black PVD for extra durability.
Underneath a tough sapphire crystal, the dial options offer aquatic-inspired shades of blue and turquoise in the 44mm editions and blue and dyed mother-of-pearl hues for the 36mm editions. The combination of case and color makes these dive watches pop. And we could all use more color in our lives to remind us just how beautiful the big blue marble we live on is and how we need to protect it.
The construction of the Seastrong Diver is a direct result of a meeting between Alpina and Dutch watch journalist Bernard Werk three years ago. Personally involved in ocean preservation, Werk and his partner, Jorrit Niels, created the Gyre watch out of a desire to create sustainable case materials. Gyre does this by extracting and reusing abandoned, or “ghost,” fishing nets found floating in the Indian Ocean.
The impact of this initiative is far-reaching. Local fishermen are paid to source and retrieve these ghost nets, providing extra income. The packaging of the watches is also eco-friendly, with paper housing, a case made entirely from recycled plastic (ABS), and a lining made from recycled plastic bottles (rPET). Completing this gift set is a single leaflet (guarantee and certificate of authenticity) printed on FSC Recycled paper. The manual will be paperless, accessed by a QR code.
It is also the first time that this eco-responsible blend has complied with EU REACH legislation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals). Its goal is to limit the use of chemical substances to improve the protection of human health and the environment while also encouraging innovation.
If the fact that this material that doesn't have a proven track record with regards to water resistance gives you pause, be assured that with a rating of 300m, the Seastrong Diver Gyre is ready to serve the most serious of divers. It is also perfectly suitable for recreational divers.
Inside the case, there is an AL-525, 26-jewel, automatic caliber (based on the Sellita SW-200) with a 38-hour power reserve.
The entire Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic range consists of five models, two ladies’ models in 36mm and three gents’ sized at 44mm. But as there are men who feel a 36mm looks better on their wrists (and women who love large diameters), I'd consider the range gender-neutral. Besides, the lightness of the composite case makes either size comfortable to wear.
Each version comes with a complementary two-tone blue NATO strap made from rPET (recycled plastic bottles) as well as an extra strap for the men’s models fashioned from apple leather.
Again, only 1,883 of each version will be made, so don’t wait! The Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic range is available now, starting at $1,595. Lastly, Alpina will donate $100 to the National Park Foundation (NPF) for each Gyre watch sold on us.alpinawatches.com.