Come On and Take a Free Ride: Alpina’s Latest Alpiner Extreme Kicks-Off with an Extreme World Tour
This new timepiece was custom-built to stand-up to some rough treatment. What better way to show that off than with a multi-national ski and snowboard tour?
Among other accolades, the Geneva-based Alpina is also the Official Timekeeper of the Freeride World Tour (FWT). A 16-year-old extreme winter sports event, the FWT takes competitors to some of the planet’s most challenging ski and snowboard environments in Canada, Spain, Andorra, Austria, and, of course, Switzerland. The event finals will be from March 25 to April 2 at the Bec des Rosses in Verbier.
In this latest commemorative effort, the already rugged timepiece gets the dial on extreme toughness turned-up to “11.” And the pro-quality tool watch presentation is the starting point
Still mimicking the 41mm x 42.55mm, brushed and polished stainless steel, squared-off cushion case; the bold triangular dial motif; knubbly rubber strap; and knurled crown of the earlier of the other Alpiner Extreme releases, the Alpiner Extreme Automatic Freeride World Tour is resplendent in tough-looking black and red.
And while black and red is undoubtedly a bold colorway, it is a relief to see that the red is really restrained, appearing just on the counterweight of the seconds hand and the Freeride World Tour dial badging. Plus, the stainless case; silvered, lumed indices; and silvered, lume-filled hands add just the right touch of old-school metallic flourish to the package.
Interestingly, where other watchmakers might be tempted by carbon, ceramic, or black DLC for an “extreme” timepiece, Alpina keeps it real with stainless steel. But that choice of material keeps this new timepiece right in Alpina’s signature pricing sweet spot: $1,895.
The rock-solid automatic AL-525 calibre movement – visible through an etched exhibition caseback – carries a robust 38-hour power reserve to power the stripped-down hours, minutes, seconds, date functionality. Meanwhile, the circular brushed steel bezel includes six hefty triangle-headed screws to further back up the ruggedness story.
Many skiers and boarders train in the summer season on slippery synthetic slopes that load them off into waiting pools of water. So, it is unsurprising that Alpiner Extreme Automatic Freeride World Tour is water resistant to 200m/660 feet, proving that although this timepiece is intended to stand up to the snow, it can obviously serve you well in almost any extreme environment.
While not as extreme as the competitive environs of the Freeride World Tour, this commemorative watch would be my top choice for that kind of training. Alas, as a cusp Gen Xer, my skiing-into-a-pool days may be over, but please indulge me a brief retro-moment to capture the excitement of this watch and the events with ‘70s rock legend Edgar Winter:
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(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)