Bronze’ish: Alpina’s Seastrong Diver Heritage Is Ready For The Sea Without The Verdigris
The new Alpina Seastrong Diver Heritage brings time-tested design notes and Swiss history to their latest entry-level diver.
Today, we take a look at the latest timepiece coming through the Watchonista office, Alpina’s Seastrong Diver Heritage in bronze PVD. The existing Seastrong Diver Heritage collection features two stainless steel watches, one with a cream and black dial and the other with a moody, obsidian dial and the only use of chartreuse that I’ve seen to date.
The two latest editions bring ample warmth to the Seastrong Heritage family, sporting brown sunray-finished dials and bronze PVD-coated cases. The new watches combine all the requisite components of a diver with design touches suitable for adventures on dry land. To phrase it in the form of a bad pun: Alpina’s new bronze divers are both sea-worthy and see-worthy.
From The Mountains To The Sea
Alpina has been making watches since 1883 and, a little known fact: the brand is responsible for creating the first Swiss sports watch, developed out of their 1933 “Block Uhr.” From the 1930s onward, each of their sports watches has adhered to the concept of “4” which calls for stainless materials, water-resistance, and anti-shock and anti-magnetism protection.
A Diver That Doesn’t Ignore Design
Coming in at 42mm, the case is fitted with a screw-down crown and caseback with a water-resistance of 300m/1,000ft. The watch is also fitted with an internal rotating bezel that slopes down towards the central dial, adding a layer of depth to the watch. Here, buyers have the choice of either a matching brown inner bezel or a contrasting white bezel which gives off the feel of a white wall tire.
On top of their tool-watch practicality, the Seastrong Heritage Divers feature small aesthetic touches that set it apart from function-only pieces. The arrow-shaped minute hand is a key example of this. The crowns, featuring a gridded texture or an Alpina logo, are another example, as is the applied date window at the four o’clock position. And if you look closely, the brown dial has a slightly domed shape that only amplifies the sunray finishing.
In the metal, the bronze PVD-coated case is lighter than expected and will likely cause less wrist fatigue as a result. The saturated coating on the case photographs noticeably well, and while it won’t age with the same effect as its full-bronze brothers, it just might look fresher for longer.
The new Seastrong Diver Heritage’s biggest plus and biggest minus come with its most distinctive feature, the bronze PVD-coated case. This design decision offers a taste of a full-bronze diver at a more approachable price.
At $1,795, these watches are $100 more expensive than their stainless steel counterparts but still well within what is considered entry-level territory. As such, this watch hits all the necessary functions of a dive watch - automatic movement, rotating bezel, luminous features, and a screw-down crown and caseback - but perhaps leaves less budget to execute the ideal design decisions like a solid bronze case.
All in all, this is an accessibly-priced watch from the brand that invented the Swiss sports watch. While it might not have hit a home run with the case, the Seastrong does have endearing details that are a joy to see and feel. Function-wise, the watch has benefits beyond the skin-deep˛ and could compete with higher-priced divers - a bottom-line that might well be enough for those looking to take a plunge into dive watch world.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)