The Startimer Pilot Heritage is one of Alpina’s most exclusive lines, as was the timepiece it takes its inspiration from, which is now extremely rare and near impossible to find. Initially, not just a design but, foremost, a movement, its fans call it the “bumper”: a rare automatic caliber that relies on a short travel oscillating weight. In contrast to a standard rotor which swings 360°, the “bumper” only pivots a third of that distance and is then pushed back in the opposite direction by a spring. An innovative invention that is a true testament to the Alpina watchmakers at the time
The two new Alpina limited editions released today are distinguished by their redesigned dials, one in navy blue and one in champagne gray. Both models pay homage to the “bumper” caliber of the past, visible through the sapphire crystal case back, and are limited to 188 pieces each.
Startimer Pilot Heritage: Two Versions
Their shared DNA embodies the continuity of the Startimer Pilot Heritage spirit: a 42 x 40.75 cushion case (the only one at Alpina), a vintage “railway” type minutes hand, a crown at 4 o’clock, a calfskin strap with beige topstitching, and beige vintage luminescent indexes that reproduce the original patina of the Startimers of the era. All of which are displayed on a dial with a brushed finish.
The first model, reference AL-709ACH4SH5, features a brushed gray champagne dial that makes the attached Arabic numerals and hands very easy to read—a crucial feature for a watch designed initially for pilots. It is housed in a yellow gold-plated steel case which is polished except for the upper surface of the case, which mimics the dial’s textured pattern.
The second model, reference AL-709AN4SH6, features a deep navy-blue dial that is likewise brushed and a steel case that repeats the same pattern of polished and brushed surfaces. Because of the dark color of the dial, the hands have been made out of silver to maintain the necessary easy-to-read feature required for a pilot’s watch.
The Startimer Pilot Heritage has a water resistance of 100 meters and is limited to 188 pieces per version.
The Alpina AL-709 Caliber
Both versions of the Startimer Pilot Heritage are powered by an Alpina in-house automatic mechanical movement, the AL-709 caliber, with a power reserve of 38 hours, in accordance with the Startimer Pilot’s history. Its oscillating weight, visible through the crystal sapphire case back, replicates the iconic shape of the “bumper” model, now turning 330°.
Price & Availability
- Price Reference AL-709ACH4SH5: 3’150 CHF
- Price Reference AL-709AN4SH6: 2’995 CHF
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