History of Alpina
The story of Alpina started in 1883 when Gottlieb Hauser founded the Alpina Swiss Watchmakers Corporation, uniting the leading Swiss independent watchmakers who became known as the “Alpinists.” The Union had its headquarters in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, as one of its most prominent members had his movement factory there. By 1900 the Alpina Union Horlogère is participating in the Universal Exposition in Paris, and the name “Alpina” is registered for their calibers the following year. 1908 marks the 25th anniversary of Alpina, at which point Alpina registers as a brand name for wristwatches. By 1920 Alpina watches are sold by over 2000 dealers throughout Europe.
Today most watches come with an international guarantee which we have come to expect. Alpina was the first watch brand to offer such a guarantee already in 1926.
Alpina 4 concept
Gottlieb Hauser had the vision to produce watches that were known worldwide for their quality, durability, precision, and design. He wanted to deliver the ideal watch to athletes, engineers, technicians, and adventurers. His dream became a reality in 1938 with the introduction of the “Alpina4” concept, which revolutionized the sports watch. He insisted that a sports watch must be antimagnetic, antishock, water-resistant, and in a stainless steel case. The “Alpina 4” quickly became the watch of choice for alpinists, pilots, divers, the navy, and the military.
In 1948, the school of watchmaking at the cantonal polytechnic in Bienne chose the hand-wound Alpina’s caliber 592 for its students to work on. A recognition of the precision and reliability of the Alpina calibers. By 1963 Alpina started making women’s watches with their Comtesse line.
Peter and Aletta Stas
When the Quartz Crisis struck in the 1970s, Alpina was heavily impacted but managed to survive as an independent manufacture. The company was sold in the 1980s but lacked a clear directive. Luckily, the Dutch entrepreneurs and founders of Frederique Constant, Peter Stas, and his wife Aletta, purchased the brand in 2002.
ALpina Sport Collections
In 2003 Alpina presented its first sports collection under the new ownership. Since then, they have unveiled four entirely in-house complications and have successfully put Alpina back on the map when it comes to watches for extremely challenging sports environments. The Alpina Extreme Diver, which features a helium escape valve and a see-through case back with a water resistance of 1000 meters, the Extreme Tourbillon, Extreme Sailing Yacht Timer with countdown timer, the Startimer Pilot Worldtimer Manufacture and many more. Alpina unveiled the first horological smartwatch, a Swiss-Made connected watch, in 2015.