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"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." - Confucius

In order to celebrate its 140th anniversary, Alpina launched the steel Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years timepieces at Geneva Watch Days, as part of the Alpiner collection.

Gottlieb Hauser originally established the ‘Schweizerische Uhrmacher Genossenschaft’ (later called ‘Alpina – Union Horlogère’) with the aim of optimising watch movement manufacture process. His vision was to unite the Swiss watchmaking industry forces and establish a solid cooperation between manufacturers and suppliers. 

From 1901 movements were made under the mark Alpina, registered by Jacob Strum, an important member of the Union. In 1908 the brand name for timepieces was also registered, with a distinctive symbol – the red triangle. In 1938 the company presented the ‘Alpina 4’: a concept for modern Swiss sports watches, with four essential features: antimagnetic, anti-shock, water-resistant and stainless steel. 

Today the company is part of the Frederique Constant Group (owned by Citizen Group), but its goal is still aligned with the legacy of the visionary founder, Gottlieb Hauser. The manufacture is keen to create reliable professional sports watches, respecting and implementing the ‘Alpinist Principle’ in manufacturing, design and technological innovation.

For the 130th anniversary Alpina launched an automatic “Bi-compax” chronograph (two-register chronograph with sub-dials at ‘3’ and ‘9’). The exterior of the Heritage Pilot Chronograph was inspired by one of the brand’s models from the early 20th century, but its technical qualities are fully compatible with the requirements of our age.

The Alpiner Heritage Carrée timepieces

A decade later, in 2023 Alpina brought two new projects to commemorate its 140th birthday. In June two mini series were unveiled featuring the authentic hand wound Calibre 490 dated from 1938, restored and presented in a silver case, one with black dial, the other with a silvered dial – each issued to 14 pieces only. 

At the Geneva Watch Days the company presented two similar variations but with contemporary movements. The Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years timepieces house the self-winding AL-530 mechanical calibre in a minimalist rectangular steel case, reminiscent of the 1930s’ style. The case is slightly bigger (32.5 x 39 mm, 9.71 mm in height) than the above mentioned limited silver cases (29.5 x 35.7 mm). 

Geneva Watch Days 2023 - Alpina
Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years, black dial
Geneva Watch Days 2023 - Alpina
Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years

Both models reflect the era, slightly differently. Both display the hours, minutes and small seconds, period Alpina logo, railroad minute scale and with an ostrich bracelet. But one model features a black dial decorated with full Arabic numerals, beige hands and a small circular seconds sub-dial. The other version has a silver dial, black hands, bit more 1920’s style fonts with serif (“tails” or “feet” on the numbers) and its small seconds sub-dial is square. 

The two great tribute timepieces are now available on the Alpina website.  

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