At this year's Baselworld fair in Switzerland, Alpina announced many new additions to its Avalanche Extreme line of watches. One offers a function that Alpina fans have been waiting for since the Avalanche Extreme collection was first released. The new automatic chronograph model. It is bound to appeal to a wide range of enthusiasts.
Chronograph watches in general are very popular. You will find dedicated books and web sites, and the complication has had its role in shaping military and sport history. Alpina's Avalanche Extreme Chronograph runs on the AL-850 calibre - Alpina's new automatic chronograph movement. The mechanism is equipped with 25 jewels and is beautifully decorated as are the rest of the company's movements. Through the see-through "exhibition" back of the watch case, you can admire the black PVD coated oscillating rotor, which is engraved with the company logo and partly cut out to show more of the movement's components underneath.
The case is only 13mm thick. Only 1mm thicker then Alpina's manual winding Regulator model. The relatively thin profile has always been a well liked aspect of the Avalanche Extreme models. The case's diameter is 46mm, which is smaller then the original 48mm Avalanche Extreme case. Although two mm does not seem like a lot, it is a huge difference when you consider that it's removing about 13% of the watch face's surface area. As it did when Bell & Ross released the smaller BR-03 to complement the BR-01 collection, this smaller case is bound to be accessible to wider range of people.
The dial on the chrono offers multiple levels and an alluring array of circles. Although there is a lot of information displayed on it, Alpina designers have managed to keep everything easy to read and big. The applied hour markers are well spaced out and clear, and even the smaller numerals on the chronograph registers are clear. The low contrast colour of the markers and hands gives the watch the stealthy and popular all-black look. Thanks to this, the small red triangular counter-weight on the seconds hand stands out where it would usually go unnoticed.
The Avalanche Extreme Chronograph, with its 46mm case, attractive design, and quality movement will surely become a staple in the Alpina watch collection, and will attract many chronograph -lovers to the brand.
By Marco Gagliano
Industry Expert, MattBaily.ca