Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Baselworld 2013 - Alpina's Retro Charm in the 130 Heritage Pilot Chronograph

I think we have good o' Baume & Mercier to thank for their leadership in using "mood" photography on their watches when they began their Hampton lifestyle inspired campaign. (ie, with other items in the background and looking like it was shot on location rather than a studio with a light box) Quite a few brands have taken this road for their latest press release photos and they certainly are a welcome change from the boring soldier shot on white or black background.

Of course, retro in the watch world is always in. There are many decades in which to take styling inspirations from and you know what they say, they don't make them like they used to. Alpina certainly has been around long enough (they're 130 this year!) to be able to dig into their archives for some retro stylin'. One that seemed to work quite well is the 50s chronograph. Longines have done it. So has Baume & Mercier to name but a couple, and now, Alpina has launched their version this year at Baselworld 2013. They've even gone to the trouble of using retro font for the brand name.

Now I'm normally not a yellow gold kinda guy, but somehow, on this model, the yellow gold works for me. Maybe I'm just really taken by that vintage belt the watch is posed next to. (For a brief moment I thought that was the strap that the watch came on!) The gold is most likely plated, which is perfectly fine by me as that will make the watch priced much more reasonably than actual 18k gold. They've certainly done a great job with this number. All-retro everything but with modern manufacturing techniques and quality and a modern, Valjoux 7750 clone- the Sellita SW500 but in a bi-compax layout. All the colour combos work in my mind, so it's a definite winner!

Wonderfully classic design, completely legible, balanced dial, (no date window to ruin the dial) love the cross hatch details on the pushers, even the AR coated sapphire crystal is made to mimick acrylic, just great attention to details. Now how's about including that brown belt with the watch?

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