It is not uncommon for watch brands to take a look back at watches they have made in the past. A few brands have revived some models from the past and given them a whole new look, but still with the essentials from the earlier models. 1969 was the year Alpina introduced the Seastrong 10 Super Compressor, this has given the designers the starting and inspiration point for this new Seastrong Diver Heritage.
This swiss watch brand is making watches for over 130 years. Founded in 1883 it is known as one of the true pioneers of the swiss watchmaking industry. The Swiss sport watch concept started in 1938 with the legendary Alpina 4 models.
It is one of the very few independent watch companies in Switzerland. Not only looking back, but also looking forward with last years introduction of the first Swiss Made Smartwatch, Horlogical Smartwatch.
Seastrong Diver Heritage
Most common thing to do is to take a look at the origin of this watch. What is the inspiration the designers used to make this watch. The watch used as a blueprint for this new model is ofcourse the one mentioned above, Seastrong 10, Super Compressor. If you look closely to this model, you obvious see the resemblance, but also some detail changes. We are going to call them out allong the way of this report, but just to mention a few ahead.
First thing that pops up is the date that has been moved from the 3 o’clock to an almost 4 o’clock position. Second big change is ofcourse the size of the case, it got a bit bigger. Third are the lugs they also gain a bit more weight compared to the subtle lugs they use to have.
The case is made out of stainless steel, 316L. Like mentioned before the lugs a bigger than on the previous model, but because the case itself also got bigger, 42 mm, it fits perfect in de design. The bezel has been replace by an internal turning ring, there for the lunette has rather small dimensions to it. This makes is possible to place a large scratch resistant sapphire crystal showing as much as possible of the dial underneath it.
The back of the case has a screw caseback. This has an engraving of the Swiss mountains on it. Also some additional information is mentioned, like water resistance and model name and number.
To operate the hands and the turning ring two crowns are placed at 1 o’clock and 3:30 o’clock. These crowns are fitted with a screw down system, to prevent water flushing in the case. This system was patented in 1938 and used on the Alpina 4. Downside of this internal turning ring is obvious, you can only handle it above the water. The crown cant be handled with gloves. There are quit a few divers who use the bezel to mark depths to keep time they need to decompress when going to the surface again. This turning ring can only be used to mark the time the diver is going under.
This Heritage model comes in two variations, light-dark and a complete dark. The first one was on my wrist for some time. In my opinion this has the heritage look on it, more than its darker brother. The contrast of the white dial with the dark turning ring looks great. Keeping the indexes simple and only mentioning the 15, 30 and 45 min on the turning ring keeps it clean and simple.
Why the date is moved to its current position…..i thing its just because they can. Only thing i can imagine why it isnt place right at the 4 o’clock marker is to keep this index in sight. This way all the indexes are there where they should be.
The hands are shapped just like the original ones, straigh flat hands, but because of the increase of the total size of the watch, they also grew a bit bigger. At the tip of the minute hand the triangle/arrow shaped tip is place to give good visibility even when underwater. There are some models of the Alpina 10, i think the first ones, that have other hands on them. On this early models the hour hands has the triangle/arrow tip and the minute hand is a dauphine shaped.
The hands have a good luminova on them, which is also placed in the triangle place at the turning ring. The tip of the second hand is visible in the dark.
The original movement used in the Alpina 10 is the 572C calibre. This had a power reserve of 42 hours and a frequency of 18.800 A/h. In the new model the beating heart is the AL-525. This is a modified SW 200 from Sellita. The biggest changes are found in detailing of the parts and change of the rotor.
A black leather strap is placed at the stainless steel lugs. The strap is made from water resistant leather so it can me used for diving.
The designers at Alpina managed to keep the original watch alive with this new model. It has the same looks to it but with a modern twist to it. By increasing the size, i think, it will get a bigger audience. Divers are really popular at this moment and will probably be for a long time. Only thing i dont get is the turning ring inside the case. This limited you, if you really want to use it as a diver. You can only adjust it out of the water and with bare hands. I can imagine this is not practical for divers who use there bezel to keep track of time they spend at certain depths.
AL-525 automatic caliber
38 hours power reserve
Stainless steel case with internal turning ring
42 mm diameter,
12.3 mm thickness
Scratch – resistant glassbox sapphire crystal
30 ATM/300m/1000ft Water-resistant
Screw-down crowns and caseback
Silver color dial with applied silver color indexes
Internal black color ring with applied luminous indexes
Date window at 4’ o clock
White luminous coated hours, minutes and seconds hands
Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date
Black leather strap water-resistant