|Alpina 18K rose gold Startimer Pilot.|
It’s not every day that I get to ride on a Cessna. But that’s what happened this past Wednesday as I and a handful of watch and fashion journalists took a private jet from the LaGuardia Airport Marine Air Terminal to Martha’s Vineyard for lunch.
|Alpina 18k rose gold Startimer caseback.|
We were the guests of the Alpina Geneva Swiss watch brand. The idea was to introduce its new line of Startimer pilot watches to the U.S. while also highlighting its cross-marketing campaign with U.S.-based airplane manufacturer Cessna Aircraft and Swiss-based private air service company PrivatAir.
|Three of the Startimer Pilot watches on display during a luncheon to introduce the collection to the U.S.|
During the 1920s and 1930s, Alpina, manufactured military watches for pilots that were known to be precise and resistant to shock. All were made with the same technical characteristics: a resistant and antireflective glass, an antimagnetic escapement, and a dial with large luminous numerals and hands for a better visibility.
|Alpina Startimer chronograph|
Alpina revisited its past to create a new line of watches called the Startimer Pilot collection. The collection was introduced in March at the Baselworld trade fair, Basel, Switzerland.
|Alpina Startime three-hand date Automatic|
The standard version of the watch uses a black dial with large white luminous numerals along with a red Alpina triangle on the second hand. It is housed in a 44mm-diamater stainless steel case. The leather strap closes on the front side of the wrist, resembling the vintage leather straps of the past. A metal bracelet also is available and fits on all versions. At the luncheon, which also included a presentation of the watches and cross-marketing campaign, the company unveiled an 18k rose gold version of the watch.
|Watch and fashion reporters gather at the restaurant in Harbor View Hotel. Standing at the end of the table is Pete Stas, Alpina managing director, preparing his presentation.|
The watches come in four variations: A basic three-hand date automatic (cal. AL-525); an in-house developed and produced automatic caliber AL-710, featuring minute and hour indication and off-center date hand; an in-house caliber AL-950, which powers the iconic Startimer Pilot Regulator, combining historic pilot watch design features with a modern day regulator lay out; and an automatic chronograph version (cal. AL-860).
|Each watch will be packaged with a Cessna Citation Mustang.|
The Startimer Pilot movement is designed and developed in the manufacturer's workshop in Plan-les-Ouates, just outside Geneva. The automatic winding mechanism incorporates Alpina’s trademark rotor—a salute to Straub & Co., the designers of Alpina's first automatic caliber, said Peter Stas, Alpina managing director.
|The interior of the Cessna Citation Excel.|
As part of the cross-marketing campaign, each Alpina Startimer Pilot watch will be packaged alongside a Cessna Citation Mustang scale model in PrivatAir livery.
|The Cessna Citation Excel|
I promised with this blog that I would give you an inside look at the industry. It doesn’t get more inside than viewing a presentation by the head of a Swiss watch brand explaining the history of its brand, the marketing approach it is taking with a new watch line and describing its new watches, during an intimate lunch at Martha’s Vineyard.