No stranger to creating accessibly priced and generally appealing sports watches, Alpina has just announced a new GMT model into their Startimer line of aviation-inspired watches. With a new-vintage design and several available dial colors, the new Startimer Pilot Heritage may look like just another ETA-based GMT, but the party trick here is local jumping hour GMT functionality via Alpina's modification of an existing Sellita caliber.
The four versions of Alpina's Startimer Pilot Heritage - grey, light blue, navy blue, and rose gold.Initial Thoughts
Oh, now I have your attention? Yes, this sub-$1,500 pilot's fake watch form Alpina offers a form of local jumping hour functionality, making it strongly suited to moving between time zones. I say "a form of" because while the Startimer Pilot Heritage's local hour can indeed be jump set, it only jumps forward and the date is tied to the home time 24-hour display. While not the same full functionality that I praised in my recent review of the Tudor Black Bay GMT, this handsome Alpina can update the local hour without interrupting the timekeeping of the fake watch and does so for a very attractive price. While it would be great if the date was tied to the local hand, with it linked to the home time display it is less of an issue that the movement only jump sets the hour forward and not backward, and the core functionality remains very handy for travel.
The Startimer Pilot Heritage is 42mm wide in steel with a case that mixes brushed and polished surfaces and a twin crown layout for controlling the movement and the internal rotating 24-hour bezel. Available in dark grey, light blue, navy blue, or a rose gold dial coloring, the Startimer Pilot Heritage has a sapphire crystal, is water resistant to 100m, and comes on a simple but suitable leather strap. For $1,395 in any of the four colors, if you want some travel-ready GMT functionality that greatly outpaces the usual function from an ETA 2892, there isn't much in the way of competition at this price point and while a closer look is definitely warranted, Alpina looks to have a solid travel-ready option on their hands with the new Startimer Pilot Heritage.ADVERTISEMENT The Basics
Brand: AlpinaModel: Startimer Pilot HeritageReference Number: AL-555DGS4H6 (dark grey), AL-555LNS4H6 (light blue), AL-555N4H6 (navy blue), AL-555RGS4H6 (rose gold plated).
Diameter: 42mmCase Material: SteelDial Color: Dark grey, light blue, navy blue, and rose gold platedIndexes: Applied, silverLume: YesWater Resistance: 100 metersStrap/Bracelet: Leather strap with pin buckleThe Movement
Caliber: AL-555 (Sellita base)Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, GMT, and datePower Reserve: 38 hoursWinding: AutomaticFrequency: 4 Hz (28,800 vph)Jewels: 26 Additional Details: Modified in-house by Alpina to offer jumping local hour (forward only). Date advance is tied to the 24-hour home time display.Pricing & Availability
Price: $1,395 Availability: September 2018
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