Vintage-look divers’ watches continue to be a hot ticket in today’s watch market, and Alpina was an early adopter of the trend, launching its Seastrong Diver Heritage, a modern revival of a 1969 model, back in 2016. This year, the sporty Swiss brand adds a new model notable for its striking color combination of a chocolate brown dial with a bronze-colored case.
The watch is an example of the historical “Super Compressor” style that is a relative rarity on dive watches today, with two crowns, one to wind the movement and set the time and date, the other to control the internal rotating bezel with its 60-minute dive scale. (Watches from the mainline Seastrong Diver 300 collection are equipped with more traditional exterior rotating dive-scale bezels.) The case of the new model is made of stainless steel with a bronze-colored PVD coating; actual bronze, a material with historical ties to diving equipment and shipbuilding, and used in recent years on many contemporary dive watches, would presumably have pushed the price point of this watch beyond Alpina’s well-known “affordable luxury” limit. The crown at 4 o’clock does winding and setting duty while the additional one at 2 o’clock moves the internal bezel in either direction to set and monitor dive times. Both crowns screw down securely into the 42-mm case, helping to ensure the water-resistance of 300 meters – an upgrade from the 200 meters achieved by the original Seastrong upon which this watch is based. (For a comparison of the Seastrong Diver Heritage and its ancestor, click here.)
Protected under a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, the brown dial is accented by rose-gold-plated hour indices and hands, the latter treated with a beige-colored Super-LumiNova, and a tilted rectangular date window at 4:30. The new model uses a dial-matching brown bezel, with rose-gold-colored scale, for a monochromatic look. Powering all versions of the Seastrong Diver Heritage, sealed behind a solid caseback engraved with Alpina’s mountaineering-inspired logo, is Alpina Caliber AL-525, a self-winding movement based on the ubiquitous Sellita SW-200, with 26 jewels, a 28,800-vph frequency, and a 38-hour power reserve. The watch comes on a dark brown leather strap with an additional rubber strap thrown in at no extra cost for those who might crave a more utilitarian divers’ watch look. Alpina is offering the Seastrong Diver Heritage for a very reasonable $1,795.