In 1938, Alpina launched the original “Alpina 4,” which the brand claimed was the “first modern Swiss sports watch.” That vintage timepiece was the inspiration for the sporty Alpiner 4 collection, released by Alpina in 2014, which includes a chronograph and a GMT watch, both powered by automatic Swiss mechanical movements and priced well under $5,000.
The original Alpina 4 received its numerical name from the concept behind it: it was designed to combine the four features that Alpina founder Gottlieb Hauser considered essential for any sports watch to be called a sports watch — antimagnetic properties, shock-resistance, water-resistance, and a case made of stainless steel. The 1938 watch was meant as a timekeeper that could withstand anything that the Alpine sporting environment could throw at it — mountain climbing, lake diving, et cetera.
That spirit lives on in the new Alpiner 4 watches, each of which is equipped with modern versions of the four basics. For antimagnetism, the watches are certified to the ISO 764 norm, which specifies that a watch must resist exposure to a direct current magnetic field of 4,800 A/m without impact on its accuracy. They are certified to the anti-shock standard of ISO 1413. The stainless steel cases (44 mm in diameter) are water-resistant to 100 meters (330 feet). Both the Chronograph and the GMT watch also include a 360-degree rotating compass bezel, which is coupled with a 24-hour scale on the outer ring of the dial, offering the wearer a simple way to set the compass. No other watch currently on the market has this specific feature.
The Alpina Alpiner 4 GMT contains the automatic Alpina Caliber AL-550, on a Sellita base, with 26 jewels and a 38-hour power reserve. The watch features an easy-to-use, intuitive GMT function in which the user sets the local time by independently moving the hour hand from hour to hour while the 24-hour hand constantly displays the home time zone and indicates whether it is day or night there. The watch has a sunray dial (in silvery white or black) with applied luminous indices, a date window at 3 o’clock, and luminous, white nickel hands. The Alpiner 4 GMT is offered on a black alligator strap or a stainless steel bracelet. Prices start at $2,495.