Alpina’s Alpiner 4 Collection: Six Affordable Swiss Sports Watches

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.

Alpina Alpiner 4 GMT/24H - white dial
Ref. AL-550S5AQ6
Alpina Alpiner 4 GMT/24H - white dial & bracelet
Ref. AL-550S5AQ6B
Alpina Alpiner 4 GMT/24H - black dial & strap
Ref. AL-550G5AQ6

Alpina Alpiner 4 GMT/24H - white dial & bracelet - side

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  1. DEFINE affordable as under USA$1k IMO and you dont have anything to see here but DOXA, CERTINA have sport swiss QUARTS and AUTOMATIC in this price range if you shop around and wait for SALES. VICTORINOX have some too, just bought one on special with >$200 off and its an automatic at well under my idea of affordable.

  2. George Michael vlassis

    Good brand but in Australia they don’t sell them only online the only downside is the movement they use ar based on come for old watch company they don’t make in house movements like the sister company Frederique constant thanks again George from precision swiss time sydney

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