Right from the very beginning Alpina has been associated with innovation, and our beginning goes back as far as 1883. Whether it was an innovative way of working or introducing quality criteria to adhere to before anyone else, Alpina has always been looking for ways to improve. This is still true today, where they make great watches to the most exacting standards of high horology, while offering extraordinary value for money.
The story of Alpina starts at the end of the 19th Century when Gottlieb Hauser founded the Swiss Watchmakers Corporation with other independent watchmakers of the region. Initially it was to purchase watch components and to organise the manufacturing of movements and timepieces, but Alpina soon started developing and producing in-house calibers. In 1901, the name “Alpina” was registered and appeared for the first time on high end watches produced by Gottlieb Hauser.
Very soon Alpina was being discovered and sold internationally and at its peak in the 1920s, the brand had over 2’000 outlets worldwide – an exceptional figure for those days. It is no exaggeration to say that Alpina was considered one of Europe’s leading watchmakers. Part of the reason for this success, other than the rigorous dedication to design and quality – values that still hold true today – was the introduction in 1938 of the “Alpina 4”.
The number “4” stood for the 4 core principles that each watch in the series had to have: anti-magnetism, water-resistance, anti-shock and housed in a stainless steel case. These principles gave a theme to the watches and can be said to have pointed the way to the continued success of the company up until the 1970s. It was the so-called “Quartz Crisis” that sounded the death knell for many watch companies and meant the creation of major groups.
The emergence of cheap, mass-produced and above-all impersonal, watches also nearly meant the end for Alpina. However, despite everything, Alpina hang tough and was revitalized in 2002 and the comeback was on. Working round the clock, a new collection was made ready for the BaselWorld show in 2003. The styles created for the relaunch were resolutely modern, while remaining true to the heritage of Alpina.
In 2006, Alpina made one more move in its journey towards the future when we moved to our new, purpose-built manufacturing site in Plan les Ouates in Geneva, Switzerland, one of the spiritual homes of luxury watch making. In 2014, Alpina celebrate 130th anniversary, persevering in their philosophy to produce the ideally manufactured watches for those brave enough to participate in the most demanding and extreme sporting activities. Alpina introduces its Horological Smartwatch in 2015. A beautiful Swiss watch, that is now smart and connected, and powered by MotionX®.
Available in a range of colours and finishes for both men and women, the watch is the perfect everyday companion. The brand also releases the AL-760 – an in-house Manufacture Automatic Flyback Chronograph Caliber with patented “direct flyback” technology. In 2016, almost half a century after its first appearance, The 1960’s Alpina “Seastrong 10” Super Compressor diving watch finds its way back into the Alpina collection at Baseworld 2016 as the “Diver Heritage”. More than a replica, a modern interpretation of a Swiss watchmaking classic.