Alpina Introduce a New Heritage-Inspired Bumper Movement in the Limited Edition Startimer Pilot Heritage - Oracle Time
New Releases Watches

Alpina Introduce a New Heritage-Inspired Bumper Movement in the Limited Edition Startimer Pilot Heritage

Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture

The concept of vintage inspiration isn’t a new thing in watchmaking. Just look at the dozens of modern retro divers that are out there. However, Alpina have given the traditional formula a twist by creating not a heritage-inspired watch, but a heritage-inspired movement. The new calibre, known as the AL-709, is the sixth manufacture movement produced by Alpina and is being released in a limited edition watch based on their Startimer Pilot Heritage.

At the core of the AL-709 is its rotor, the element in automatic watches that winds the calibre as it moves during wear. The most common form of rotor has 360° rotation, which is also true of the increasingly popular micro-rotor that does the same thing on a smaller scale. AL-709 instead has a ‘Bumper’ rotor. Historically, bumper rotors only had a 120° arc of rotation before rebounding off a spring bumper on either side. Theoretically creating less wear on the rotor as the rotation is smaller.

Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture Ref. AL-709SR4SH6

Vintage bumper movements were used by Alpina throughout the 50s. However, the modern AL-709 is only inspired by those original movements and has some notable upgrades. It’s articulated through 330° of rotation and instead of springs, relies on a system of blades for its bumpers. Honestly, the outcome is more collector’s novelty than actual innovation as it only has a 38-hour power reserve and provides no particular benefit over common movements. Cool nonetheless.

Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture Ref. AL-709SR4SH6
Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture Ref. AL-709SR4SH5

The watch that has been chosen to house this movement is a version of the Startimer Pilot Heritage, available in either plain stainless steel or with gold plating. It has a distinctive elongated cushion shaped case with the crown positioned at 4 o’clock. It’s quite a simple look that compliments the refined time-only dial with raised hour markers.

Both versions, steel and gold plated, are limited to 188 pieces. As you’d expect the gold version is a shade more expensive at €2,950 as opposed to the steel’s price tag of €2,850 (approx. £2,475/£2,390). That’s a similar price point to Alpina’s other Startimer Pilot Heritage Watches. At that price, it’s definitely a piece for collectors who know their movements.

Price & Specs:

Model: Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture
Reference: AL-709SR4SH6 (stainless steel), AL-709SR4SH5 (yellow gold)
Case/Dial: 42mm x 40.75mm diameter x 13.25mm height, stainless steel or yellow gold case, silver colour dial with vertical brushed finishing
Water Resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: AL-709 manufacture calibre, automatic, 26 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 38h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Strap: Brown calf leather
Price/availability: €2,850 (stainless steel) and €2,950 (yellow gold)

More details at Alpina.

About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Junior Content Producer for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. While a relative newcomer to the magazine, he's nonetheless a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest watch and luxury lifestyle news straight to your inbox