The Diver 300 – Alpina

From one of the oldest and most important Swiss Watch makers comes this 300m rated Diver – the Diver 300 AL-525LB4V36 Automatic in Stainless Steel with a rubber strap.

Alpina Swiss Diver 300 with rubber strap

Alpina Swiss Diver 300 with rubber strap

From an Association founded by Gottlieb Hauser called the Alpina Swiss Watchmakers Association or the “Alpinists” their aim being to develop and optimize the manufacture of movements and timepieces and the control of suppliers, Alpina came fully into being in 1901 with the trademark Alpina.  High end calibres and watches really came out of Switzerland from then on as a force to be reckoned with.

In modern times Alpina made a comeback in around 2002 and have since produced some wonderful in-house complication models, such as the AL-980 Tourbillon, the AL-718 World Timer with all 24 time zones displayed in dial, the AL-950 Automatic Regulator and so forth, brought Alpina back to prominence.  Now located in Geneva once again in 2013 they celebrated their 130th Anniversary.

I particularly like the Diver models, though in fairness there are a lot of their models I like, such is the quality of manufacture and design from this old Brand.

The first image shows the Diver 300 Automatic AL-525LB4V36 from the Seastrong collection, with the L-525 26 jewel movement cased in Stainless Steel, screw down crown and 22mm rubber strap. The Date window @ 3 is the moving date wheel style which I’ve always liked, as even if a hand covers the Date at least part of the wheel is still showing and certainly enough to tell the actual day’s date.  Dimensions are 44mm diameter and 13mm depth, unidirectional bezel with clear markings and all numerals, markers and indexes are luminous coated.

Alpina AL-525LB04V26B with bracelet and colored index.

Alpina AL-525LB04V26B with bracelet and colored index.

The same watch with alternative strap/bracelet is the AL-525LBV26B with similar specifications of course and both for me are exemplary in the clarity stakes with the matte dial background and large clear indicators – such a pleasure to see.

Of course they make quite a large range of models and a visit to their site is well worth the effort and I’m sure there will be the odd model to tempt you, certainly if you want quality and excellent design.  After all Alpina have been doing this for a long, long time.

Check out their web site for the full range of very excellent models and if you don’t know the name – well you should.  I know they’re always on my watch list and whilst at present I have a couple of vintage Alpina models, 2015 might be the year to get a modern one too . . . .

Web site – HERE

 

Deutsche Uhremacher-Genossenschaft Alpina

A nice new aquisition to my collection – the Dugena Calendar Moonphase.  For those unfamiliar with the name “Dugena” it was established in 1917 in Eisenach as a branch of the Swiss brand Alpina.  The name is an acronym of “Deutsche Uhrenmacher-Genossenschaft Alpina“ (German watchmaker association Alpina) and soon became a brand in it’s own right.  A somewhat fragmented ownership over the years in 2009 it became part of the the newly founded “Nova Tempora Uhren und Schmuck GmbH” and is becoming a collectible brand worldwide.

Dugena Calendar Watch

Dugena Calendar Watch

40mm x 9mm so nice and slim, elegant too with its beautifully formed gold plated stainless steel case. With a silver dial and separate Month and Day windows, a Day pointer in blue. The hour, minute and centre seconds hands are polished gold and the moonphase a colourful sight which matches the deep blue cabochon inset to the gold knurled crown.

This is what they call a quartz analogue – with mechanical month and day wheels plus the moon-phase.  The quartz movement used is the Miyota 6P80 and I have found it to be accurate and very reliable.  It has a recessed pusher to adjust the month and the crown has two pull-out positions for setting the time, day and moon indicator.
Don’t confuse the moon-phase with a day and night indicator.  It works on a 29.5 day cycle and is normally set either at new or full moon.  Setting the watch is quite tricky as the different parameters have to be set within certain times.  The Month and Date are neatly synchronised too, which makes it quite a careful process.

Polished gold back

Polished gold back

On the wrist

On the wrist

The solid case back is polished gold and engraved with the serial number and water resist info – the watch is 5 bar resistant, so not for swimming. The crystal is sapphire so pretty scratch resistant.

It comes with a nice soft matte reptile strap of 19.5mm length and 20mm ( at the lug) tapering to 16mm at the polished Dugena gold engraved buckle.

All in all a rather elegant watch with a beautiful case design reminiscent of Jaquet Droz and it makes for an excellent addition to my collection.

The style of this particular Dugena model is very pleasing though perhaps sadly may not be available now and I don’t see it in todays line-up, which will be a real shame in my opinion.  But as the company will once again soon be fully German owned and driven, they are certainly worth a look.