Today I will be flying to Geneva to learn how to make a watch and one of you is joining me. If you recall, back in December 2012, our monthly giveaway was for either a Frederique Constant (or Alpina) watch, and the grand prize was a trip to Geneva to build your own watch and take it home with you. Well, now our grand prize giveaway winner, Mr. Andrew E. and I will be fulfilling the experience at the headquarters of Frederique Constant this week.
Honestly, I can not argue with what Alpina Watch 1950 Replica has done with the Startimer Pilot Automatic. Sure, there are far more impressive watches with aviation styling but not many come close once you take into consideration the list of features on the Alpina. You are getting a reliable Swiss motion in a Swiss made bundle with a tastefully done pilot treatment for a price of around $1,000, and it is a sweet place for most collectors and overall buyers alike. In a watch world of ever increasing choices, together with micro shops nipping at the heels of leading players, Alpina have survived and thrived by creating value propositions such as the Startimer Pilot Automatic. Alpina have mastered the art of shooting a number of the high end design thoughts of bigger brands, sending them throughout the Alpina mixer, and releasing them at costs regular folks can actually afford. Despite my minor issues, for me personally, it is a concept which actually takes off.Keeping the Alpina Startimer Pilot Automatic faithfully attached to a flight-suit, or in most cases, your wrist, is a thick black leather strap with contrasting white stitching, that’s exactly the same no matter which of those four variations you select. No word of a bracelet has been yet declared. As previously mentioned, the Alpina Startimer Pilot Automatic AL-525 is offered in four variants; stainless steel with a black dial, stainless steel with a white dial, a polarizing increased gold plated version with a white dial, plus a “titanium colored” version using a dark gray dial.
This will be the first time either of us will build a watch. Frederique Constant boasts some nice in-house designed and produced movements, and we will get guidance from their top watch makers. One of them will be the talented Pim Koeslag, who also produces the watches for Frederique Constant’s very high-end DeMonaco brand.
During the week, our team will be sharing updates from the manufacture mostly on the aBlogtoWatch Facebook page, Twitter, as well as on the aBlogtoWatch Instagram feed. Note that we will be using the tag #fcwatchweek if you’d like to follow or respond to it. We will record a lot of video as well, to hopefully memorialize the experience in a way that will be exciting to the aBlogtoWatch audience. As always, if you have questions or are curious about the watch making process then simply submit your comments and let us know. We realize that few people will have the opportunity to assemble a mechanical watch movement themselves so sharing the moments involved is important to us.