A Swiss Made quartz chronograph under €1,000
Meet the Alpina Alpiner Quartz Chronograph
I've got preconceptions and preferences - same as anybody else - but I don't like them. I sometimes find myself saying "no no, I only wear rubber, Nato or Marine Nationale straps." Yeah, but why? Wouldn't I want to wear a Royal Oak on a bracelet, should I steal - sorry, I mean 'buy' - John's Rolex, ditch the bracelet and put it on a rubber strap? We often see this with quartz watches. "No no, I only wear automatics". Sure. Why? Is it because they're more accurate? Because, generally speaking, they certainly aren't. Is it because they're more reliable? With a few exceptions, some G-Shock models for example, most quartz watches are user-serviceable: you just change the battery every few years.
Founded in 1883 in Switzerland, Alpina* is going through a renaissance phase along with its sister company Frédérique Constant (both owned by Citizen group) and they're revamping their flagship models along with a few interesting additions, including the Alpina Gyre Seastrong I reviewed a while ago. This is the Alpiner Chronograph, a Swiss Made sports chronograph inspired by the original Alpiner, first launched in 1938.
The 42 mm stainless steel case houses a quartz module powered by a battery with a 4.5-year range. Apart from the fact that they're generally more accurate and easier to repair, the biggest advantage with quartz watches is that you never have to re-set the date and time, something I have to do almost daily because most of my automatic watches are actually manual-winding pieces that look like they've been salvaged from the bottom of the ocean.
I've been considering a stainless steel sports watch for a very long time - mostly because I don't actually own one - and this is a worthy contender, priced at €995. By the way, it is also available with a black dial, with or without black-on-black sub-dials.