Diver vs Flieger/Pilot: what's your pick?
The Startimer Pilot by Alpina is the perfect excuse to talk about this dichotomy
As I learn more and more about watches I'm beginning to realize that I'm a diver guy, in that I like diver watches. I think it's a natural process. At some point you begin to notice elements and recurring trends that seem to resonate with you. To me water resistance is paramount and I like diver bezels, and I like rubber straps. All three elements are typical of a diver watch.
There are several variations to the theme but at the end of the day you can safely split the world of watches into five macro-categories: diver, dress, flieger/pilot, chronograph and digital. Chronographs are always high up everyone's list but flieger/pilot watches are also very popular.
Alpina (no relation to the car brand) recently introduced a new pilot watch called the Startimer Pilot Automatic, coming in with five different dial+case combos. It is a vintage-inspired three-hand dial, available in gold-plated or PVD-coated steel, with a 40 mm case.
The index hour markers at 12 and 6 have been replaced by luminescent indexes, same as the hands, and the watch is powered by a self-winding AL-525 cal. movement with a 38-hour power reserve, with Alpine peaks engraved on the caseback, and water resistance of 100 metres. Which is not bad for a pilot watch because planes aren't supposed to go underwater.
You've got a PVD-coated steel on black calfskin leather strap, a rose gold-plated model with grey dial, paired with a brown calfskin leather strap and two steel versions with a Navy Blue or white a dial on a black calfskin leather strap. There's also a rose gold-plated case with Navy Blue on a black calfskin, which is the one I'd have if I had to buy one.
RRP is €895 (£820/$1,050) which is roughly the same tag as the Seastrong Diver Comtesse and the Seastrong Diver, both introduced in June this year. The Seastrong Diver is particularly interesting, in my opinion, because it was developed in partnership with Gyre, a Dutch company that specializes in watches from recycled plastic and ocean debris.