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Alpina Worldtimer Manufacture gives us a bit of a surprise

By on 19 June 2012 in Watches

Alpina Worldtimer Manufacture gives us a bit of a surprise
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As we’re wont to do, your editors recently had an email exchange about worldtimers. You know, the kind of watch your ruby-red eyes attempt to read as you drink and dial your latest inamorata halfway round the world. The Fool, conservative and predictable as he is, pointed to the IWC Pilot’s Watch Worldtimer as his latest interest, while Straight-Six thought it rather staid and predictably flat. Oh, and with a case diameter of 45mm big enough to serve as an emergency rim for your car, should you need one. The price? Around $10,000…

And then a little mail from Alpina Genève arrived in our Inbox. Lo and behold, it was to announce the launch of the world’s most affordable worldtimer with an in-house movement. This is entirely in line with Alpina stating they are “a Swiss manufacturer of accessible luxury watches”. It should therefore come as no surprise they they belong to Frederique Constant, whose Runabout model we recently reviewed.

So, what do we mean by affordable, and why should folk not scream “IWC rip-off!!” before running through the streets of Schaffhausen drooling and naked?

Well, it’s clear that worldtimers will usually run you $10,000 and up. Turns out its damned expensive to see what time it is in 24 time zones across the world (we’re being facetious, folks). The Alpina clocks in at….wait for it: $3,450. We spilt our Westvleteren 12 all over our keyboard upon reading that.

And for that astounding price, you get a 44mm case (emergency rim for your kid’s tricycle…) with what we find to be a more invigorating and expansive worldtimer design than the IWC. Seriously. OK, it’s not perfect, what with the red accent on the seconds hand and the slightly effeminate hour/minute hands. However, we’d argue that the sub-dial and careful spread of all the dial design elements ironically comes across as less crowded than the IWC Worldtimer, with its outer dial design “crunch”.

But you know what really grabbed our attention? The matte polishing of the side of the case and the manner in which in gives way to the polished beveled lugs; that’s something we have only seen on vintage pieces to date. It’s incredibly sexy and total watch nerd, hanging-tongue territory.

Anyways, to round things off, the Alpina Worldtimer has a mechanical automatic caliber AL-718 with 26 jewels and a 48-hour power reserve; it’s water resistant to 10 ATM; sports a black leather crocodile strap and a transparent caseback.

Now, fancy a giggle? Alpina is stating that this is a limited edition. With just 8,888 pieces being made. Yes, that’s really pushing it guys. But we forgive you. This piece has our interest, and if they’ll forgive us our Cola Sambuca-infused review of the Runabout, we’re pitching to get one for review…


Alpina Worldtimer Manufacture gives us a bit of a surprise

Your editors recently got into a discussion about the IWC Pilot’s Watch Worldtimer. The Fool thought it handsome and very appealing, Straight-Six found it less so, due to yet another flat design. They shouted at one another and there was much rejoicing. Then the Alpina Worldtimer Manufacture popped into our Inbox…

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Straight-Six had a proper job as a journalist for Dow Jones before lowering himself gently into the warm, forgiving waters of The Guide. He’s our resident fanatic: he relished detailing his BMW M3 for two full days at a time before crashing it at Eau Rouge in the wet; he spends insane amounts on his home-cinema system and has thrown tens of thousands of euros at vintage Rolex sports watches. The little fool simply does not understand the concept of restraint or the meaning of excess. He also – following a legendary "heavy" lunch – once nibbled (yes, like little dogs do) a dear lady friend of ours.

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  • belligero

    Nomos makes a more-than-respectable in-house world timer in a less trendy size, as well.


    Dear Editors,

    After the Steinhart controversy, another quite interesting subject! Respect to you, for daring to try where the others simply don’t. Or can’t.

    Interestingly enough I took the same reflection path a few months ago with the Big Pilot watch (the so-called B-Uhren)…

    Long story short, now with a stainless steel Big Pilot watch at around 10k GBP it is, perhaps, a little bit too much… So I came into this:

    It certainly rings a bell to you in light of your future review of the world timer :-)

    Looking forward to your upcoming review!

  • Chris I

    Doh! I like both these Alpina watches. I am coming to the conclusion that a pilot style watch is for me.

  • Chris I

    I was actually going to take a lark on one of these…

    Great story…there are some really decent videos on this guy on his site and on Etsy.


  • The Prodigal Fool

    What is is with you and copies of nice watches? First that silly Steinhart thing and now this?

    If you like the IWC Pilots World Timer, buy one.

    Who the Hell wants a replica!?

  • Peter D

    Fool, the Alpina is an easier 44mm to the IWC’s 45, has 100m compared to a random 60m and has a much nicer date complication – three dates at once? Pretty Lame. Oh then there’s the price….

    Alpina wins (its not a homage – it just borrows some inspiration).

    • Straight-Six

      Amen, Peter! Amen…

  • Chris I

    Fool, you are off base here. As a vicious member of the homage/copy police I am cool with Six here. Which carries about no weight. This has merit…unlike that Steinmart crap…oh Stainhart. One is a place in FLA to buy crap clothing and the other is a place to by crap watches.

    • Straight-Six

      And look! even Chris I comes out in defense of the Alpina. Reality is there is no original pilot’s worldtimer, only interpretations of it. And as I stated in the post, I prefer the Alpina version to the IWC, irrespective of cost/brand.

      Now, Chris I, if only we could convince you of the merits of the Steinhart OVM. Come on, try it…I dare you!

      • Chris I

        So really, how much do you wear the Steinmart? er…Steinhart…

  • Straight-Six


    The latest update is that we’re on the waiting list to review the Alpina worldtimer! Expecting shipment in the not too distant future. Bless those god folk at Frederique Constant. Clearly, they do have sense of humour…

    Stay tuned!

    • Chris I

      Do they know what they are in for? I doubt it.


    So guys when are you gonna treat us or abuse us with a review of one of these puppy’s?

    • Straight-Six

      Your timing is impeccable! received word yesterday that Alpina are prepping a World Timer for review.

      We stand at the ready and will let you know when it lands…

      • The Prodigal Fool

        I’ll call some friends in Bangkok and see if we can’t get some better fakes shipped over for comparison.