Alpina is a brand with consistent background, created in 1883, specialized in adventurous and robust watches. Now owned by the Citizen Group and being the sporty side of Frederique Constant, the brand focuses on accessible yet reliable timepieces. Recently, Alpina has decided to involve as much as possible its community in the creation process, first by relying on crowdfunding campaigns where backers could decide on some elements of the watches. Today, Alpina unveils a new participative project involving its community in the design of three new watches, one per universe – Air, Land and Sea. Named the “Alpina Community Watch Project,” it will give the opportunity to members to choose the movements, cases, dials, hands, straps, and finally vote for their favourite combinations.
In 2018 already, Alpina started to think about involving watch enthusiasts in the design process, by launching the AlpinerX Smart Outdoors on Kickstarter. Thanks to this campaign, no fewer than 3,000 individually designed watches were delivered and the four best-selling designs were used to build the AlpinerX Smart Outdoors line. Later, in 2020, Alpina introduced the AlpinerX Alive timepiece through a crowdfunding campaign built around an online configurator, and the four most successful designs were also integrated within the retail collection and available for sale.
Now, the brand moves forward with the Alpina Community Watch Project, by involving its community members in the design of three new watches from scratch. The idea is relatively simple, yet clever and rare in the watch industry. Between April and June 2021, the brand will give its community members the opportunity to choose between movements, cases, dials, hands and strap variations and vote for their favourites to finally present three new timepieces, one per universe: Startimer for the Air, Alpiner for the Land, and Seastrong for the Sea. This can be done thanks to a dedicated website here, with a watch creator section.
3 watches – The Air, The Land, The Sea
Following the brand’s main universes, pilot’s watches, exploration watches and dive watches, the brand offers the opportunity to create a watch per element, by using some existing parts and functionalities, but with the ability to mix and match, in order to create models that reflect the community’s choices.
As for the “Land” universe, the brand will rely on its long-lasting Alpiner collection, which launched in 1938 under the name Alpina 4 – due to 4 characteristics, being made of stainless steel, being anti-magnetic, shock-resistant, and water-resistant. Once again, the idea is to bring here a watch that will reflect the brand’s tradition of strong and sturdy watches that can resist the toughest conditions. Then comes the “Sea” model, which will be based on the Seastrong watch, with its distinctive cushion-shaped case, and classic diving elements such as a unidirectional bezel and a 300m water-resistance. Finally, for the “Air” collection, the community will be able to create a watch on the foundations of the Startimer, with classic 1940s pilot’s watch design.
The design process will be done in several steps, starting first with a choice of movement. There will be a choice between quartz movements, automatic calibres and finally a sportier chronograph automatic movement. The second step will be the choice of the case. All will be executed in stainless steel, but in addition to the design and various bezels to be chosen from, the brand will also leave the choice for natural steel or PVD treatments (black or gold). Step three will be the hands and dial, with a variety of colours and styles to choose from. Finally, step four will be focused on defining the straps and buckles.
The final vote will define the three watches’ designs. Once they will be determined, the participants to the project will have the opportunity to pre-order them as of July. The watches will be available on December 11th, the International Mountain Day.
A sustainable & charitable initiative
Alpina is no stranger to eco-friendly and sustainable projects, as demonstrated by the Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic, which comes with a case made of 70% of plastic debris derived from ghost fishing nets collected in the Indian Ocean, and is mounted on a NATO-style strap made from recycled plastic bottles.
For this Alpina Community Watch Project, the brand will act in a different way. Indeed, in watchmaking like in other industries, significant amounts of components are destroyed or scrapped every year, as removed from the collection due to new product introductions. “The case and the movement are the most expensive parts of the watch. By re-using existing components and integrating the community in the design of the watches, the Brand is finding an appropriate use of this material instead of reordering new components, thus avoiding any waste and useless pollution,” explained Alpina.
To coincide with the launch of these watches on the International Mountain Day, Alpina will also support the Salomon Foundation, with a mission “to assist in the social and professional rehabilitation of competitors and mountain professionals who are physically disabled due to an accident or illness, along with the families of deceased athletes and mountain professionals.” For every watch sold, a donation of 25 Euros will be made to the Foundation, to help it sustain mountain professionals and their families on a daily basis.
You can now participate in the Alpina Community Watch Project by connecting to the dedicated website here.