Last week, Alpina looked to turn a few heads and break some technological ground at Baselworld with their interesting – even exciting – new release, the new Alpiner 4 Flyback Chronograph.
The new chrono features Alpina’s brand new in-house flyback chronograph movement. Dubbed the Calibre AL-760, it’s a new take on the classic column wheel chronograph mechanism. The column wheel is there, controlling the start-stop-reset functions. But instead of actual discrete columns, the wheel has a single central star shaped column. The star’s recesses interact with the control lever the same way columns would in a conventional column wheel design.
The result is a butter-smooth actuating mechanism for start-stop and start-stop-start-stop (and on and on, if the operator wishes to do so) functionality.
The flyback function operates conventionally, with the push piece at 4 o’clock. Actuate this pusher with the chronograph running and you instantaneously restart the chrono timing from zero.
All this functionality comes via a 96-piece chrono/ flyback module riding atop the 28,800bph movement proper. Running seconds resides at 9 o’clock while the 30 minute totalizer sits at 3. The sub-dial at six o’clock contains the date function. This date setup works much better with the chrono module location (sandwiched between the movement and the dial) than a typical date ring with dial window.
The rehaut (inner bezel) features a telemeter (calibrated in kilometers) rather than the typical tachymeter. Use this feature to figure out how far an event is from you by measuring the time it takes for the sound to reach you (thunder & lightning, kid bouncing a basketball down the street, etc). You don’t see that as often on a chronograph. It makes the watch a bit more interesting than most of its brethren.
Ergonomic rectangular push pieces and twisted lugs, along with black chapter rings on the sub-dials complete the look.
And we should note some features the Alpiner 4 Flyback Chrono shares with other pieces in the Alpina line. The ‘4’ in the watch’s name comes from four characteristics – antimagnetic, water resistance to 10atm (aided by a screw-down crown), Incabloc shock protection, and a non-rusting stainless steel case. Alpina’s trademark red triangle is in evidence at the tail of the chrono seconds hand.
Notable too, is the use of Super-Luminova for after-dark operation.
The whole affair is available on an alligator strap (our favorite, especially with the sub-dial chapter rings) or a stainless steel bracelet. All in all, a nice entry for Alpina in the chrono category under $5000.