Few watches rival the legendary Startimer Pilot Heritage by Alpina. The brand, which officially supplies military aviation timepieces to air forces around the world, launched the watch in 2015 to great fanfare. With its hinged case back and Swiss-made internal mechanisms, it had all the makings of a venerable accessory designed to last a lifetime. Following in the wake of the original, the Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic offers a refreshed iteration limited to just 1,883 pieces. The figure references the year of the brand’s founding, and it’s a fitting tribute — and also not the only one. The watch also features the brand’s original Alpina logo, complete with heritage lettering. The Swiss peaks create the brand’s renowned triangle symbol, allowing the wearer to easily differentiate between the II and I while in flight.
The watch features a handsome 44 mm steel case, a striking matte black dial, and luminous hours and minutes that seem to glow an effervescent shade of beige against the dramatic backdrop. The effect is sophisticated, but this piece is not without its old-world appeal. Over time, its luxurious calfskin strap will develop that much-lauded patinated finish that sets it apart from its counterparts. For every timepiece sold through its website, Alpina will donate $100 to the National Park Foundation in support of its historic ties with aviation.
If you enjoyed this, check out the Alpiner Regulator Automatic.