Alpina Alpiner Extreme Regulator: A Lot Of Bang For Your Buck!
by Martin Green
Regulators watches, or regulateurs in French, take their dial layout from an accurate clock traditional watchmakers/clockmakers used to regulate the timing of the clocks they were working on. Rather than needing to display the time at a glance, the most essential indication was the seconds, so the second hand was large and revolving around the center, while the hour and minute hand had their own separate subdials.
In wristwatches, regulator dials are relatively rare: Chronoswiss comes to mind, as does Paul Picot and Hamilton, but a surprising twist is given to the concept by Alpina with their Alpiner Extreme Regulator.
For Alpina, this isn’t their first regulator and most likely won’t be their last. The regulator display has earned its place within their collection, adding some extra spice to the brand’s already strong and appealing DNA. Most brands opt for a classic design when making a regulator watch, channeling its historical roots, but Alpina went a distinctly different way. They already did so with the first Avalanche Regulator launched shortly after the brand’s resurrection in 2002. Its successor, the Alpiner Extreme Regulator, is very sportive in appearance, something that becomes even clearer when worn on the wrist for a couple of days.
Alpina opted for a cushion-shaped case with a round bezel secured by six distinct screws resembling the Alpina logo. The way that the case is constructed is somewhat reminiscent of Hublot. That is a true compliment, especially at this price point, as I consider Hublot one of the best in the business when it comes to case construction. The fit and finish of the Alpiner Extreme Regulator, and the complexity of the case, makes it feel as though it’s a watch at triple the price tag of what this Alpina costs.
That glorious dial!
The sophisticated look and feel continue on the dial. A deep triangle pattern gives it substance and depth, and offers a nice contrast to the two subdials for the hours and seconds, which have both a different hue and a different finish. As a result, the Alpiner Extreme Regulator offers the same thing as its clock predecessors, which is great legibility. Alpina paid a lot of attention to details. The flange marking the minutes is cut out a bit to make room for the subdial displaying the hours. This makes the watch look playful and also a bit larger than it actually is. The sword-shaped hands suit the theme, and Alpina has also been quite generous with applying Super-LumiNova, making it a great companion in low-light conditions.
The Alpiner Extreme Regulator is very well-proportioned. With a diameter of 41mm, the case is generously sized but not overly so and sits comfortably on most wrists. The height is 12mm, giving the watch the substance one expects from a sports watch. The nice thing about the position of the hour subdial is that it makes it look like it barely fits in the case, like an athlete in a suit one size too small. This evokes power and leaves part of the dial empty. Between twelve and four o’clock it is just hour markers and the Alpina emblem, leaving space for the captivating triangle pattern.
On the wrist
The wearing comfort of the Alpiner Extreme Regulator is great thanks to the rubber strap. While it most certainly suits the theme, I cannot shake the thought of how it would look with a metal bracelet, as this would put even more emphasis on the stunning dial. The clasp is also of a tier higher than the price point of this Alpina would make you expect. Finely finished and very well executed, it suits the rest of the watch and is also a joy to operate.
The same can be said of the crown. It features a rubber insert, matching the strap, and offers quite a bit of grip. You don’t need the crown as much as its predecessor, the Avalanche Regulator, as the Alpiner Extreme Regulator is fitted with an automatic movement. Caliber AL-650 is based on a Sellita SW461-1, running at 28,000 vph/4 Hz and offers a power reserve of 38 hours. It is a robust movement that suits this type of watch and can be admired through the see-through caseback.
The Alpiner Extreme Regulator gets extra credit for its watch resistance of 200 meters. As this is not a diver’s watch, 100 meters would have been sufficient for many owners and even 50 meters would be acceptable, but 200 meters is underscoring once again how well thought through this watch is and how Alpina really did the best that could. Compare this with the price they want for it, and you get a lot of bang for your buck!
For more information, please visit https://alpinawatches.com/products/alpiner-extreme-regulator-automatic-al-650dgn4ae6
Quick Facts Alpina Alpiner Extreme Regulator
Case: 41 x 12 mm, stainless steel
Movement: calibre AL-650 (Sellita SW461-1), 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 38-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds;
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