In an unusual move, one of the most independent press titles in the watchmaking sector, now celebrating its 10th anniversary, is offering its 3 million yearly visitors the chance to own a limited edition watch. This special offer is in conjunction with Alpina, one of Switzerland’s iconic watchmaking brands. broke onto the scene in 2001. The website is a rich source of educational, instructive and hard-hitting information and has made its mark by posting record-breaking participation figures for its forum threads, launched and mediated by its founder, Eric Cosandey, a watchmaking academic and now a happy convert to the joys of webmastering. His forum-goers together comprise a mixed community of over 7,500 subscribers. The site attracts seasoned collectors, enlightened amateurs and hardcore aficionados, all esteemed for their constructive, proactive, and above all … highly educated comments. It is they who developed the idea that their favourite website should create its own watch. ‘Everyone made their own contribution, the discussion just took off like a rocket’, concedes Eric Cosandey, who had been dreaming of just such a concept to celebrate the site’s tenth anniversary. An academic not just of words, but of action.

Legitimacy and consistency, Swiss made… and much more besides
Totally in keeping with the values conveyed on the website, Eric Cosandey approached the watchmaking brand, Alpina, which, in an effort to reconnect to its aeronautical DNA, had launched the new Startimer Pilot line as part of its Aviation collection in February 2011. The line is structured around three variations on the theme: Automatic, Chronograph and, the absolute must-have, Manufacture. The latter is the choice model of the series, proposing a three-hand watch, central hours-minutes-seconds, with the further refinement of a particularly attractive complication: a crown-adjustable, hand-type date indicator, off-centre at 6 o’clock.

The Startimer Pilot Manufacture Alpina encases within its midst the calibre AL-710 – 28,000 vibrations/hour, duly inspected in 5 different positions; Alpina’s personalised interpretation of the Frederique Constant workshop-crafted movement, designed, developed and assembled entirely in-house at the Plan-les-Ouates workshop. Sporting a large-diameter rotor for improved winding efficiency and a whole host of aesthetic codes in line with the very first Alpina automatic calibre launched back in1945, the brand new iconic model is a tribute to the past of an historic brand founded in 1883, taken over and relaunched in 2002 by Peter C. and Aletta Stas, the two founders of Frederique Constant. A limited edition of 50 pieces is thus born, boasting two eye-catching features that will appeal to collectors: the seconds hand triangular counterweight has swapped its distinctive red for green and the back of the watch case is engraved with the prestigious signature

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