Alpina is a company that is often associated with high quality mechanical watches. They have over 130 years of watch making experience and have had a very varied history. They are a very popular brand but here are ten things you may not know about Alpina watches.
The Company Was Founded in 1883
The company can trace its history back to 1883 when Gottlieb Hauser founded the Alpina Swiss Watchmakers Corporation. It was originally set up to be a cooperative organization where members could share ideas and knowledge. The organization eventually turned into a company and the Alpina brand was born.
Gottlieb Hauser Is Closely Associated With The Development Of Sports Watches
Hauser is often considered to be the person that should be credited with developing sports watches as we know them today. He believed that all sports watches should have specific features that sets them apart from other watches. These four features are still present in all Aplina watches that are made today.
They Were Selling Watches Worldwide By 1920
By 1920 Alpina watches were sold in more than two thousand locations all over the world. Operations on this scale were almost unheard of in any other industry at the time. Most of these retail outlets were in Europe but there were also some in Russia which was another thing that set Alpina watches apart from other watch makers of the time.
Their First Ladies Watch Was Released In 1963
Alpina released their first watch for women in the early sixties. It was smaller than watches that had been made previously and was elegant as well as practical. This coincided with the time that watches began to be viewed as a fashion accessory and they were so popular that the Comtesse line of women's watches was released a few years later.
The Company Suffered Greatly During The Quartz Crisis
The quartz crisis refers to the period during the 1980s when quartz watches experienced a huge surge in popularity. Most manufacturers of mechanical watches suffered during this period and it would be fair to say that Alpina lost their way somewhat. Quartz watches could be mass produced and were much cheaper than mechanical watches although they were not as high quality.
It Experienced A Resurgence In 2002
The company began to make a recovery from the quartz crisis when it was purchased by businessman Peter Stas. He had a longstanding interest in the Swiss watch industry and wanted to bring back the same success to the company as it had experienced previously. His previous experience within the industry means that he had the skills to bring the brand back up to date.
They Are The Official Timekeeper Of Sun 'N Fun Fly In And Expo
This is a title that they have held for two consecutive years and this years expo has recently taken place in Florida. It is a five day event that gives people a chance to see a whole range of different styles of planes close up. There are also a number of demonstrations and races that take place and this is where Alpina time pieces are used.
They Are The Official Partner Of Michael Goulian
When Michael Goulian races in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship this year it will be done in partnership with Alpina Watches. Michael is considered to be one of the best aerobatic pilots in the world and aviation is in his blood. He also acts as a brand ambassador for the company and it is a partnership that has achieved a lot for both sides.
They Are Supporters Of Ice Legacy
The Ice Legacy project has been devised by Borge Ousland and Vincent Colliard. It involves them crossing the twenty largest glaciers in the world to raise awareness of the rate at which these glaciers are sinking. This is a cause that Alpina feels strongly about and believes deserves more attention than it currently receives.
They Are Still Making Watches In Geneva Today
Manufacturing of Alpina watches returned to Switzerland the year after Stas purchased the company. This was part of the plan to return the company to it's roots and all the things it used to stand for. Switzerland is the home of mechanical watches and the place that the Alpina brand was born so it makes sense that they would return here.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker