Instead of concentrate on what is different about the new Alpina Seastrong Diver 300, what’s the same is almost as interesting — particularly once you believe its striking new identity is built atop the specific same 44mm case and oversize crown of its predecessor. What’s particularly nice, however, is that despite some subtle similarities between the aforementioned, not one of the new components feel derivative — almost like homage has been paid in fleeting glimpses, re-drawn out of memory.
Dive watches are one of those categories that just about everyone seems to love, as evidenced by the sheer number that the brands are producing (as well as it being the focus of many micro-brands popping up lately). Alpina themselves already had five other divers in their lineup prior to this new model being released. Their popular Extreme Diver 300 that we love now comes with a tweaked dial and bezel with orange colored markers. It isn’t so much an evolution as it is a tasty new flavor.
The Extreme Diver 300 Orange is Alpina’s latest entry into the category – and actually, it’s two entries. That’s because they’re introducing an automatic (powered by the AL-525 movement) in a 44mm case with 22mm lugs, as well as a quartz-driven model (powered by the AL-240) in a 38mm case with 18mm lugs. While there are some notable differences with the movement and cushion case size, there are a lot of similarities to the two watches.
For starters, both carry a water resistance rating of 300 meters, helped along by the screw-in crown and screw-down case back (which features an exhibition window on the automatic model). Both also have similar uni-directional bezels with luminous markers.
The sword-style handset (which is protected by an AR-coated sapphire crystal) is also luminous, with the larger minute hand bordered with orange. And why orange? This is actually due to how water “absorbs” colors the deeper you go, as well as the potential for particulate matter in the water. In those situations, orange remains highly visible (and even more so in shallower, cleaner waters), so it makes for a logical choice on a dive watch to enhance readability. Note that in addition to the new bezel, these hands are new in comparison to the standard Extreme Diver 300.
To help along in the readability area (be it in the water or just regular darkness), you’ve got raised indices on the black dial that are also filled with lume (in some of the product shots these look flat – take a closer look at the solo shot of the quartz model). This brings us to the last similarity, being the large cutout for the date display. Ostensibly, this is to enable you to read the date when the hand(s) are at or near the 3 o’clock position – but it’s definitely a design detail that’s a bit polarizing.
For straps, you’ll have the choice of a metal bracelet, or mesh or rubber strap on the 44mm automatic model. Alpina Watches Escuadron 201 Replica will also include a nylon strap in the diving bottle-shaped gift box. For the 38mm quartz, you’ll only have the choice of the metal bracelet or rubber strap. Ultimately, these are fairly “safe” designs when it comes to a diver – they’re not breaking any new ground, but they are cleanly put-together examples of the segment.
Pricing for the quartz model starts at $950; the automatic starts at $1,495. If you’d like a more in-depth review of the watch, you can check out Ariel’s review right here of a similar model introduced earlier this year. alpina-watches.com