As we approach Father’s Day, we continue our series of features on memorable
replica watches from Baselworld 2017, in a number of popular categories, with a look at five high-flying timepieces aimed at professional aviators and historical aviation enthusiasts.
The Alpina Startimer Pilot Automatic, a vintage-inspired piece launched in 2011, was relaunched this year with a new dial design, additional case options, and very affordable price tags. The replica watches’ 44-mm cases have a simple and sturdy design, equipped with an oversized crown typical of today’s pilot watch designs and a solid caseback featuring an engraved Alpina logo. Depending on the dial color option, each watch will come on either a black, dark blue, or brown leather strap. On their dials, the watches outlet have an outer minute track with the Alpina red triangle at the 12 o’clock position, along with applied Arabic numerals broken up with rectangular markers at each of the quarter hours. The hour and minute hands have a distinctive, curved design, while the simple red seconds counter again features the brand’s logo as its counterweight. There’s a subtle, integrated date window at the 3 o’clock position that is hardly noticeable upon first glance — a useful feature that helps maintain the aesthetic focus on the rest of the dial. Inside the watch is the automatic caliber AL-525, based on the Sellita SW 200, which holds a 38-hour power reserve and features special finishing by Alpina. Best of all for cash-strapped watch enthusiasts, Alpina has made it clear that none of the prices on any of the new models will exceed 900 euros, or about $975 — which is down from the already very accessible $1,500 on previous Startimer Pilot models. Click here for more info and dial color options.
Continuing the brand’s tradition of aviation-influenced designs, the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Horolum takes its cues not only from the dashboard instruments that a pilot consults while in flight, but also from the bright lights that he sees when he’s coming in for a landing. Its dashboard-clock dial has a Super-LumiNova coating that glows in the same intense green color as the lights on airport runways (hence the name “Hora” plus “Lum,” short for “Lumen” or light). The 42-mm bead-blasted steel case is reminiscent of those used in the brand’s early BR-01 models. The dial — made of micro-blasted brass-rhodium that makes it homogenous with the case — is made of two superimposed metal plates, with cutaway numerals and indices on the gray upper plate and green-tinted, long-lasting Super-LumiNova C3 coating covering the lower plate. In this “sandwich” construction — favored by brands such as Panerai — the luminescence shines through the cutouts for a brilliant glow and easy nighttime legibility. Green Super-LumiNova is also used on the hands, and the calfskin leather strap, with stainless steel pin buckle, is in a gray-green color. The BR 03-92 Horolum is also outfitted with the Sellita-based, self-winding BR-CAL.302 and includes a date window at 4:30. Both new watches’ outlet cases are water-resistant to 100 meters and feature nonreflective sapphire crystals over the dials. The Horolum is a limited edition of 500 pieces, priced at $3,400.
Japan’s Citizen has introduced three new models in its Promaster collection of professional-grade sports replica watches this year, one each for land, sea, and air. The “air” model is the latest version of the Citizen Promaster Skyhawk. Its large, 47-mm case is made of Citizen’s trademarked “Super Titanium,” an extraordinarily lightweight, scratch-resistant, hypoallergenic, and corrosion-resistant material that is five times harder and 40 percent lighter than stainless steel. Its black, analog-digital dial, with sky-blue highlights, was inspired by the coordinate axis on the radar screens found in airplane cockpits. Its multiple functions include a dual-time display, a 1/100-second chronograph, a perpetual calendar, two alarms, and a rotating slide rule bezel for calculating flight times. The watch, which comes with a Super Titanium bracelet with a Duratect coating, is driven by Citizen’s light-powered Eco-Drive Caliber U680, which runs for nearly 1.5 years on a full charge. The Promaster Limited Edition Super Titanium Skyhawk A-T is priced at $895 and limited to 5,000 pieces.