Alpina

Alpina

New postby podge » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:56 pm

Alpina

In 1883, Gottlieb Hauser, watchmaker in Winterthur, founded the Swiss Watchmakers Corporation ("Corporation d'Horlogers Suisse"). A number of watchmakers joined to purchase watch components and organized their manufacturing. Quickly, the new concept gained acceptance. Together with qualified manufactures, the Association started to develop its own calibres and to enlarge its distribution network. Ebauches (the base of a calibre) were produced by the Alpina Ebauche Factory in Geneva, owned by Duret & Colonnaz, which played also an important role in the construction of the first Alpina calibres. Final steps in the manufacture of the calibres were performed in Bienne, the place of the head quarters of the Association as of 1890. Success was swift and representations were set up in Germany as well as in Eastern and Northern Europe. In 1901, the name "Alpina" was registered as a trademark. At the same time it would only appear on the dials of high-end watches. From the beginning, Alpina watches were manufactured with high quality components, amongst others Brequet spirals, balance wheels with gold screws and heavy gold cases.

Alpina Glashütte 1909-1922

In order to participate in the German watch-manufacturing base as well, Alpina Union Horlogère founded the "Präcisions-Uhrenfabrik Alpina" in Glashütte in 1909. The Union's factories were now located in Geneva, Bienne, Besançon and Glashütte. In 1912, the first Alpina Chronometer Glashütte was finalized: it was equipped with an Alpina manufactured chronometer ebauche with a Glashütte escapement instead of the typical Swiss anchor escapement. The dial of these watches red "Präcisions-Uhrenfabrik Alpina Glashütte i.S.". Another model was created in 1913: it was a 21'' marine watch, which was purchased by the German navy at the time. Alpina Glashütte watches gained ground and competed directly with those of Lange & Söhne. In 1913, Lange & Söhne felt threatened and started a court case to try to stop Alpina on the ground that not all parts were manufactured in Glashütte. The court case dragged on for years but was finally proven without merit. It was dropped in favor of Alpina in 1915. Meanwhile World War I had started and had a stifling effect on the "Präcisions-Uhrenfabrik Alpina" in Glashütte. Parts could hardly be send to the factory from Switzerland due to war import restrictions. Further, there were major capital flow restrictions.

The First World War

During the First World War, the Allied Forces were obviously not pleased with business relationships between Switzerland and Germany. The Alpina Glashütte factory had experienced already major problems but also the relationships between the Swiss Alpina factories and their customers in Germany were under strong pressure. Finally in 1917, towards the end of the first World War, the Association "Union Horlogère" was formally dissolved. Two separate anonymous societies were incorporated: the Union Horlogère SA in Bienne, Switzerland and the Alpina Deutsche Uhrmacher-Genossenschaft G.m.b.H. in Berlin, Germany. The branch, which was in the charge of Swiss members, incorporated itself as yet a third separate association in the name of "Alpina Association des Horlogers Suisses".

Activities of the companies surged dramatically after the First World War. Alpina watches were being sold with great success in 2000 retailers around Europe, from Lisbon to Copenhagen to Moscow.
John Hodgson
podge
Super Member
 
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:15 pm
Location: Stockton on Tees, Cleveland, England

Re: Alpina

New postby Glyn Meredith » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:07 am

Here is a recent Alipina automatic chronograph:

AL-850BB4AE6.jpg

Movement
Caliber: AL-850
Alternances: 28,800 / h
Jewels: 25
Winding: automatic
Power Reserve: 42 h

Case
Materials: stainless steel
Glass : Sapphire glass
Water-Resistant: 10 bars
Diameter: 46 mm
Height: 13 mm
Strap or Bracelet Width: 28/18 mm

For more information, see theAlpina website.
Posted on GH recently? Your posts keep us going.

Meridian Height photo galleries

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
User avatar
Glyn Meredith
Site Manager
 
Posts: 5146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:26 pm
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Skype Account: nerimajin

Re: Alpina

New postby Glyn Meredith » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:57 am

... and an older Alpina PW, c1916, in a 14K case, seen on the "allcollection.net" website.

alpina chrono dial.jpg
alpina chrono caseback.jpg
alpina chrono caseback.jpg (23.14 KiB) Viewed 752 times
alpina chrono mov.jpg
Posted on GH recently? Your posts keep us going.

Meridian Height photo galleries

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
User avatar
Glyn Meredith
Site Manager
 
Posts: 5146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:26 pm
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Skype Account: nerimajin


Return to A is for ...

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest