Alpina KM-710 - First contact by Matteo Bulla
When someone talks about professional watches, you immediately think about diver’s watches or observation watches but there are also specific timepieces that have made a particular profession their own mission in life and that has rightly enabled them to become part of that huge volume of facts and events that we call "history". Alpina is one of those maisons that has given quite an extensive contribution to the history of watch-making, for example to the history of the German navy and thanks to the crafting of timepieces like the Alpina 4 with its stainless steel case equipped with the 586 and 592 calibers, extremely reliable and resistant.
This year, the brand that has been recently acquired by the Citizen group along with Frederique Constant, is launching a re-interpretation of their legendary KM 592 by trying to give it some modern traits while still maintaining its perception as a unified whole. The stainless steel-made case has now been upgraded to a 41,5mm size and the screw-down case-back is now able to protect the movement contained within up to a level of 5 bar pressure.
The indexes have been coated using Super-LumiNova that have undergone a vintage treatment which makes them look very similar to those appearing on the original model, the KM 710 writing, on the other hand, completely clashes with the past due to the more generous new size of the timepiece that only allows it to fit in one line while leaving some room for the Alpina logo that has been placed just below the writing.
The figure 710 indicates the movement that powers this watch; the AL-710 is an in-house built caliber made up of 134 different parts, among which are the Glucydur-made balance wheel oscillating at a frequency of 4Hz, the winding barrel guaranteeing up to 42 hours of power reserve when fully wound and the original pendulum-like oscillating weight. The recharging function is bidirectional and the oscillating weight resembles the historic one mounted on the 582 caliber, a 1949 invention by Alpina that is now black in colour.
The finishing is quite refined and is entirely visible through the sapphire crystal back; perlage, Côtes de Genève, chamfered and rhodium-plated bridges. The seconds hand is now central and it reminds us, in its tip, of the unmistakable triangle that is also the brand’s symbol, at 6 o’clock instead lies the pointer-date. The straight lugs embrace a brown leather strap with a modern cut, visible stitching and pin buckle clasp.
On one side there is a strong reference to the historic model and therefore it is the vintage style that prevails, on the other hand, however, a prominent modern touch erupts leaving us all a bit confused. The Alpina KM-710 is definitely my favourite watch among all of the brand’s collections, nevertheless there is something that I can’t really grasp and that’s its 41,5mm diameter that, in my opinion, seems a bit excessive for a vintage style re-edition. Truth is that the original size is way too small for today’s taste, the final result is a successful ensemble, both from a technical and aesthetic point of view but it distances itself from the KM 592. This timepiece is available from Alpina resellers and its retail price totals 2,495 euro. The Alpina KM-710 comes in a polished wooden box with refined finishing and sporting the historic brand’s emblem.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Alpina)
Matteo Bulla @Horbiter