January 4, 2012

Alpina Avalanche Extreme Review

Alpina Avalanche Extreme Automatic Watch Review
  Alpina is a lesser talked about brand and often overlooked, certainly in the watch forum world. Alpina deserves a good look if you are in the market for a sporty everyday watch. This is the Alpina Avalanche Extreme Automatic (ref. AL-525LBS5AE6) and is one of Alpina’s entry point watches, coming in around $1,500. 
  The watch offers a great value compared to other brands at this price point. It is definitely on the larger side at 48mm, this size works well for the dial layout. Keeping a more open, clean dial, the exaggerated textured dial steals the show. Aesthetically, this Avalanche Extreme is hard not to like, with the contrasting dial. The inner ring is reminiscent of an internal dive bezel, even has the 15 minute markers. Sadly, it is not a functional bezel, hence no additional crown. The fixed external bezel is done in PVD and secured by 6 bolts. There is a large crown, fitted with textured rubber for gripping, pairing up nicely with the rubber strap. The movement powering the Avalanche Extreme is what Alpina calls caliber AL-525, based of off an ETA 2824-2. There is an exhibition case back showing probably the best decorated movement/rotor you can find at this price point, very well done. The rubber strap is branded with Alpina, but not overtly in your face. It is a wide strap at 28mm and likely the only strap you could use with the watch do to design. The watch does have some drawbacks, though, at this price they can be easily overlooked. 

Pros - Price point, aesthetics, exhibition case back

Consideration - Larger hour and minute hands would have been nice.

Case: Stainless Steel 
Case Diameter: 48mm
Case Back: Exhibition 
Bezel: Fixed
Crystal: Sapphire
Bracelet: Black Rubber
Movement: AL-525
Power Reserve: 42 hrs
Water Resistant: 200m

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