Slowly however absolutely, over the past decade or so, environmental initiatives have began to indicate up in numerous components of our on a regular basis lives. From my native grocery who not gives plastic procuring baggage, to the worldwide procuring and logistics behemoth who has my everlasting gratitude for barely ever sending gadgets in plastic blister packs anymore. The world of luxurious items, which usually subscribes to the ethos of “extra is best“, has been one of many newest notable entrants within the race to maintain this planet habitable, and also you see it nowhere extra so than in watches. Some manufacturers kind partnerships with charities and donate parts of gross sales to an excellent trigger. Others take it a step additional and begin searching for higher and fewer wasteful methods to package deal these tiny creations that we will’t cease shopping for. (Largely) gone are the times of the watch field the scale of a suitcase, and the highest of my closet may be very grateful for this. A handful of manufacturers go additional nonetheless, and begin wanting for tactics to chop again on materials waste and even use recycled or reclaimed supplies within the watches themselves. So is the case of the Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Computerized 2021 Version 44mm.
GYRE Watches out of the Netherlands was an early participant in that latter class, launching their firm to do precisely that. Their first watch, the aptly-named SeaCleaner, incorporates a case produced from reclaimed fishing nets rescued from the Indian ocean, and a NATO strap produced from recycled ocean plastics, respectably going all-in on the “save the oceans” theme. You’ll be able to learn extra about GYRE right here.
Alpina Watches favored what they noticed in GYRE and determined to workforce as much as create the Seastrong Diver Gyre Computerized. The concept being to take GYRE’s environmental, material-forward strategy, and use their very own 140 years of Swiss watchmaking chops to mildew it into a real, 300m mechanical dive watch. Was it a hit? We took the watch diving down within the Florida Keys to search out out, however first, let’s go over the fundamentals.
At a look
First launched in June of 2020, we’re wanting on the up to date 2021 mannequin. The Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Computerized, as it’s formally named, may very well be mistaken at first look for an everyday watch from Alpina’s line of Seastrong dive watches. You might even make that mistake taking a look at it up shut, considering that its matte black case is a DLC coated stainless-steel. It’s whenever you get the watch in your palms that you simply discover one thing completely different is happening. It’s lighter in weight than the common 300m dive watch, main you to assume it may very well be titanium, however whenever you really feel the feel of the case it’s clear that that is one thing very completely different. The closest analog could be the texture of a carbon fiber watch case, it feels in some way mild and fragile and dense and rugged all on the similar time. The composite is made from 70% Recycled PA, which is these reclaimed fishing nets talked about earlier, and 30% glass fiber. The glass fiber is important within the materials as reinforcement, strengthening the watch and permitting it to succeed in depths of 300 metres and stand the take a look at of time.
The Seastrong Diver Gyre is out there in a 36mm “women” measurement (be aware to Alpina, perhaps in 2022 we will simply name them small and huge) and a bigger 44mm, which is a extra normal measurement for a contemporary diver. The case form is identical cushion-adjacent form as the remainder of the Seastrong line. You might name it a Twenty first-century cushion case, the identical common oval-esqe cushion form that everyone knows and love, however with angles reduce out of it, giving it a geometrical, virtually 3D-printed look. The dial is a pleasant, even matte black with utilized silver markers. A “luminous therapy” is as particular as Alpina’s specs are prepared to disclose, but it surely glows properly sufficient.
The Alpina and GYRE names, in addition to the minute indices across the dial, are printed in a turquoise colour, protecting with the general oceanic vibe. The hour and minute palms are half-skeletonized and half-filled with the identical luminous therapy, providing ample legibility. Beneath the dial beats the guts of the watch, the AL-525 motion, which is a Sellita SW200-1, with customised rotor and decorations. One of the vital strong “workhorse” actions on the market, it’s an automated motion with 26 jewels, beating at 28,000vph and providing 38 hours of energy reserve. The motion is protected with a screw-in, stainless-steel caseback, making certain you get the 300 metres of water resistance marketed on the dial. Finishing the water-tight works is a screw-down crown, adorned with the Alpina triangle brand.
Again on the entrance of the watch, we discover the bezel, a characteristic that should be mentioned on any watch appropriate for scuba diving. The Seastrong Gyre’s bezel is a 120-click, unidirectional job, long-established from stainless-steel with what the specs name a blue PVD coating, but it surely seems very black in particular person. The minute markings are engraved into the bezel to make sure they may by no means put on off. The entire thing has a shiny end that appears very good and displays surrounding mild in enjoyable methods. This was additionally the one factor in regards to the watch that gave me an “uh oh” second when imagining taking it underwater, however extra on that later.
On the wrist, the entire package deal wears very properly. The 44mm wears smaller than these numbers would have one assume; it doesn’t really feel any greater than 42mm and that’s an excellent factor. That is in all probability as a consequence of its relative thinness at simply over 12mm and a brief lug-to-lug measurement of 49mm. The composite materials gives an amazing weight discount out of your typical stainless-steel sports activities watch, and the result’s a really purposeful and durable instrument, however one that you may overlook you’re carrying for those who’re not serious about it. The very best of each worlds.
Beneath the ocean
Though a strong, dependable wristwatch is not a requirement for diving in fashionable occasions, they’re nonetheless a variety of enjoyable to put on whereas underneath the ocean; one thing to remind you of an easier (wildly extra harmful) time, earlier than computer systems aided us in mainly every part. And in a sport the place any piece of drugs failing turns into a probably life-threatening scenario, you possibly can actually by no means have too many redundancies.
The Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Computerized, with its light-weight and unobtrusive stature, makes a wonderful secondary timing system. The included NATO strap is lots lengthy to suit comfortably over a wetsuit, or only a rash guard as was the case on our dive into 30°C, crystal blue waters. In my expertise there are two varieties of fashionable dive watch, the primary is a giant assertion piece, these 50mm chunks of metal that are supposed to be one other gauge and positively look the half, generally even made from bronze to go full Jules Verne. The second is a smaller, extra refined piece, designed to sink into your package, disappearing and inflicting you no concern till you want it and discover it dependably proper the place it belongs. This watch positively belongs to that latter class. Its matte black end makes it almost camouflage over a wetsuit except you already know the place to look.
Functionally, the watch performs precisely as you’ll count on from a rugged, fashionable diver. I discussed above a little bit of trepidation in regard to the bezel. Topside, the shiny, reflective end of the bezel makes it a bit of troublesome to rapidly make out the place you’re within the time monitor, relying on the quantity of reflection occurring, and I used to be involved this might proceed underwater. Fortunately this isn’t in any respect the case. Some mixture of water refraction/reflection science that’s over my head makes the bezel completely legible underwater. Even higher, these elapsed minute engravings that look like simply black textual content on the black bezel? These are literally stuffed with luminous materials. It’s positively not going to win any lume contests, but it surely is sufficient to make it readable in pitch black situations. Within the daylight that lume provides a touch of distinction to assist the general legibility.
As an underwater totem, I normally wax poetic a couple of watch reminding us of the divers of yore, as that’s the feeling one will get with a variety of the vintage-inspired divers going round immediately. The Alpina Seastrong Gyre takes you in the wrong way. As a substitute of glancing at it and daydreaming in regards to the early days of diving and treasure hunts and ingesting rum on picket ships, this watch makes you flip your gaze in direction of the long run, and ponder the nightmare that the world’s oceans may change into if we don’t begin paying a bit of extra consideration. It may not be fairly as romantic a contemplation, but it surely’s absolutely extra necessary.
Bernard Werk of GYRE watches stated in an interview “You’re not going to unravel the plastic (drawback) with a watch case weighing 7 grams. However a watch could be a nice dialog starter.” And if every certainly one of these watches begins that dialog with a handful of individuals, or evokes a number of divers to select up the garbage you all the time see down beneath, then that may be a step in the suitable course.
Availability & Worth
The Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Computerized 44mm is out there now from Alpina’s web site for EUR 1,395 and is restricted to 288 items. For extra particulars, please go to alpinawatches.com.