Introducing the Alpina Seastrong Diver Heritage, a Retro, Super Compressor Dive Watch

Modelled on a 1960s original, the Seastrong Diver Heritage is an appealing, historically faithful "Super Compressor" dive watch for well under US$2000.

Known as “Super Compressor” after the type water-resistant case that featured a special sealing spring to improve watertightness, the twin-crowned 1960s dive watch was common to many watch brands, many of which have created modern reissues, including Longines and most recently, Alpina with the remake of the “Alpina 10” diver.

Alpina Seastrong Diver Heritage 5

Just launched at Baselworld 2016, the Seastrong Diver Heritage is 42 mm, stainless steel and powered by the Sellita SW 200. The requisite double crowns serve the same function as in the 1960s original: the lower crown to set and wind the movement, while the crown at two o’clock rotates the inner elapsed time bezel.

Alpina Seastrong Diver Heritage 2

Rated to 300 m, the case features a detail characteristic of the original “Super Compressor” case made by Erwin Piquerez SA (EPSA), a crosshatch embossing on the crown. Though many brands made “Super Compressor” watches in the 1960s, all purchased the cases from EPSA so most of the remakes have something in common.

Alpina Seastrong Diver Heritage 3

Alpina Seastrong Diver Heritage 4

The Seastrong Diver Heritage is available with either an unusual but attractive silver and black dial, or a more conventional dark grey. It is priced at €1500 including 19 percent tax, equivalent to US$1690.

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Up Close with the Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph Ref. 5930G

One of the highlights from Patek Philippe's line-up at Baselworld 2016, the World Time Chronograph combines two of the brand's best known complications. We explain the ref. 5930 in detail.

In the Patek Philippe Museum sits the ref. Ref 1415-1 HU, a one-off creation from the 1940s that marries the world time function with a one-minute chronograph with pulsometer scale. That was the only Patek Philippe timepiece ever with that combination of complications, until the World Time Chronograph Ref. 5930G-001.

The ref. 5930G is powered by the CH 28-520 HU movement, the same chronograph calibre found in the ref. 5905P chronograph with annual calendar. Added on top of the chronograph base movement is the familiar world time mechanism that was developed by Geneva watchmaker Louis Cottier in the 1930s.

Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph Ref. 5930G 2

A button in the case at 10 o’clock advances the cities disc, hour hand and 24-hour scale. So all a traveller needs to do is to set the city corresponding to the local time zone to the 12 o’clock position. Local time will be shown on the hands, while the time in the world’s 23 other time zones can be read off the 24-hour scale.

Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph Ref. 5930G 3

Because the cities disc takes up substantial real estate around the dial, the time-telling portion of the dial is somewhat compact. The central portion of the dial is decorated with a beautiful, geometric guilloche that is engine-turned by hand.

Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph Ref. 5930G 5

Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph Ref. 5930G 8

The 30-minute counter for the chronograph is located at six o’clock, while the quarter seconds scale for the chronograph is sandwiched in between the cities and 24-hour discs, an odd but legible position.

Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph Ref. 5930G 4

Commendably, the chronograph mechanism was revamped to fit the dial of the World Time Chronograph. That was done to shrink the minute register and move it closer to the central axis so as not to overlap with the world time discs. That being said, the 30-minute counter is limiting for the traveller who wants to time a flight.

Available only in white gold for now, the World Time Chronograph is a modest 39.5 mm in diameter, but chunky for a Patek Philippe being just under 13 mm thick. The screw down back contained a sapphire porthole revealing the movement.

Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph Ref. 5930G 9

World Time Chronograph 5930 movement

Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph Ref. 5930G 11

Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph Ref. 5930G 12

The lugs are “winglet” style, gorgeously shaped with a slight bevel along their flanks and stepped where they meet the case band. The form is based on Patek Philippe world time watches from the 1940s, notably the desirable ref. 2523.

Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph Ref. 5930G 6

Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph Ref. 5930G 7

The World Time Chronograph ref. 5930G is priced at SFr65,000 including 9 percent Swiss tax. That’s equivalent to US$67,000. Deliveries will start in the third quarter of 2016.

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