Alpina watches recently announced a new model that has caught our eye. The new Alpina Sailing Collection Chronograph features a fairly rare modification to its chronograph functionality. These new models celebrate Alpina’s involvement with the Niceforyou Extreme 40 Catamaran racing team and are thus yacht timers. Powered by the Sellita SW500 chronograph movement the Alpina Sailing models feature a distinctive five section readout that measures ten minutes as the dots move from black to blue to red. Unlike in an auto race, one cannot simply line up a series of sailboats and expect them to stay in one place long enough to have an even starting grid. Instead, regattas have staged starts where a set countdown length is used to keep the boats maintaining a circulating position as close the start line as possible. Once this time has elapsed a flag or audible sound signifies the start of the race. The large and easy to read five dot layout has been designed so that the remaining time can easily be read at a glance as operating a sailboat in a competitive settings is fairy hectic.
The starting sequence can vary in length (depending on the race) but having an accurate and easily referenced countdown timer means the crew can be prepared for the start of the race. Admittedly, given its specialized use a yacht timer doesn’t really translate to many other applications but it is an interesting novelty and an increasingly rare one at that. This example from Alpina is housed in a 44mm stainless steel case that is water resistant to 300m. The yachting-chronograph feature is powered by the Sellita SW500 which can be seen through a display back. Buyers will have the option for a black or white dial as well as their choice of rubber, mesh or a standard stainless steel bracelet. Pricing with the rubber strap is $2800 but you’ll need to pony up another $200 if you want the lovely looking mesh bracelet, luckily a small model of the Niceforyou boat is included.