Perhaps the most distinctive element of Alpina replica watches is the Extreme Avalanche cases. The big, rubber-clad crown and thick, flat bezel make are adept for a larger size case. This explains why most Alpinas today are between 45 and 48mm in diameter, and why the 42mm models are eyed mostly by women. The 12 Hours of Sebring Chronograph spans 47mm on the wrist. The shape of the case is a mix of tonneau, and pillow with a generous dose of modern, angular sculpting. The crown-protecting shoulders are indicative of an Alpina replica watch. On Alpina chronographs, streamlined pushers replace the shoulders. One detail of the Sebring Chrono’s PVD coated, stainless steel case that I find particularly noteworthy are the black, luminescent markings on the bezel. Overall the lines of the Avalanche Extreme give the impression that the replica watch is as aerodynamic as a Lamborghini.
The 12 Hours of Sebring is an international race. American, European, and Asian automakers compete. This aspect is captured by the Alpina 12 Hours of Sebring GMT Chronograph Replica by a second timezone that is displayed on a 24-hour inner bezel. Alpina takes advantage of a lucky coincidence to provide a more meaningful connection between the replica watch and the race. The ETA 7750 chronograph movement that powers the timepiece is configured by default to measure 12 hour intervals. This is represented on the dial by the chronograph’s hour indicator at six o’clock, which sports a symbolic red twelve. The white, photo-luminescent numeral hour markers are reminiscent of a tachometer. While I am not too strong on themed replica watches, the 12HoSGC does a good job at keeping the references very subtle.
Continuing with the race car parallel, the strap of Alpina’s GMT Chronograph captures the luscious and exotic interiors of luxury sports cars. The exterior shell is covered with synthetic fabric that is imprinted with a carbon-fiber-like pattern. It would be nice if some veritable fiber mesh fabric was used to achieve this effect, but if my experience with capricious coramid straps is any indication, this route may actually have been too fragile. The underside of the strap is made of naturally grained, red leather which matches the red stitching and the the numerous red details on the dial. A folding, “depolyante” clasp is fitted to the strap and decorated with black PVD and Alpina engravings.
The back of the replica watch exhibits the Alpina AL-750 calibre movement through a sapphire crystal. The AL-750 is a modified ETA 7750 ébauche, which offers automatic winding, a 42 hour power reserve, and unbeatable reliability. The black rotor is finished and engraved at the Alpina manufacturing facilities. Alpina is very strong on finishing movements, which does not surprise me since they are a manufacture, able to build movements from the ground up. On a side note, Alpina replica watches are big consumers of wonderful Sellita movements, so I would not be surprised that Sellita’s new SW-500 chrono caliber replaces the 7750 in future versions of Alpina chronographs.