Alpina Watches International SA is a manufacturer of luxury wrist watches based in Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva, Switzerland. The company was founded in 1883 by Gottlieb Hauser, a watchmaker in who founded the ‘alpina Union Horlogère S.A. and in doing so united the leading Swiss independent watchmakers, who became known as the “Alpinists.” .
A number of watchmakers joined the alpina Union Horlogère S.A. to cooperate in the purchase of watch components and optimise their manufacturing. But alpina soon started developing and producing in-house calibres and chronometers. In 1901, the trademark “alpina” was registered and appeared for the first time on high-end calibres and watches produced by Gottlieb Hauser.
By the 1920s, alpina watches were being sold in over 2,000 outlets worldwide, an exceptional figure for those days. It is no exaggeration to say that alpina was one of the first leading manufacturers of Swiss watches
The company continued to succeed until the 1970s, when quartz watch movements emerged and had a severe effect on the entire Swiss watch industry. The quartz “crisis” as it came to be known brought the Swiss watch industries to its knees. Alpina struggled for survival, and in 1972 all shares in Alpina Union Horlogère SA were purchased by German investors. Like many mechanical watch manufacturers the 80’s and 90’s were a matter of survival, until a huge resurgence in mechanical pieces emerged towards the end of the century.
In 2002, Alpina Watch International SA was acquired by Frédérique Constant SA, and Alpina watches were relaunched worldwide.
The original founder Hauser revolutionized the sports watch by imposing the four essential principles for any watch that wanted to be considered a true “sport watch.” He insisted that a sports watch had to have each of the following four characteristics – Anti magnetic, Anti shock, Water resistant & stainless steel. The legendary “alpina 4” watches became the timekeeper of choice for Alpinists, air force pilots, divers, the navy and the military. The founders original principles have been re-imagined and the modern Alpina Collection consists of four Universes: Adventure (Ski and Water Sports), Aviation (Pilot Watches), Racing (Car Racing) and Club (After work).
In 2013, Alpina Genève celebrated its 130th anniversary.
Although operating independently and producing in house movements, it is still currently owned by Frederique Constant SA. which is a family owned and operated company.
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