Alpina AlpinerX

The words fashion and adventure don't normally come together, but the new Alpina AlpinerX is trying to combine both of those into an outdoor smartwatch that also looks great.

The AlpinerX is – quite strangely – a Kickstarter product from the established Alpina brand, which seems to be testing the waters to see if there will be enough interest in the concept.

Considering the Kickstarter project had been running just over 24 hours at the time of writing and had accumulated five times the original goal, it seems like Alpina will be making these smartwatches.

If you're looking for a watch that's packed full of outdoors features so you can take it to the ski slopes, up mountains or just out for a hike, the AlpinerX looks to allow you to do that with style.

Alpina AlpinerX price and release date

So yeah, Kickstarter. If you sponsor the watch on the crowdfunding website you can now get it for $450 (about £320, AU$580), but the price is set to jump to 895 Swiss francs if you buy it normally. 

That's around £670 / $940 / AU$1220, which is much higher than if you sponsor the original Kickstarter project. An exact release date for the watch is currently unclear, but we'll update this hands on review when we hear more about the AlpinerX.

Design

Unlike a lot of other adventure smartwatches, the AlpinerX doesn't come with a big screen running a complicated operating system.

Instead the focus is on the style of the watch and the timekeeping elements. The watch itself is chunky, coming in a 45mm version with real hands, and a small screen on the bottom half of the face.

Around the bezel of the watch there are compass points as well as degrees, which you can rotate for a tracking feature on the AlpinerX. If you initiate the compass mode, you'll be able to use this as one. We tried it out and it seemed to work quite well, so should help you navigate around when you're caught out.

For the colors of the watch, there are over 3,200 combinations possible. You'll be able to build your own on the Alpina website, with you deciding on the color of the strap, the watch itself, hands, outer line and much more.

The differences between versions are minimal and mostly are to do with the color, but if you're looking to have a fashionable watch it's a big benefit to be able to tailor your own to your tastes.

We tried on the AlpinerX and found the strap to be comfortable. It's made of rubber so it should feel comfortable when you're sweating on your treks, and while it may not look the most stylish we like the bold design with the Alpina branding down the outside.

The clasp seems strong too, so this isn't likely to fall off when you're halfway up a cliff face, plus the body of the watch if waterproof too, so you'll be able to take this swimming and not have to worry about it flooding.

Features

The small display in the lower half of the watch shows you what mode you're using. If you press down the crown on the right hand side of the watch you'll cycle through the different menus.

You can then long press the crown to activate different features – and oh boy is the AlpinerX feature-packed.

It can monitor your altitude for when you're climbing up hills, plus there's a barometer and the compass feature we've already spoken about. There isn't GPS inside the watch (which some may be disappointed by), but you can connect it to your phone and monitor your location that way.

Perhaps the most interesting features are the UV indicator and temperature gauge. If you take the watch off and lay it down you'll be able to monitor the temperature, or you can wear it to see how warm you are, while the UV indicator will be able to monitor if you've had enough or too much sun.

That's not a feature we often see on these watches, so it's a stand-out addition and may make up for the lack of GPS inside.

The AlpinerX will be able to give you phone notifications (just for phone calls or messages) and track your steps, as well as monitoring your sleep. All of your data will then appear within the new AlpinerX app for iOS and Android.

If you're just starting out with these watches you may find it a little difficult to get your head around the amount of information provided within the app, but it's useful for expert outdoors people.

For battery, Alpina believes the watch will last over two years from a single watch battery, but it may not last that long if you're going to be intensively using the watch.

Early verdict

Combining Swiss design with adventure features is a difficult task, but from our first impressions the new watch from Alpina manages to do a lot of those things right.

Features like the UV indicator, temperature gauge and compass will be a delight for those who love to scale cliff faces and much more, and that's an added bonus on top of the top-end timekeeping skills on offer.

James Peckham
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