While pollution is an ongoing issue for those of us on land, the size of the problem pales in comparison to the scale of ocean pollution. Amidst such issues as ocean acidification, toxic algal blooms, coral bleaching, and myriad others, one of the most pressing and easy to understand is the sheer scale of plastic waste in our oceans. The largest collection of ocean waste, colloquially known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, covers twice the surface area of Texas and similar patches of ocean plastic are found around the globe. Alpina, as part of its ongoing efforts in natural conservation, has launched a bold new step in combating this problem with its Seastrong line of dive watches. The resulting limited edition Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic features a case and strap made almost entirely from recycled ocean plastics, conceived in concert with Dutch microbrand Gyre, to raise awareness of this ongoing ecological threat.
The 44mm case of the Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic is made of a unique black composite material, featuring 70 percent recycled plastics sourced from abandoned fishing nets removed from the Indian Ocean. The other 30 percent is fiberglass, used to reinforce the plastic structure for rigidity and resistance to impact. The case design itself is an unusual, slightly stilted take on the cushion case formula, with stout beveled lugs and an incongruous stepped look thanks to its wide set crown guards and matching extended section on the 9 o’clock side. The matte finish of this composite makes the polished black of the rotating dive bezel insert that much more dramatic, changing the most basic of dive watch elements into something visually memorable. While the plastic composite of the Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic’s case may not have the heft of stainless steel, the watch loses none of its capability, with Alpina claiming a respectable 300 meters of water resistance.
The Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic is available with two separate dial designs, both in shades of oceanic blue and both following the same overall layout. The applied indices follow the usual diver pattern of circles and rectangles, although the 12 o’clock triangle is cleverly used to integrate the triangular Alpina emblem. Likewise, both versions share the same set of skeletonized sword hands, accented with a stick seconds hand featuring an eye-catching triangular blue counterweight. As for the dials themselves, the two versions offer contrasting variations on the same oceanic theme. The first is a light, desaturated turquoise, made distinctive thanks to an aggressive, sandy grained texture. The other dial is more striking, sharply rising from a midnight blue to a light cobalt around the edges for a reverse degradè effect that captures the feeling of looking off the edge of a continental shelf to the deeper waters of the open ocean.
Not only the case of the Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Auotmatic is made of recycled materials, but every strap option is as well. The watch can be chosen with one of three different NATO straps, all in shades of two-tone blue, and all made from plastics recovered from recycled plastic bottles. In addition, all models also come with a similarly recycled black leather vegetable strap, made from reused apples.
While the plastic recycled to make the Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic might not clean the Indian Ocean all on its own, this distinctive take on Alpina’s core dive line is a surefire conversation starter that will help to bring attention to this ongoing issue. The Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic are available now from authorized dealers at an MSRP of $1,395. For more information, visit the brand’s website.