The history of Alsta Watches began in the 1960s. The brand was creating beautifully engineered wristwatches, especially designed for stylish men and women. Alsta aimed their watches at intellectual and creative individuals who required a wristwatch to make their daily life run more smoothly. The brand has never cared for fashions and trends, placing focus on design and craftsmanship instead, to ensure the creation of a high-quality, high-performance product.
The Beginnings of the Brand, 1960s-1970s
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the brand created their wristwatches for people who required precision and robustness from their timepiece. Alsta watches were targeted at professionals like scientists, engineers, industrialists and style-setters. The brand has always built their watches to be robust and able to withstand the extreme conditions of outdoor adventuring. Alsta watches can withstand the pressures of the depths of the ocean. They are resistant to the knocks and bumps that come with scaling the highest mountain peaks. Alsta have built their watches to be able to handle the vibrations and shocks of racing on land, water and ice.
Unfortunately, despite the expert craftsmanship and care that Alsta put into each of their watches, the brand could not survive the quartz crisis of the 1970s. Many brands who created mechanical watches thought this this new discovery would destroy the watch making tradition. Mechanical watch manufacturers, like Alsta, succumbed to the quartz crisis before it was realised that mechanical watches would continue to be desirable and profitable timepieces.
The Resurrection of Alsta, 2014 – Present
Decades later, in 2014, the Alsta brand was resurrected. Over the course of the first few years after the relaunch, Alsta worked on developing a new wristwatch. This watch would be the first to be launched by the brand in 40 years. The first launch after the resurrection was inspired by the Nautoscaph dive watch that was worn by Richard Dreyfuss when he played Matt Hooper in Jaws. Alsta redesigned the Nautoscaph II, bringing one of the brand’s traditional designs into the 21st century with the additions of modern technologies and contemporary styling. Many Alsta enthusiasts welcomed the relaunch of the brand and the new and updated Nautoscaph II.
After the success of the brand’s resurrection, Alsta launched the Nautoscaph III and the Surf n Ski in 2019. These models took inspiration from vintage Alsta models and were well-received by fans of the brand. In 2019, Alsta answered their fans wishes with the relaunch of the Nautoscaph Superautomatic. This watch was in high demand as it was the exact model sported by the character Matt Hooper in Jaws. The sentimentality of being able to own and wear a modernised, precisely engineered piece of cinematic history appealed greatly to watch and film enthusiasts alike and the launch was a great success.
To this day, the brand aim to bring romance back into wristwatches by using the original designs of the vintage Alster watches to inspire the new launches. However, Alsta avoid making carbon copies of their old models, so each new launch has been updated and remodelled to be functional and stylish in the 21st century. The brand aspires for their new models to be worn by successful, motivated, lovers of adventure and the great outdoors.
The brand’s philosophies have not changed much over the decades, despite the hiatus they faced after the quartz crisis. It is Alsta’s commitment to quality and originality that has allowed the brand to rebuild themselves over the past decade. Alsta’s determination to build their watches from sustainably sourced materials wherever possible will launch the brand into the future.
If our history of Alsta watches has caught your interest, keep reading for some of our recommendations.
Alsta Watch Recommendations
This watch was launched to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the brand, with only 100 pieces having been made. As Alsta have such a small number of watches in their portfolio, limited editions are highly anticipated and in high demand. This model features a gilt black dial with gilt hands and gold detailing on the bezel. The dial is protected by scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and framed by a 38mm case made of stainless steel. The watch is precisely engineered for optimal timekeeping as it features a date aperture at the 3 o’clock point and hour, minute, and second indices. This watch is water-resistant up to 300 metres (30 bar) to ensure that it is able to withstand swimming and some water-based activities. Alsta are famed for their diver’s watches, so the wearer can be assured that this model has been built to be reliable and long-lasting, even with exposure to water. This model is powered by an automatic movement of the calibre Sellita SW200. This movement will ensure that the watch is precise and dependable for daily wear. This limited-edition watch is finished with a stainless-steel bracelet with porthole detailing. This watch would be an excellent addition to any collection because of its rarity and easy-to-style design.
This Superautomatic model is one of only 1975 pieces. This precise number acknowledges the year that the original Superautomatic watch was launched. The watch is a re-launch of one of the brand’s original, vintage 1970s models. This watch would make a great addition to a collection of an Alsta enthusiast as it is a modern iteration of a classic model that makes use of new technologies and styles to ensure the watch will be wearable and practical in the 21st century. The watch has a black dial with C3 Super-LumiNova coated hands and indices. The luminescence ensures the dial can be read underwater or in the dark. The dial is protected by scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and framed by a 38mm satin-finished stainless-steel case. The watch is water-resistant up to 300 metres (30 bar), making it suitable for water-based sports and activities. This model is powered by an automatic movement of the calibre Seiko NH35A. The watch is finished with a black Tropic Vulcanised Rubber strap which ensures comfort and long-lasting wear, even when exposed to water.
Originally created for Californian surfers and glamorous ski crowds, this limited-edition model of the Surf n Ski captures the beauty and glamour of the original watch whilst allowing for new, modernised features. The dial of the modern model is larger than the original to allow for better readability. A higher water-resistance has also been introduced to the model, making it water-resistant up to 300 metres (30 bar). The watch features a black dial with hands and indices that are coated with C3 Super-LumiNova. The dial is protected by anti-reflective domed and hardened mineral crystal. This watch has the additional features of being shock resistant to ISO 1413 standard and magnetic resistance up to 4,800 A/m. The watch has a 40mm satin-finished stainless-steel case which is covered in a matte black non-reflective PVD layer. This model is powered by an automatic movement of the calibre Seiko NH35A and is finished with a black perforated leather strap. Limited to only 100 pieces, this model is the quintessential collector’s watch.
For the collector who is already well-acquainted with Alsta watches, this Italian leather oval watch box would make a great addition. This Alsta branded box is perfectly sized to fit the Superautomatic models and would make a fantastic gift for someone who is the proud owner of an Alsta watch. This box adds an extra touch of luxury to putting on a watch every morning.
What did you think of our history of Alsta watches? Will you be adding any of their models to your collection? Let us know in the comments below!