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 Winterthur who founded the Swiss Watchmakers Corporation ("Union Horlogere Suisse"). It is currently owned by Frederique Constant SA.
A number of watchmakers joined together as the Union Horlogere Suisse to purchase watch components and organize their manufacturing. All representatives of Union Horlogere depended on the Association, which aimed to sell high quality watches under the Alpina brand. Quickly, the new concept gained acceptance. Together with qualified manufactures, the Association started to develop its own calibres and to enlarge its distribution network.
In 1912, the first Alpina Chronometer Glash¨ątte was finalized and this model competed directly against the watch making artistry of the likes of A. Lange & Sohne who even went so far as to take Alpina to court ¨C unsuccessfully.
The company generally managed its business well until the 1970s, when quartz watch movements emerged and had a severe effect on the entire Swiss watch industry. Alpina was unable to counter the emergence of electronic watches. Other major brands got together to form groups (predecessor of the Swatch Group), but Alpina tried to fight it alone without really succeeding. In 1972, Alpina Watch International SA was incorporated with new German investors, which purchased all shares in Alpina Union Horlogere SA.
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