Tissot’s latest timepiece, the Alpine On Board Automatic, joins a fairly rare category of transformable watches that promise unparalleled versatility. These timepieces are able to switch between different formats, from wristwatches to pocket watches and even desk or dashboard clocks. This is all done in mere seconds and without tools, by the way. Different brands accomplish this in different ways. Some use integrated stands that can convert a pocket watch to a standing desk clock. Other have detachable chains and removable straps that switches a timepiece between wristwatch and pocket watch.
The Alpine On Board Automatic was released as a companion to the new Alpine A110 sports car. In its primary form, the timepiece is worn as a wristwatch with a sporty, perforated leather strap that’s typical of driver’s watches. To convert it into a dashboard clock, one simply detaches the watch from its supporting “frame” – to which the strap is also attached – and attaches it to a similar structure that’s on the Alpine A110’s dashboard. The system isn’t necessarily unique to the Alpine A110, of course. The watch’s frame can ostensibly be mounted onto any vehicle’s dashboard.
A Closer Look
The Alpine On Board Automatic is a chronograph with a bi-compax layout, and measures elapsed time of up to 30 minutes with its Valjoux A05.H31 movement. Apart from the aforementioned strap, it harks back to its motoring roots with several other design features. These include the pump-style pushers, the dial’s typeface, and the syringe-shaped hands. The dial’s design emphasises legibility. Note its crisp markings, white-on-black colour scheme, and usage of blue for the chronograph functions. Enhancing this is its fairly large size: at 45 millimetres across, it remains legible even when mounted onto a dashboard. To ensure that the Alpine On Board Automatic’s transition from wrist to dashboard is effortless, Tissot has engraved the watch’s case middle with a hobnail texture to give it better grip.