Sometime ago I reviewed the Alpha Moonwatch homage with the hand winding Seagull ST1903 movement. I don’t think there is a better value rendition of the Omega Moonwatch that went to the moon than the Alpha. As many new watch brands tend to do, Alpha watch designs are primarily of famous watches from brands like Rolex and Omega. For this review I have their automatic GMT Pepsi model, a beautiful, generally well made rendition of what can best be described as a merger of a Rolex GMT and a Tudor Heritage Black Bay.
This watch combines a Pepsi bezel in the font of the Tudor and the handset of the Rolex in a very pleasing package. This watch is extremely comfortable with dimensions that I consider to be perfect. It is 40mm in diameter or 44mm including the crown. It is 14mm thick, 48mm lug to lug, 20mm lug width and the 316L, three link oyster type bracelet tapers from 20mm to 16mm. The stamped, polished edge clasp has a flip lock and an amazing eight micro adjustments. The clasp appears similar to what I believe Omega uses on some of its watches where the pattern stamped into the clasp mimics the bracelet design. All of the bracelet links are solid and nicely brushed with polished edges and the end links are solid as well. The removable bracelet links actually screw in and out, something I rarely find except on much more expensive watches. When properly adjusted, I barely even notice I am wearing this watch.
The 316L case of the watch is nicely brushed with polished sides, a proper real crown guard, a screw down, signed, gear edge crown with a polished and signed face. The screw down case back is well finished with information tastefully engraved into it. Surprisingly this watch is rated only 5 atm for water resistance. The lugs really do not turn down much, but this watch still hugs my 7 inch wrist very nicely. The black watch face on this watch is classic Rolex with slightly over-sized round raise indices and a 12 o’clock triangle and generally white on black face printing. The hardened mineral crystal is flat, slightly raised and with a beveled edge. All raised and polished indices and the printed indices and the Rolex MBZ style hands are exactly as you would expect, but with balanced Alpha branding, The red shaft of the GMT hand matches the red text on the lower half of the dial while the well positioned cyclops on the 3 o’clock black on white date window gives adequate, though not spectacular magnification.
Powering this watch is a movement known as the DG3804, a 22 jewel mechanical GMT automatic movement made by Dixmont-Guangzhou, a company that started in China in 1958 and is now essentially the largest watch and movement manufacturer in China. A clone of the ETA 2893, Alpha says this movement is 35 jewels, but I assume it is actually 22 jewels as listed elsewhere. I cannot locate published information as to this movements accuracy, but my example has been about 10 seconds a day fast. I cannot determine it’s rated power reserve and I have had no issues with this movement. My only real disappointment with this particular watch is the well finished, aluminum insert Pepsi bezel is very difficult to turn. Hopefully this will resolve itself with time and lube. If you are looking for a high value Pepsi GMT watch, you probably cannot find a better value than this watch from Alpha. Currently it is listed on the Alpha Europe website for 98 Euro, which works out to only $110 US dollars at this time. I do not think there is a better value homage of this watch design on the market. alpha-1993.com
Bert Kanne is a freelance contributor to MBWW with a love for well made dive watches and chronographs. All photos by Bert Kanne unless otherwise noted.