ALPInA PAYs tRIBute
Alpina, the much-admired independent, family-owned fine watchmaking manufacture based in Geneva, has paid fitting tribute to a remarkable group of men. On November 18th this year a sombre yet proud celebration took place at Mexico’s Air Base No.1 in Santa Lucía, Pachuca.
The occasion was the 70th Anniversary of the Return of the Pilots of the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force’s 201st Squadron, known and recognised worldwide as “The Aztec Eagles” thanks to their participation in the Second World War. In 1945, the 290 volunteer soldiers who travelled to the Pacific War Combat Zone were between 20 and 22 years old. They are now aged 90 to 94 years old and describe themselves as happy to have served their country. The Veterans came together to receive a well-deserved tribute from the Mexican Air Force and also to commemorate their companions who died in the performance of their duty. In recognition of their services, the surviving members of the unit were presented with a 201st Squadron Limited Edition watch made by Alpina, during a ceremony presided over by Captain Manuel Reyna Garza of the 1st FAAMA Group.
The watch was designed to commemorate this key date in the history of Mexico, and a plaque was created depicting an eagle holding in its claws the distinctive tricolour triangle that is the symbol of the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force. The watch’s back features a P-47, the aircraft used during the fighting. At the end of the commemoration, a toast was made in the presence of the Veterans and their families, all of whom were deeply moved by their memories of their fallen comrades.
The watch itself was designed for professional pilots who fly powerful jet aircraft and need to decide in fractions of a second the limits that their aircraft and the human body can withstand. The new Startimer Pilot 201st Squadron Limited Edition watch features three chronograph counters with perfectly legible dials that are essential instruments for aviation – a defining characteristic of the Alpina Startimer range, which makes it so popular with pilots all over the world.