When entrepreneur Vincent Dupontreué founded Breva four years ago, he decided to fill a niche missing from the haute horlogerie market. Dupontreué created the Genie 01, the first mechanical wrist watch with barometric pressure indications, in addition to the usual time-related functions. He also included a mechanical module that calculates the weather and altitude.
This year at BaselWorld, Breva raised the bar once again with the unveiling of the Genie 02 Air, a mechanical altimeter. In addition to the large-scale altitude indicator arcing around the top of the dial (a feature which began on the Genie 01), this new timepiece also features a precision altimeter sub-dial at 2 o’clock displaying meters or feet.
Two aneroid capsules are responsible for this altimeter’s functioning. As the capsules expand and contract, a lever connected with the altimeter counter via a gear system moves up and down. The capsules are made from a special non-magnetic memory metal, which is lighter than aluminum, has twice the ductility of steel, is corrosion-proof and durable in temperature swings. As a result this piece can be used in the heat and the cold.
At its heart is a proprietary movement developed exclusively for Breva by Jean-François Mojon of Chronode. Functions include hours, minutes, small seconds, power reserve indicator and air valve indicator, responsible for measuring the height (marked “SEALED”). The movement is manually wound, and boasts 65 hours of power reserve.
Note that there are three control elements: a winding setting crown at 9 o’clock, an altitude corrector at 2 o’clock, and an indicator at 4 o’clock revealing when the air valve is open or closed, sealing air out of the case or allowing it in.
The cases are made either of silvered or black titanium. Depending on the case, the counters may be silver or black. The case of the Génie 02 measures 45mm in diameter.
Undoubtedly the design of this watch will appeal to those who are attracted by the aesthetics of high-end industry and complex modern machines.
Photo credit: Chronoscope.ru for Haute Time Russia.