Although our focus is on affordable mechanical watches, we once in a while zoom in on watches that are either very special or plain beautiful. In this case, it is both. We have to admit that we didn’t make it to see this relatively new brand called Breva during last year’s Baselworld, but we wanted to make up for it this year at least. So we had the opportunity to look at last year’s introduced Breva Genie 01 and this year’s introduction of the Breva Genie 02.

Breva-Genie-01-010The title of this article is one with a wink, as it refers to the Genie collection as being mechanical Smart Watches. Not your digital Smart Watch that has been recently discussed here by Prof. Dr. Jan Adriaanse, but a mechanical watch that is able to work as a real instrument like a barometer and a altimeter. Pointless? Perhaps, but so is reading time from a mechanical watch if that’s the topic of discussion. No, we love watch brands for coming up with original ideas and – as always – our main interest lies into the execution of such a timepiece. Truth to be told, it was quite refreshing to see a haute horlogerie watch manufacturer coming up with something different than a tourbillon. Or two.

With great precision, Breva is able to do a weather forecast with the Genie 01 and show altitude up to 5,000 meters (with the Genie 01 and 02). The Genie 02 works on the same principle of measuring air pressure to be able show the altitude, but according to Breva to a more precise level than the Genie 01.

The Breva Genie 01 (we got hands-on with the 4N pink gold version) is an awesome piece of machinery  that has been developed with the help of by Jean-François Mojon/ Chronode. He again did the same for the Genie 02 (we got hands-on with the Terre model, crafted of G5 titanium). Both models have a crown at 4 o’clock that rotates 90 degrees to lock and unlock an air valve. This valve is used to allow a small portion of air inside the movement (or let it out) to equalize air pressure inside the case with the exterior air pressure. A red indicator on the dial marked ‘SEALED’ warns when the valve is open.

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Breva-Genie-01-003The screw down crown at 2 o’clock is used to rotate both the altitude’s precision-scale and large-scale to adjust for variations in air pressure, which affect altitude readings. Setting time is being down with the crown at 4 o’clock.

Breva-Genie-01-002 Breva-Genie-02-001In the Genie 01, Breva uses an anaerobic barometer, in which one or more aneroid capsules (aneroid means ‘without air’) expand/contract with changing air pressure. The barometer and altimeter (air pressure changes with both altitude and weather) measure air pressure with two small aneroid capsules stacked one above the other – the top one being clearly visible on the dial side at 5 o’clock. The aneroid capsules in the Génie 01 were especially developed to Breva’s specifications to optimise their precision and use in a wristwatch. The capsules are made from a special non-magnetic memory-metal (Breva patented invention), which is lighter and stronger than aluminium and has twice the ductility of steel. The capsules are exposed for long durations to high temperature and pure oxygen to maximise thermal conductivity and oxidation resistance.

Breva-Genie-02-004The Genie 02 is a bit different from the Genie 01 in that respect though, as its aneroid capsules were developed specifically for registering air pressure for altitude readings rather than barometric pressure, and are different to those used on the Génie 01.

Breva-Genie-01-008 Breva-Genie-01-009 Breva-Genie-02-005As you can see, the movements seem to be identical, but the movement of the Génie 01 is a bit smaller (36mm diameter instead of 38,1mm) and consists of 405 components instead of 415 in the Génie 02.

Specifications of the Breva Génie 01:

Functions: hours, minutes, small second, altitude indicator, barometric pressure indicator, power reserve indicator, air pressure equaliser, equaliser seal indicator, barometric scale adjuster, altitude scale adjuster.

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Case, dial and strap:
Case material: available in white gold (55 pieces) or 4N pink gold (55 pieces)
Dimensions: 44.7 mm x 15.6 mm
Number of components: 70
Winding setting crown at 9 o’clock, altitude and barometric pressure adjuster at 2 o’clock (altitude inner pusher, barometer exterior ring), air pressure equaliser at 4 o’clock
Crystals: sapphire crystal and display back treated with anti-reflective coating on both sides
Dial: smoked sapphire with galvanic growth text, numbers and markers
Altitude scale: available in metric or imperial measurements
Strap: hand stitched alligator strap with folding buckle to match the case material
Water resistance: 30m
Air equaliser with moisture-resisting osmosis membrane Teflon fabric around a titanium rim

Proprietary movement developed exclusively for Breva by Jean-François Mojon/ Chronode
Diameter: 36mm
Number of components: 405
Number of jewels: 46
Balance frequency: 4 Hz
Dual anaerobic capsules measuring air pressure
Power reserve: 65 hours

Specifications of the Breva Génie 02:

Functions: hours, minutes, small second, large-scale altitude indicator, precision-scale altitude indicator, power reserve indicator, air pressure valve, equalizer seal indicator, altitude scale adjuster.

Case, dial and strap:
Case material: titanium G5, with altitude calibrated in either meters or feet
Dimensions: 44.70 mm x 16.10 mm
Number of components: 88
Crowns: winding setting crown at 9 o’clock, altitude adjuster at 2 o’clock, air valve at 4 o’clock
Crystals: sapphire crystal and display back treated with anti-reflective coating on both sides
Dials: Grained and galvanically-treated Nickel silver, indexes and numbers in three-dimensional Super-LumiNova
Altitude scales: available in metric (meters) or imperial (feet) measurements
Water resistance: 30m
Air valve with Teflon moisture-resisting osmosis membrane
Strap and buckle: natural rubber strap with titanium tang buckle

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Proprietary movement developed exclusively for Breva by Jean-François Mojon/Chronode
Diameter: 38.10 mm
Number of components: 415
Number of jewels: 45
Balance frequency: 4 Hz
Dual aneroid capsules specifically developed to derive altitude from air pressure
Power reserve: 65 hours

Prices for the Genie 01 start at CHF 150,000 Swiss Francs, depending on the material of choice and the Genie 02 has a CHF 120,000 Swiss Francs price tag.

More information can be found on the official Breva website.

Robert-Jan Broer
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Robert-Jan Broer

Founder & Editor at Fratello Watches
Robert-Jan Broer, born in 1977, watch collector and author on watches for over a decade. Founder of Fratello Watches in 2004.
Robert-Jan Broer
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