Watches: Breva Genève Genie 03 (+live pics & video)
By Thierry Ané on February 27, 2015
With quite a large number of brands in the Haute Horlogerie segment, trying to stand out from the competition by their technical expertise, it has become extremely difficult to amaze the jaded watch aficionados with unheard-of complications. It indeed seems as if all watch functions have already been presented under every possible form on high-end timepieces and most upscale Swiss manufactures are merely focusing on the quality and originality of their finishing work to catch the attention of wealthy collectors.
The difficulties to imagine what a mechanical timepiece could do and transform these thoughts into fully functional devices, however, seem alien to young niche brand Bréva Genève. Since its inception, the luxury brand made it their trademark to offer watch enthusiasts scientific mechanical measurements that were until then missing in the usual palette of watch’s complications.
As if such an achievement was not enough, there is a very clear common thread to the creations of the brand as they all present ways of measuring elements pertaining to our environment. In addition to the usual time and power reserve indications, the introductory timepiece, namely the Genie 01, provided ways of forecasting the weather with its altimeter and barometer. The Genie 02 housed a high-performance altimeter available with either meter or feet calibrations for your next climbing trip.
For their third instrument, the Génie 03, Breva Genève tackle the problem of speed measurement with the world’s first ever wristwatch featuring a functional mechanical speedometer. This particular complication required a very specific module with a proprietary extrusion mechanism that defines the entire look of this titanium model and the layout of its movement.
Indeed, all the usual components of a timepiece are placed on a crescent-shaped base plate that occupies the left-hand side of the watch’s face. With a smoked translucent sapphire sub-dial with white gold indexes at 7 o’clock and the balance wheel in full display at 11 o’clock it offers a highly technical appearance in perfect harmony with the speedometer module placed on the right-hand side of the dial.
There, an extrusion mechanism made of 45 components hides the patented “instant speed” device. When you un-screw and press the pusher at 2 o’clock, this module pops up with a nice clear noise revealing hemispherical special alloy Robinson cups. In the manner of an anemometer, they will measure the wind speed and translate it into a reading on the 20 to 200 km/h (or 10 to 125 mph) scale with a red hand.
The module once opened is a true attention-grabber and the new complication is really cool but unfortunately it only provides the “instant speed” meaning that you have to be looking at the dial of the watch to read a measurement: there is no way of letting your wrist hang from your convertible, stepping on the accelerator and assessing afterwards how good you have done! One would need an indication of maximum speed reached for that. Real-time indications are less fun as they require your attention focused on the dial. It is a first step though and in the same way as a depth gauge gives you the current depth and the maximum depth reached during the dive, forthcoming versions of the watch will probably provide this crucially fun information!
The back of the Génie 03 is also extremely appealing with the micro-rotor and the engraved Breva compass rose motif. The km/h versus mph conversion scale engraved on the outer edge of the case back is also a nice reminder of the technical side of this timekeeper offered on a black rubber strap with titanium pin buckle. It will cost you CHF 48,800 before tax to wrap the Génie 03 around your wrist and experience the excitement when the extrusion mechanism moves into action to unveil the Robinson cups…
For more information please visit the Breva Genève web site.