Breva Génie 02 Terre: It’s Got The Altitude, If You Have The Attitude
by Ian Skellern
There are two things that you should be aware of if skiing, trekking, hiking, or climbing in the mountains: position and altitude. And if you have a decent topographical map, knowing your altitude helps determine where you are.
Now you may well be thinking that in this era of ubiquitous mobile phones and GPS devices, location and altitude (and yes, there are apps for that) are available at the touch of a screen.
And you’d be right. Most of the time. And in the mountains, most of the time just isn’t good enough.
The limitation of GPS devices and mobile phones in determining altitude are that they require clear line of sight to multiple global positioning satellites (GPS), and these may well be unavailable if in a valley, canyon or near high cliffs – all of which are fairly common in the mountains.
And, of course, there is also the problem of flat batteries, especially in cold weather.
What you really need is a backup barometric altimeter, but you really don’t want to have to add yet another gadget to your already full backpack. If only there was another solution. Well worry not because thanks to Breva there is: the Génie 02.
Breva is a newcomer to the Swiss watchmaking fraternity, having launched its first watch, the Génie 01, in 2013. Breva’s stated mission is to create watches that “monitor your environment,” and the Génie 01 did that by forecasting the weather with a mechanical barometer fully integrated into a specially-developed, high-end, mechanical watch movement.
The Breva Génie 02 Terre also monitors your environment by offering a fully mechanical barometric altimeter with two height indications: a large scale display at the top of the dial reads to 5,000 meters/16,400 feet, while at 2 o’clock a precision altimeter scale displays 0 to 1,000 meters/3,300 feet.
Another subdial at 8 o’clock balances the dial with hour and minute indications. The top of one of the two stacked aneroid capsules is visible at the 6 o’clock position. The expansion and contraction of the capsules with changes in air pressure (signaling changes in altitude) is mechanically magnified 200 times and relayed to the two altimeter indications.
Also on the dial side we have a small seconds display at 12 o’clock and the power reserve indicator at 4 o’clock. A screw-down crown on the case band at 4 o’clock is usually closed to seal air from the movement, or opened to allow air in so that the pressure can be determined. A Teflon membrane allows air molecules through while blocking any moisture the air contains.
Turning Génie 02 over reveals the names of well-known ski resorts engraved around the sapphire crystal display back allowing appreciation of the movement.
So the next time you go climbing, you can strap on the Génie 02 as well as your crampons!
For more information, please visit www.breva-watch.com
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds; large-scale altitude indicator, precision-scale altitude indicator, power reserve indicator, air pressure valve, equalizer seal indicator, altitude scale adjuster.
Case dimensions: 44.7 x 15.6 mm, grade 5 titanium
Limitation: 55 pieces
Price: USD $132,000