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Breva Genie 02 Terra Watch With Accurate Mechanical Altimeter

Breva Genie 02 Terra Watch With Accurate Mechanical Altimeter Watch Releases

Breva, a new high-end Swiss watch brand that debuted last year in 2013, has just followed up with their second watch release. The Genie 02 Terra follows the brand’s first model – which was the Genie 01 Barometer (debuted here). While that first watch was the world’s first mechanical weather station because it included a mechanical barometer, the Genie 02 Terra uses the same technology to introduce the first watch with a mechanical altimeter of this type. Once again the brand has teamed up with master watch designer Jean-Francois Mojon for an interesting and 100% Swiss made mechanical luxury watch with an active lifestyle twist.

The Breva Genie 01 Barometer and Genie 02 Terra Altimeter operate using the same basic principle to indicate information. Those with an understanding of mechanical instruments know that both barometric pressure and altitude are measured as functions of air pressure. Inside each of the watches are a pair of sealed aneroid capsules. Traditionally made from an alloy of beryllium and copper, Breva suggests that they use a special “memory” metal for the unique aneroid capsules inside of the Genie watches. The capsules expand and contract when subject to different air pressures – whose slight changes are measured with a small control arm.

Even though aneroid capsule based barometers and altimeters use more or less the same instrument to measure data, Breva indicates that the ones used in the Genie 01 and Genie 02 watches are calibrated differently, “Génie 02’s 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.”

Thus, the concept of the Genie 01 Barometer is extended in a new watch that offers a mechanical watch with a mechanical altimeter function. In many ways the Genie 02 Terra is the more useful of the two Breva timepieces. In the future it would be great to have a mechanical watch with both an altimeter and barometer. The watch itself is actually more attractive in my opinion than the original watch. Completely in titanium, the Genie 02 is 44.7mm wide by 15.6mm thick. That is the exact same size as the original Genie 01 (offered only in 18k white or rose gold), but the case design has been slightly modified for the Genie 02.

Breva Genie 02 Terra Watch With Accurate Mechanical Altimeter Watch Releases

The most notable difference on the case is the unified lug structure. This creates a more solid look for the case and from the side you can see how there are grooved channels that make for a more modern look. The chevron engraved crowns make a comeback. The overall design of the Genie 02 Terra feels more composed and I think it goes with the theme all that much better. The dial design reflects much of what we saw on the Genie 01, but of course designed with displaying the time, power reserve indicator, and altimeter functions in mind.

Hours and minutes are displayed on a sub dial located near 8 o’clock, while the dial at about 2 o’clock offers two indicators of precision for the altitude. A wider scale for the altitude arcs over the upper part of the dial. The Breva 02 Terra appears to indicate up to about 5000 meters of altitude. Not so into the metric system? Breva gives you the option of having the watch indicate Imperial Units in feet versus meters.

Breva Genie 02 Terra Watch With Accurate Mechanical Altimeter Watch Releases

At about 12 o’clock there is a small subsidiary dial for the seconds and under the main altimeter dial is a both a power reserve indicator for the movement as well as an indicator of whether or not the air valve is open. Unlike digital watches such as the Casio Pro Trek timepieces that have digital barometers and altimeters, the air valve on the mechanical Breva Genie 02 Terra must be manually opened to allow air into the watch to determine the altitude. Breva makes use of an osmotic Teflon membrane that they suggest works well to keep out dust and moisture. Still, it is a good idea to keep the value closed when not in use.

Inside the watch is a rather complicated (and attractive looking) Swiss-made movement that was developed by Mr. Mojon and his team at Chronode. The movement is manually wound with 65 hours of power reserve and operates at 3Hz. It’s also comprised of 415 parts, many of which are hand finished in traditional Swiss fine watch making fashion. Breva watches are a unique breed of ultra-luxury timepieces for those who enjoy a more active life and want a mechanical back-up to their electronic instruments. Breva clearly envisions that most people wearing the Genie 02 Terra will do so skiing, though I imagine it would also make a good aviation watch as well. The Breva Genie 02 Terra watch will be limited to just 55 pieces total, with a price of $132,000.

Génie 02 Terre technical specifications

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, dials and strap:
Case material: titanium G5, with altitude calibrated in either meters or feet.
Dimensions: 44.7 mm x 15.6 mm
Number of components: 69
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.

Proprietary movement developed exclusively for Breva by Jean-François Mojon/Chronode
Diameter: 36 mm
Number of components: 415
Number of jewels: 45
Balance frequency: 3 Hz
Dual aneroid capsules specifically developed to derive altitude from air pressure
Power reserve: 65 hours

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  • DougIles

    Didn’t the 60s Favre-Leuba Bivouvac have a mechanical barometer / derived altimeter? Why is this so different and “first”?

  • DougIlesThat is true. We will look into that for sure. You certainly know your obscure watches!

  • Kris C

    Well, we’ve had one or 2 mechanical depth meters, so I guess this was just a logical and natural progression. So I guess this is me putting a stake in the ground saying that we’ll have both in the same watch at some point (soon?) for the epitome in useless but awesome complications. I’d like it to also have a cageless tri-axial 17 second tourbillon and an indicator to let me know when my wife is ovulating.

    Anyway, back on topic, I think this is an attractive watch. I like the semi-sterile colourway and bold lines. I’m not sure if the decorating is befuddled or not: the oldschool compass look on the sub seconds seems to be confused with the snowflake cut gear for the PR, or is it? Are they hinting that this is a ‘skiing’ watch, or mountaineering? Both would involve snowflakes and compasses to some extent?

    Regardless, a valiant 2nd effort for a new brand, and I agree it is better than the 1st. I still think the logo would be better at home on a 1950’s cabinet television. But at least it’s unique.

  • Breva

    DougIles Exact, but the Breva Génie 01 is the only one that gives exact altitude and can be reset depending on the weather changing.

  • trj66

    I really don’t like this design: the cut-out in the time display is annoying (yes I know: it is NOT always the primary goal for high-end manufacturers to have a fullproof display of the time) and the window in the altimeter-scale is completely hideous. Designers, please make up your mind: why go for a truncated “8” AND a truncated “7”; you could easily have made a cut-out for the precise altitude without the sacrifice of two numbers.

    And the “unified lug structure” reminds me of a cheap bracelet from a entry level (!) Citizen quartz monster.

  • CG

    Good watch for Colorado…. lets them know how high they are! Sorry couldn’t resist…. nice watch tho, I’d buy it if I had 132K smackers layin’ around

  • spiceballs

    Thoughtful and interesting watch, if you really needed something like this and had the money.

  • DG Cayse

    Not exactly the watch one would choose to go ballooning about the countryside.
    Good Lord man, if one can afford this piece of fluff one can afford to have someone tell them what their altitude is.

    “I say there chap…Do you know the altitude here in the lounge?”
    “Hold one old bean, I’ll ask my man – Dungeness!…what is our current elevation?”

  • The altitude indicator at 2 appears to show meters with 1000 per revolution. So that plus the arcing display from 9 to 1 show your altitude down to 20 meters of resolution (the chapter marking on the alt dial). The cut-out on the 1000 meter dial is probably for setting bariometric pressure in millibars (1000 = 1 standard atmosphere/bar).

  • DG Cayse

    MarkCarsonIt’s just this type of altitudinal uncertainty that can spell doom for the expedition. 
    Confusing in the wild. Not like the security of showing ones wrist in the club, eh?

    Pull out the old Casio and be instantly certain.
    No need for exploding corks on the trek!

  • DG Cayse Back in the 80s when I used to hang glide, 20 meter resolution (65 ft or so) would have been fine. The altimeters we carried were no more accurate than that. And like this Breva watch, they never needed batteries. But they were temperature sensitive. Which brings up the question, is this Breva watch thermo compensated or not?

  • Breva

    MarkCarson DG Cayse Thank you Mark for your comment. It is a very pertinent comment. Yes the mechanism Génie 02 is thermo resistant between -4°F and +140°F (-20°C and +60°C).

  • Breva

    MarkCarson This exactly that except the 1007 you can see in the window is the pressure in hPa

  • MKRoma

    Breva are the kind of brand that make time pieces which emphasise why I love watches.  Do I need a watch with a barometer or altimeter? No.  Do I want one? Absolutely! I saw the Genie 01 at SalonQP and it is absolute horological porn.

  • Breva Ah, so the indicated 1007 is slightly less than standard atmosphere (1013 hPa) and not slightly higher if it were millibars (where 1000 = standard atmosphere). Thanks for clarifying the scale.

  • GaryK30

    MarkCarsonBreva Actually, millibars and hPa are exactly the same thing.

  • GaryK30 Actually, they are not. A standard atmosphere (29.92 inches of mercury) is 1 bar (or 1000 millibars) while a hectopascal is 100 pascals which are pressure of newtons over square meters. What is confusing at a glance is how close they are. 1000 millibars = 1013.25 hPa. So looking at a scale like the one on this watch, it could be either as they have such a similare order of magnitude. But you would want to see your altimeter watch using the rights units of measurement. Cheers.

  • GaryK30

    MarkCarsonAccording to this, a standard atmosphere is 1013.25 millibars (1.01325 bar).

  • GaryK30

    MarkCarsonAs more evidence, this site says 1000 mbar is the same as 1000 hPa.

  • GaryK30 I stand corrected. Thanks.