Founded by Vincent Dupontreué in 2010, after three years of research and development, led by Jean-François Mojon of Chronode, Breva will launch their first watch — the Génie 01 — at Baselworld next month. Breva is named after ‘La Breva’ which is a warm southern wind contributing to the agreeably mild microclimate around Lake Como. While enjoying a beautiful weekend on Lake Como, Dupontreué came up with the name and the idea of creating a mechanical timepiece that forecasts the weather.
The Breva Génie 01 displays the time, altitude, power reserve, and barometric pressure on the dial side. “Hours and minutes are displayed on a semi-transparent smoky-sapphire subdial at 8 o’clock, with small seconds below 12 o’clock. A scale displaying altitude arcs around the top perimeter of the ‘dial’. Barometric pressure is indicated on a second semi-transparent smoky-sapphire subdial at 2 o’clock, with icons providing scientifically based forecasts of likely weather conditions to come.
A 65-hour power reserve indicator at 4 o’clock is instantly recognizable thanks to its engraved compass rose – an icon found throughout Génie 01. At 6 o’clock, an anaerobic capsule measuring air pressure dominates the lower section, with another identical anaerobic capsule underneath it to maximize sensitivity to the slightest change in air pressure.
Three dual-purpose crowns on the case band provide power to and allow setting of, the proprietary Breva movement. On the left at 9 o’clock, a two-position crown is dedicated to winding the watch and setting the time. On the top right at 2 o’clock, a knurled exterior ring adjusts the barometric pressure scale, while an inner pusher adjusts the position of the altitude indication.
At 4 o’clock, a second crown on the right has a knurled locking ring that rotates 90° to lock/unlock an air valve. When unlocked, the valve opens and allows a small amount of air to equalize air pressure inside the case with the exterior air pressure.
Longevity and reliability of the timepiece are maximized by means of an osmotic Teflon membrane that filters any moisture from any air before it enters the movement. Just above the crown, a red indicator on the dial marked ‘SEALED’ warns when the valve is unlocked.
The technological and visual feast continues through to the back of Génie 01. A circular scale engraved around the perimeter of the caseback provides a scale providing correlation between altitude and air pressure, as the altitude affects air pressure as well as the weather.
Through the sapphire crystal display back, it is the vibrantly oscillating balance wheel that first catches the eye; however, a more careful inspection unveils yet more of the beautifully finished movement. When winding the movement you can see compass roses rotating on the cap of the mainspring barrel.”
The Breva Génie 01 will be available in a limited edition of 110 pieces, half in white and half in pink gold.