Back in February, we brought you the news on the new Breva Génie 02 Terre with a full review with live pictures here. This time, we are presenting you the new addition to the Génie 02 family, the new Baselworld 2014 Breva Génie 02 Air which combines the stunning sophistication of a beautifully crafted mechanical timepiece with the practicality of a fully functional, high-performance altimeter with flight levels. Whether your passion is paragliding, flying, skydiving, hang gliding, mountain climbing, skiing, or simply enjoying the fresh air and stunning views that high altitudes offer, the Génie 02 Air is the perfect companion. The black titanium case of the Génie 02 Air offers a subtle but stunning backdrop to the high-legibility hands and markers, ensuring that essential information, i.e. time and altitude, is easily visible at a glance.
The dial side of the timepiece is dominated by a sub-dial at 8 o'clock displaying hours and minutes, and the precision altimeter sub-dial at 2 o'clock displaying meters or feet. Arching around the top of the dial is the large-scale altitude indicator, which displays up to 5,000 meters or 16,400 feet, with small seconds below. At 4 o'clock, an indicator is revealed when the air valve is open or closed —it must be open to indicate the altitude.
Below that indicator, there is a 65-hour power reserve indicator. In pride of place at the bottom of the dial is one of two aneroid capsules measuring air pressure —from which the altitude is derived—, with a high-precision arm multiplying by 200 the expansion and contraction of the capsules and relaying the air pressure to the two altitude indications.
Three chevron-engraved crowns wind, set, adjust, and operate the functions of the Génie 02:
1. 9 o'clock: a two-position crown both winds the movement and sets the time.
2. 2 o'clock: a screw down crown rotates both the altitude's precision-scale and large-scale to adjust for variations in air pressure, which affects altitude readings.
3. 4 o'clock: a screw down crown either seals air out of the movement or allows it in —for altitude function. Longevity and reliability of the timepiece are maximized by means of an osmotic Teflon membrane that filters any moisture and humidity from air before it enters the movement. Just above the crown, a red band on the dial marked “SEALED” warns when the valve is unlocked.
A pilot must recalibrate the altimeter according to local air pressure at sea level, in order to take into account natural variations of pressure over time due to weather and temperature. If altimeters are not calibrated before flight, two aircraft could be flying at the same altitude even though their altimeters indicate that they are at different altitudes. To ensure aeronautic safety, planes and air traffic controllers use flight levels, which is a nominal pressure altitude in feet divided by 100 and always divisible by 500 —so always ending in 0 or 5—, rather than actual height above sea level. For example, 33,000 feet is referred to as "flight level 330”.
Actual altitudes above ground are not as important for flight safety as the difference in altitudes between planes. This difference can be determined from the air pressure at each craft, and does not require knowledge of the local air pressure on the ground. Flight levels solve this problem by defining altitudes based on a standardized air pressure at sea level. All aircraft operating on flight levels calibrate to this setting regardless of the actual sea level pressure. A second advantage of flying at a consistent flight level, rather than true altitude, is that an aircraft's aerodynamic and engine performance depend on air pressure rather than its true altitude above ground or sea level. It is much easier to trim a plane to operate efficiently at a specific air pressure rather than altitude.
The superbly finished proprietary movement, much of which can be fully appreciated through the open dial and display back, was developed exclusively for Breva by award-winning movement constructor Jean-François Mojon from Chronode. The movement includes 415 components and is framed by the code names of many of the world's airports, engraved around the perimeter of the case back along with their altitudes above sea level. The final airport codes are yet to be confirmed.
The Génie 02 Air is available in a limited edition of 55 pieces in black titanium G5 with rubber strap and is available with calibrations in either meters or feet.
Sticker Price $132,000 USD. For more info on Breva click here.
Technical Specifications of the Breva Genève Génie 02 Air
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 material: black titanium G5 measuring 44.70 mm x 16.10 mm.
Crystals: sapphire crystal and display back treated with anti-reflective coating on both sides
Dial: grained and galvanized nickel silver indexes and numbers in three-dimensional superluminova.
Water resistance: 30 meters.
Strap and buckle: natural rubber strap with titanium tang buckle.
Movement: Proprietary movement developed exclusively for Breva by Jean-François Mojon/Chronode with 415 components, 45 jewels and a power reserve of 65 hours.