Written by: K. Amanuel
Vincent Dupontreué recently introduced his new independent watch brand called “Breva.” The brand’s first watch is the Genie 01, which is part watch and part barometer-altimeter. This is the first wristwatch that features an altimeter and barometer for forecasting the weather. The watch was constructed by Jean-Francois Mojon of Chronode, and he has constructed an unusual and complicated but interesting watch.
The Breva Genie 01 comes in a 44.7 mm wide by 15.6 mm high case that is made of white or pink gold. Both models are limited to 55 pieces. The fully mechanical movement that powers this watch can be seen through the sapphire crystal display back. A circular scale is engraved around the perimeter of the case-back and provides correlation between altitude and air pressure. Three crowns on the case allow setting of the movement. The crown at the 2 o’clock on the top right has a knurled exterior ring that adjust the barometric pressure scale and the inner pusher adjusts the altitude indication. The crown at the 9 o’clock on the left adjusts the time and winds the watch. The crown located at the 4 o’clock has a knurled locking ring that rotates to lock or unlock an air valve. Above the crown is a red indicator on the dial that reads “Sealed” when valve is unlocked and air is allowed in.
The dial of the Breva Genie 01 is quite busy but has easily readable indicators for all its functions. The hours and minutes are shown on a semi-transparent sapphire subdial that is located at the 8 o’clock position. The small seconds are displayed at the 12 o’clock. A 65-hour power reserve indicator at the 4 o’clock position features an engraved compass rosse in the cap of the mainspring barrel, which rotates when winding the movement. It allows one to tell remaining power in the mainspring of the fully mechanical movement.
Aside from telling the time, the dial also allows wearer to tell altitude and forecast the weather. Between the 5 o’clock and 6 o’clock is an anaerobic capsule that measures air pressure. Air pressure inside the movement needs to be equalized with outside air using the valve at 4 o’clock before barometer can be used. The barometer’s weather forecast is displayed on a semi-transparent subdial at the 2 o’clock position.
As mentioned above, the Breva Genie 01 comes in two models: white gold and 4N pink gold. The white gold is priced at CHF 150,000 and the pink gold for CHF 145,000.
IWC unveiled a new timepiece to mark its cooperation with the Mercedes Amgpetronas Formula One Team. This watch, selected by NBA star Carmelo Anthony, is the IWC Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance. This model will be available in limited edition of only 100 pieces.
The Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance comes in a carbon case that measures 46 millimeters in diameter. The middle part of the case is held together by screws and is manufactured using fibre matting, which is soaked in epoxy resin and shaped in a desired form before being heated at high temperature and pressure. This is the same technique used in monocoque of a racing car. To keep with the theme of motor-sports, IWC designers have used ceramic for the screw heads, the crown and crown protection. The screws and case-back ring are made of titanium. The watch comes with a black rubber strap with stamped calfskin inlay and titanium pin buckle. The stitches on the strap are either yellow or red nylon reminiscent of the stripes on the walls of the soft slick tires.
Inside the watch is the heart of the watch, which is the Calibre 80110 mechanical movement. This IWC-manufactured 80110-calibre movement has 44 hour power reserve and integrated shock-absorption system. The shock-absorption system allows the wearer to be in situations of extreme vibrations without affecting the watch.
The dial of this Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance is also made of carbon fiber. While carbon is only one-fifth the weight of steel, it does not have as much resistance to scratching. The black dial features under and over technique to create webbed design pattern and gives an authentic Formula One look. The dial has an impressive three-dimension look. A date window is visible at the 3 o’clock position. The hours and minutes markers as well as the hour and minute hands are luminescent and easy to read.
Technical Specifics of IWC Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance
- Mechanical movement – Calibre 80110
- Pellaton automatic winding
- 44-hour power reserve when fully wound
- Jewels – 28
- Integrated shock-absorption system
- Date display with crown-activated rapid advance
- Central hacking seconds
- Screw-in crown
- Sapphire glass, flat, antireflective coating on both sides
- See-through sapphire-glass back
- Water-resistant 12 bar
- Case height 14.5 mm
- Case Diameter 46 mm
- Bracelet Material – black rubber strap with stamped calfskin inlay
- Limited edition of 100 watches each, once with yellow and once with red nylon threads
- Price – $26,400
Written by Andrew Hilbert
TAG Heuer has long been known to make the finest sports and luxury watches and the honor bestowed upon their Mikrotimer Flying 1000 in Geneva further solidifies their elevated standing in the watch world. What is so stunning about this achievement is that the watch is the first mechanical chronograph ever to display time to one one-thousandth of a second. This technical achievement, along with the watch’s sleek and uniquely beautiful design, were all factors in the watch winning the very coveted, “Best Sport Chronograph” award in the 2011 Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève.
In ten years, TAG Heuer has won seven Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève. This confirms that TAG Heuer is elite and unparalleled in its master craft of wonderful timepieces. TAG Heuer’s dedication to beautiful design may hide how technically complex the watches they create are. Do not think for one one-thousandth of a second that their attention to aesthetics means that they pay less attention to their technical mastery and complexity!
The Mikrotimer Flying 1000 is the world’s fastest mechanical chronograph; that is no easy feat and recognition of this accomplishment keeps coming in the form of awards. Just in September, the Mikrotimer Flying 1000 won the prestigious SIAR award for “Best Concept of the Year.” The SIAR award is the most prestigious award for watch making in South America. In November, the Mikrograph 100, which displays and measures one one-hundredth of a second with a central hand, won the Montres and Passion 2011 “Grand Prix du Public” award. The Mikrograph 100 was the technological starting point and foundation for the technology in the Mikrotimer Flying 1000.
The Swiss watch industry’s most prestigious and competitive awards competition is the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève. Winning it seven times in the past ten years is unrivaled by any other watch maker. TAG Heuer has previously won in the Sports category two times: in 2006 TAG Heuer won the award for the CARRERA Calibre 360 Rose Gold Limited Edition watch; and in 2008 TAG Heuer won the award for the Grand CARRERA Calibre 36 RS Caliper Concept Chronograph watch.
TAG Heuer has achieved something once thought impossible in the watch making industry. A mechanical watch that measures one one-thousandth of a second was long thought a fool’s dream but TAG Heuer has achieved it and now have created a whole new leap and a paradigm shift in watchmaking.