On-form function

What could be more diverting than a rotating G-sensor set on top of the tourbillon carriage in a complex architecture featuring carbon nanotubes, titanium and ceramics ? Created by Richard Mille for the most titled ever WRC rally driver, Sébastien Loeb, the eponymous Tourbillon RM 36-01 G-Sensor Competition visually reproduces the number of Gs accumulated during the various driving phases : acceleration, breaking, lateral forces around bends – depending on the nature of the Gs to be recorded as predefined by simply rotating the bezel. The small yellow hand indicates whether the G forces experienced by the driver are safe (green zone) or reach a critical threshold for the driver (in red). Zero-resetting is done by pressing the pushbutton in the center of the sapphire crystal. The 70-hour power-reserve indicator at 2 o’clock and the function selector at 4 o’clock round out the functions of this new tourbillon caliber, which is naturally worn by the multiple world champion in competition, as is the custom with all the other Richard Mille ambassadors.


For keen gamers, building on the success of its timepieces with playful complications such as the 21 Blackjack and Baccara models, Christophe Claret invites poker players to its table this year. The Poker watch combines 32,768 different combinations, meaning 98,304 for three players, in the  most popular variety of poker, Texas Hold’Em. By winding a spring that simultaneously spins four concentric discs (including one made of sapphire) on which the cards are printed, the 9 o’clock pusher deals the first hand – without giving any possibility of speculating on the position of the discs that are mounted on ceramic or ruby bearings and which are immobilized at random by dampers after a few moments. The now shuffled cards are dealt in windows at 6 o’clock,  10 :30 and 2 :30, hidden from other players by an ingenious mechanism of angled shutters. After this first betting round, the 10 o’clock pusher reveals the flop : i.e. three cards which appear on the left of the dial. Another pusher at 8 o’clock then reveals the turn, one card on the right of the dial. Finally, the same pusher distributes the river, also on the right of the dial. A true master of chiming watches, Christophe Claret has equipped this 655-part automaton movement with a cathedral gong that sounds whenever the flop and turn/river pushers are pressed. The back even provides an additional game, since the oscillating weight is shaped like a roulette wheel pointing to one of the 37 numbers on an inner ring. Gaming addicts beware !


Breva offers ice-axe and sealskin skiing enthusiasts a new mountain guide. After the successful Génie 01 presented at Baselworld 2013 and which indicated atmospheric pressure and thus the weather forecast, this year’s Génie 02 is equipped with a fully operational mechanical altimeter. The calculations performed on the first model by watch developer Jean-François Mojon are used in a different way here, since the barometer of the Génie 02 is desigined to display altitude instead of barometric pressure. The higher the altitude, the thinner the atmosphere and thus the less pressure is exercised. Two aneroid capsules at 6 o’clock measure the atmospheric pressure, from which the altitude is deducted. Their patented anti-magnetic metal with no shape memory is lighter and sturdier than aluminum. A lever above them transmits the combined height of the two capsules via a complex cog and wheel system to two altimeters: one for precision measurement (at 2 o’clock) and the other on a large scale (5000 m, around the rim of the dial). The press equalizer at 4 o’clock is equipped with a damp-proof Teflon fiber membrane.



Ready to dive ? You may choose between the circumferential display provided by Oris or the Aquatimer Deep Three from IWC. The Oris Aquis Depth Gauge (water-resistant to 500 m) presented at Baselwrold 2013 is the first diver’s watch to indicate depth by a mechanism integrated into the sapphire crystal and making clever use of the Boyle-Mariotte Law. A 12 o’clock hole funnels water into a glass channel running round the dial, which visibly compresses the air during a descent. The light grey edge becomes darker and its progress can be distinctly read off on the counter-clockwise scale appearing around its unidirectional ceramic bezel. The depth is measured according to the same principle during the ascent to the surface.


Rendering to Caesar that which is Caesar’s, we owe the first diver’s watch with mechanical depth gauge to IWC and its GST Deep One, followed in 2009 by the Aquatimer Deep Two and at the SIHH 2014 by the Aquatimer Deep Three in titanium. Its pressure-metering system, housed in a large second crown on the left-hand side of the case and protected by a bow, enables water pressure to act  directly on a membrane in the crown and pushes a pin towards the interior of the case. The lever mechanism thus activated moves the indicators. The blue depth indicator moves across the white scale according to current depth, while the red hand indicates the maximum depth reached, down to 50 meters. With the help of the seconds hand and the depth gauge, it is possible to keep ascent speed to a maximum of 10 meters per minute. The titanium cover at 4 o’clock conceals the sliding clutch mechanism for the new rotating bezel system, which combines the advantages of the internal rotating bezel (which protects the graduated scale from dirt and scratching) with the user-friendliness of the external rotating bezel. This IWC invention transmits the rotations of the bezel to the interior of the case and the internal rotating bezel. This set of features thus ensures optimal security in case of a dive computer fail.


There’s nothing like a game of golf for relaxing while doing business. The Jaermann & Stübi brand has been focusing on this sport for five years by developing high-end mechanical watches equipped with auxiliary functions for golf players, including women golfers since last year. Available in three elegant 38 mm versions, the automatic Queen of Golf model comprises a mechanical stroke counter and a final score totalizer for an 18-hole round. Unveiled at Baselworld 2013 for globetrotters gracing greens the world over, the Trans Atlantic  (chronometer-certified by the COSC) is also equipped with a mechanical counter for the number of strokes per hole as well as a total score function with retrograde display for the holes played, but also provides new information. Its rotating bezel serves on the one hand to compare the score carded with the player’s handicap; as well as to convert meters into yards in order to facilitate the choice of the right club when distances on the course are not indicated in the player’s usual measurement unit.


Aquatimer Deep Three from IWC with a mechanical depth gauge memorizing the maximum depth reached


Tourbillon RM 36-01 G-Sensor Competition Sébastien Loeb, 30-piece limited series


Christophe Claret Poker automatic with cathedral gong, roulette and poker, four 20-piece limited series in titanium and gold


The Trans Atlantic from Jaermann & Stübi provides a mechanical counter of the number of strokes per hole, total score, retrograde display of holes played, and a meters-yards converter


The Génie 02 by Breva provides a mechanical indication of altitude up to 5,000 meters !


The Oris Aquis Depth Gauge indicates depth by compressing air within its sapphire crystal

Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.

Review overview