Astronaut Mark Kelly re-introduced the Breitling Emergency II underneath the Space Shuttle Enterprise on the aircraft carrier/museum Intrepid yesterday in Manhattan. The 51mm titanium analog-digital watch is the first and only timepiece with a personal locator beacon built in. Kelly noted that he wore the first Breitling Emergency model as a pilot prior to his Breitling affiliation as a brand ambassador and added his own appreciation of the watch’s unique ability to serve as a personal-size back-up beacon to aircraft on-board locator technology.
“In an emergency, sometimes a pilot or a skipper might be separated from the larger location devices on board their craft,” he noted. “This Breitling Emergency II means he can still contact a rescue team.”
Breitling USA President Thierry Prissert explained that this latest Emergency model, which Breitling debuted in 2013, is only arriving in stores this July because Breitling only recently received its final FCC approval to sell it in the United States—an official requirement given the watch’s use of the Copsas-Sarsat international satellite alert system.
This second model updates the original Breitling Emergency from 1995. Rather than using a single air distress frequency, this new model features a microtransmitter alternately operating on two separate frequencies. It transmits a first digital signal on the 406 MHz frequency intended for satellites, and also transmits a second analog signal on the 121.5 MHz homing and rescue frequency. The watch is intended for a wide range of users in a variety of fields, including aviation, navigation, climbing, trekking, hiking or exploration. Since the initial model was released in 1995, more than twenty rescues have resulted from its use, says Prissert, with more than 40,000 sold.
The Emergency’s timekeeping function is handled by a chronometer-rated electronic chronograph featuring familiar functions, including 12/24-hour analog and digital display, 1/100th second chronograph, alarm, timer, second timezone, multilingual calendar and battery end-of-life indication. It is equipped with Breitling’s own thermo-compensated SuperQuartz movement that the brand says is ten times more accurate than a standard quartz caliber. Breitling designs the watch and transmitter as two distinct elements, each independent in terms of both operation and energy source.
The Emergency’s case is made from titanium, and Breitling offers three dial colors: black, yellow and orange, fitted with a titanium bracelet or rubber strap. The satin-brushed bezel is engraved with a compass scale and the sapphire crystal is glareproofed on both sides.
The Emergency with titanium case on Diver Pro Strap is $15,825; on a Breitling Co-pilot bracelet it’s $18,745, and on a titanium bracelet: $16,475. The Emergency Night Mission on Black Diver Pro Strap is priced at $18,910.