Sure your diving-sailing-flying-aviation watch might be pretty cool, but Breitling just announced the launch of Emergency, a new timepiece that can actually save lives. Outfitted with a personal locator beacon, the watch is one of the first wrist-worn beacon dials in the world. Released in Europe two years ago, the watch has already saved numerous adventurers from untold fates. To celebrate the US release, Breitling and astronaut Mark Kelly held an event at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex in New York City.
“Breitling has a long history of providing timepieces for the most extreme missions,” Breitling USA President Thierry Prissert said at the launch party. “So it is very exciting we get to continue this tradition with such a cutting edge timepiece. The original Emergency saved over 20 lives, and now that the new one is available in the U.S., I hope many adventurers will find it a key piece of equipment.”
And it is a pretty awesome little device. It took a while to get approval from the FCC, due to the watch’s smaller beacon, but was approved after numerous performances, tests and recalibrations. Meeting Cospas-Sarsat standards, the dual frequency transmitter uses 121.5 MHz and 406 MHZ to send distress signals to emergency crews on land, sea and air, no matter where you are. The beacon also holds transmission records for reliability and is fairly easy to operate. When one cap of the antenna is unscrewed and extended on one side, a second cap on the opposite side opens and the transmitter is activated. Of course, we hope you never have to use it.
It’s also an exceptional timepiece with all the specialized accoutrements of contemporary sports watches. The electronic chronograph features 12- and 24-hour analog and digital displays, alarms, timers, a 1/100th second chronograph, a secondary time zone, a multi-lingual calendar, and a battery life indicator. The watch and transmitter have been designed and manufactured as two separate device to ensure the best operation for both. This, of course, takes up more power, but the device has a rechargeable battery that is 1,000 times more powerful than cell batteries so you never find yourself out of power on a snow-covered crag or in a sun-drenched desert.