Baselworld 2013: Breitling Emergency II Replica Guide Trusted Dealers
If you were an owner of the original Breitling Emergency watch, then you’re probably the sort of person that engages in dangerous activities that leave you with a higher than normal chance of being stranded in the middle of nowhere. For the people that need this watch, and perhaps for others who live a normal lifestyle but are a little paranoid of “what if” scenarios, Breitling has just come up with the Emergency II.
The brand new Emergency II watch adds new features and at the same time takes away the perceived weaknesses of the original. You see, the original Emergency had a 121.5MHz transmitter that, when activated, had a range of 90 nautical miles (167 km) by search aircraft flying at 20,000 feet (6,000 m). This was assuming normal conditions, or basically flat terrain or calm seas. If you found yourself outside such conditions, then the range would be considerably shorter.
Add to that the fact that the Emergency didn’t have enough power to send the signal up to a satellite, but only to relatively nearby search and rescue teams, the bottom-line was that while it was a useful device to have, it was not the be-all-and-end-all solution of a truly global distress beacon.
That is where the Emergency II is different.
In addition to the aforementioned analogue 121.5MHz transmitter, the Emergency II adds the new digital frequency of 406MHz, which offers enhanced security and more information for rescuers to determine your location. More importantly, this frequency allows the launch of a distress signal directly into space to reach the network of low orbit or geostationary satellites. This difference makes the watch infinitely more useful as now no place on earth is off limits.
You’d see guys wearing the original Emergency on a regular basis as it had been smaller and a lot cheaper. Together with the new higher cost of the more complex, and obviously bigger Emergency II, Breitling has perhaps created a much more practical wearable emergency locator device, but it does not make for as good of a daily wear option — again, for most people.That doesn’t stop Breitling from providing as numerous trendy versions of the Emergency II as you possibly can. My favorite is the mention V7632519|C931|260S|V20DSA.2 I managed to snag for inspection, which is the Emergency II with a mother-of-pearl dial. Funny enough, Breitling creates two variations of the Emergency II using a MOP dial, the other with green versus those blue accents is your ref. REF. Strictly speaking, the sole reason to have a mother-of-pearl dial is for aesthetic effects. However, isn’t this a tool watch? Yes, and part of the allure of luxury timepieces is that you’re able to get such decoration in an otherwise quite functional apparatus. This adds appeal and character.The Emergency II is offered in a variety of dial colors out mother-of-pearl, ranging from yellow to orange and obviously a sober black. The general knob and dial bezel design will be familiar for people who understand Breitling’s modern lineup of “Professional” watches outfitted with analog/digital quartz movements. This high-accuracy thermocompensated quartz movement has analog hands for the hours and minutes on the dial, as well as two LCD displays that could display other details.
Therefore, if you find yourself in an emergency situation, you twist off the cap of the transmitter and pull the antennae out from both sides of the case. The watch then sends out a distress signal alternating between the 121.5MHz analogue signal and the 406MHz digital signal, and all this for up to 24 hours. These specifications place the watch in the PLB or Personal Locator Beacon category of the Cospas-Sarsat International Satellite System.
The most effective commercially available mini battery expires under 50 seconds in –20ºC, but following some intense R&D, Breitling came up with a battery so sophisticated it didn’t really patent it, knowing only too well how intriguing that the general disclosure of its precise details is to mobile phone companies.The other challenge was to miniaturise a dual-frequency transmitter, where formerly the smallest in flow was the size of two cigarette packs. This double frequency isn’t just to show off, Smith describes. “When we awakened in 2003,” he says, “my Emergency just transmitted on one frequency of 121.5 MHz, which meant we might be tracked but, crucially, just once the alert was raised via our satellite telephone. Had we had the innovative technology that is carried by the Emergency II transmitting on 121.5 MHz (for tracking and zeroing-in) and 406MHz (which increases the initial alarm), we might have been spared more rapidly.” But with tens of thousands of Emergencies roaming Civvy Street, at which the nearest to search and save is losing somebody in Westfield throughout the January sales, what’s the reality of this Emergency II as the quotidian ticker?here are couple of watches which live up to their marketing hype, and even fewer that can claim to possess saved lives. Breitling has long been considered that the pilot’s watch of choice, however it had been the Breitling Emergency that solidified the company’s devotion to aviators and adventurers across the world with a single genuinely unique complication — the personal locator beacon.
In order to maintain the power required to run the emergency functions of the watch, a battery charging station is available that allows users to top up, and test at the same time, all functions of the watch.
It goes without saying that with all the electronics inside, that this isn’t a mechanical watch. Except for the day when you have to activate the emergency beacon, what you wear everyday is a typical Breitling quartz chronograph in a 51mm titanium case, which is way bigger than the original version at 43mm.
The movement inside is the Breitling Caliber 76, an officially certified chronometer by the COSC with thermocompensated SuperQuartz. Functions include a 12/24-hour analog and LCD digital display, battery end-of-life indicator, 1/100th second chronograph, timer, 2nd timezone and multilingual calendar.
There are three dial colors to choose from: black; orange; and yellow and it comes with a rubber strap or a matching titanium bracelet.
I have no word yet on the price but it should be the least of your concern. Customers who bought the previous version had to sign an agreement stating that they would bear the costs of a rescue intervention should the distress beacon be set off. Also, the beacon needs to be rearmed at the factory after every use which makes this watch something that you don’t hand over to your 5-year-old son to play with, lest you find rescue helicopters above your house. As a serious instrument for professionals, this is no plaything, yet somehow I have the feeling that customers who buy this watch will know what they are going in for.
Though it begs the question, how can we review this watch properly if setting off the distress beacon will set so much into motion and leave us with a hefty bill and facing possible criminal charges?
We will have a closer look at this watch in more detail at Baselworld 2013 and hopefully try to answer that question. In the meantime, please watch this most excellent video about the Breitling Emergency II, which I can guarantee will get you all excited to start exploring hostile environments with your personal distress beacon. (At least, that’s what it did to me.)