Following in the footsteps of the famed Emergency timepiece (which is known as the timekeeper best suited for the adventurers because of the homing distress signal it sends when the going gets tough) comes a new and improved version of the timekeeper – Breitling Emergency II. Unlike its predecessor, the new watch has a dual frequency which sends both digital and analog signals that enable far easier locating of the watch and its wearer. This makes the timekeeper the first Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) instrument. The distress system is completely independent from the timekeeping part of the watch, which provides better reliability. As it was the case with the first version, the new one works on the brand’s thermo-compensated quartz B 76 caliber.
The new distress system featured in Emergency II is caused by the changes in the international Cospas-Sarsat system which consists of numerous satellites flying at both low-altitude (LEOSAR) and geostationary orbit (GEOSAR), as well as a number of ground-based stations and centers used for control and coordination. In 2009, the system decided to drop the old 121.5 MHz analog frequency which was used to locate the adventurers or travelers in need. It switched to digital frequency of 406 Mhz which provides far superior results and more detailed information. However, the old analog distress frequency is far from obsolete, since it still remains the safest means to locate the people in emergency and is received on land, maritime vessels, as well as in aircrafts. By combining these two panic signals, Breitling has created an unrivaled timepiece which is used in the times of need. Just like it was the case with the previous model, the wearer should take this instrument very seriously. The reason is simple – every owner of the watch is obliged to sign the documents and guarantee that he or she will pay for the possible rescue mission.
Half a Decade of Research
The premier timekeeper with a dual frequency distress signal is the result of five years worth of research. Each of the models is supplied with a special micro transmitter which alternately sends a distress beacon on both of the supported frequencies during a period of a single day. The creation of such a device proved to be quite challenging, mostly due to its minute dimensions. After the collaborative efforts with a major institute specialized in aerospace and defense research, Breitling is able to present a watch with a brand new circuit which features reduced dimensions and enhanced reliability. In order to activate the distress signal, the wearer of Emergency II should take off the protective cap of the transmitter and pull out the antennae on each sides of the housing. Since this operation requires a lot of energy, Breitling provides a special charging station which can be used for both charging of the battery and testing of the timekeeper’s functions.
The new version of the timekeeper is much bigger than its archetype and has the generous case diameter of 51 mm, compared to just 43 mm in the initial iteration of the piece. The material used for its fabrication is titanium. Just like the first one, Emergency II has thermo-compensated and COSC chronometer certified Breitling Caliber B76. Among the supported functions of the watch, there are a 1/100th of a second chronograph, 12/24 analog and LCD display, a calendar available in various languages, the second time zone, timer and a battery end-of-life indicator which is especially useful due to the purpose of the watch.
The timekeeper sports a solid case back and supports water resistance to 50 meters. Its dial with Arabic numerals is available in yellow, orange and black, whereas the attachments of choice are a rubber strap or a titanium bracelet.