Breitling Emergency II – World’s First Watch with a Dual Frequency Personal Locator Beacon

     Written by Chaz Nash

Breitling has reestablished its standing within the technical horology community with the release of its Emergency II watch which contains a dual frequency PLB (Personal Locator Beacon). (Click picture to the left to view video on the Emergency II PLB system)

That’s right Breitling has designed a watch for professionals and thrill seeking adventurers (and a few James Bond types), should they encounter an unexpected life threatening situation the Emergency II watch’s dual frequency PLB distress system can be activated and literally map their location anywhere in the world to help guide search and rescue teams render aide. The Breitling Emergency II sets precedence as the first wristwatch to house a dual frequency PLB distress system and establishes it as a personal safety and survival instrument in the air, at sea and on land.

Breitling Emergency II is equipped with a microtransmitter that alternately operates on two separate frequencies over a 24 hour period. A digital signal is transmitted first on the 406 megahertz digital frequency activating an emergency alert signal from anyplace in the world via a network of satellites within low altitude of earth’s orbit (LEOSAR) and in geostationary orbit (GEOSAR). This emergency transmission lasts 0.44 seconds and transmits every 50 seconds. A second analog signal is also transmitted on the 121.5 MHz homing and rescue frequency which lasts 0.75 seconds every 2.25 seconds.


It took Breitling five years of development to create a miniaturized PLB and several adaptation of it to fit inside a wristwatch and remain capable of transmitting a dual frequency signal. This special effort was achieved through collaborations with an institute specializing in aerospace, defense and industry and engineers that helped create advanced microelectronics and microtechnical engineered circuits exclusively dedicated to the watch’s ability to transmit two separate frequencies while being housed in the compact compartment of a wristwatch as well as be compliant with COSPAS-SARSAT specifications. It was indeed a great collaborative undertaking for the Breitling team whom worked vigilantly to maintain the overall integrity of the watch’s complications as well.

Breitling Emergency II - Dual Frequency Transmitter

Breitling Emergency II features a 51mm titanium case with a satin-brushed bidirectional rotating bezel. It has a chronometer-certified by the COS that is a multifunction chronograph: 12/24 hour analog and digital display, 1/100th second chronograph. Functions include an alarm, timer, second time-zone, multilingual calendar and battery end-of-life indication. It is equipped with a thermo-compensated SuperQuartz™ movement, which is 10 times more accurate than standard quartz movement. The watch components is protected by a Cambered sapphire crystal which is water resistant up to 5 ATMs.  


Breitling Emergency II - Model 3

Breitling Emergency II - Model 2

Emergency II is available in three dial colors: Volcano black, Cobra yellow and Intrepid orange. It is available in a rubber Diver Pro III strap or a titanium bracelet. For detailed information about Breitling Emergency II check out Breitling’s website.

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