If you were stuck in the jungle, left clinging to the edge of a cliff or lost at sea, this is the watch you are going to wish you had on your wrist.
As far as adventure watches goes there is something for practically every sport out there. From skiing to sailing, motor racing to swimming, mountaineering to soccer, you name it there is a watch for every kind of athlete. However, if you are an extreme adventurer, or you just like to go off into the wilderness alone, there is one watch that not only times what you are doing, it could also save your life — the Breitling Emergency II.
We have all read those sad stories about hikers who left the trail to pee and then got turned around. With no cell phone service, and conditions that were either too hot or too cold, and a slight problem can quickly become a life-threatening situation.
In these kind of situations Breitling’s Emergency timepiece could be the one piece of equipment you are jolly glad you packed. So how does it save your life? Well, it has a dual frequency distress beacon that, when activated, sends a signal and your location to the nearest rescue base. It works by unscrewing the crown and unravelling a wire to create an antenna.
The watch puts out alternate signals on two different frequencies. The first is a digital signal on 406 MHz that goes out for 0.44 seconds every 50 seconds, and the other one is an analogue signal on 121.5 MHz that lasts 0.75 seconds that gets sent out every 2.25 seconds. This dual frequency is the best way for the signal to reach the rescue base and also helps them locate your exact position.
A number of people have been saved thanks to the watch, including helicopter pilot Quentin Smith who crashed into the Drake Passage, a body of water that separates South America and the Antarctic Peninsula. He managed to escape with his co-pilot, but floating in the middle of one of the roughest seas in the world, miles from anywhere, with no one knowing where they were, was a treacherous situation to be in. Smith was coming to terms with the fact that he was probably not going to make it when he remembered his Breitling Emergency watch. He activated the emergency call and a Chilean icebreaker came to their rescue.
The watch is a great looking piece of equipment too with its robust case in a choice of stainless steel or black titanium. It is powered by a revolutionary rechargeable battery, a small transmitter and an integrated antenna system. For the functions, it includes a chronograph (to the 1/100th of a second) a digital day and date feature that is pre-programmed for four years and there is also a countdown timer, a second time zone and an alarm. It is quite a big watch, but with so much life-saving equipment inside, no one is going to mind.
Just one word of advice, don’t leave it around where your kids can play with it because setting it off in a non-emergency situation comes with a hefty fine. If it does accidently go off, call your nearest rescue operation to let them know.
Price: CHF 14,540 in titanium and CHF 17,340 in black titanium.