Breitling Emergency Watch to Go on Sale in U.S.
Between 1995 and 2010, Breitling sold 40,000 units of their unique Emergency watch, mostly to adventurers who might have need for the device’s one-time use 121.5 MHz frequency beacon antenna which could be activated to send a signal to search-and-rescue organizations. The original model of the Breitling Emergency was discontinued in 2010 despite having saved 20 people and amassing a perfect record of no false alarms. The original Emergency was discontinued due to the 121.5 MHz frequency losing favor to the more powerful 406 MHz signal, sending Breitling back to the drawing board for an updated model.
After several years of development, the Emergency II was introduced at Baselworld in 2013 as a large 51mm model with rechargeable battery that was good for two months. The dual band watch was designed to handle the needs of professionals who had a need for a PLB (personal location beacon).
Despite being available in other countries for two years, the Breitling Emergency watch was just approved for sale in the U.S. on July 1, 2015. Why the delay? It seems that a personal location beacon requires approval from various government agencies including the FCC. This proved challenging because the Breitling Emergency was the first device of its type but the company did gain important knowledge from working with the FCC and other agencies.
In order to gain approval from the FCC, Breitling had to prove that the watch was not only a necessary and reliable life-saving device but that making it available was in the public service. Many lawyers and meeting laters, the Breitling Emergency watch was finally approved for sale in the U.S.
If you’re planning to go exploring and think you might get lost and have need of rescue, the Breitling Emergency watch will sell for $15,000.