Breitling’s Emergency watch is a clever piece of equipment, the world’s first wristwatch with a dual frequency locator beacon, its SOS signal enables the wearer to access emergency help in any distress situation (on land, sea or in the air).
In 1995, Brietling launched the Emergency I, which featured a built-in micro transmitter, operating on the 121.5 MHz air distress frequency. Subsequent to this, it launched the Emergency Mission (pictured here), a second variation of the Emergency it featured the looks of a more traditional Breitling Chronograph combined with the functionality of the Emergency.
Its design was characterised as the ‘more civilian’ version of the original Emergency, but it still worked off the same 121.5 MHz frequency, with the average range of its signal (on land or sea) as 90 nautical miles for a plane flying at 20,000 ft.
Five years of development later, Breitling launched the Emergency II which operated on a 406 MHz digital frequency making it possible to launch an alert from anywhere in the world, via a network of space satellites.
FEATURES OF THE BREITLING MISSION CHRONOGRAPH
Water resistant to 100m, the Breitling Emergency Mission features a quartz movement, bi-directional bezel, 45mm case, luminous indexes and screw down crown. It’s a chunky piece of wristwear, heavy to wear and bulky in look.
The case is thicker than a regular Breitling watch because it needs to house the electronic module, which is responsible for sending the SOS frequency. This module is powered by a separate battery which is bigger in size to enable a higher consumption.
The caseback of the watch remains part of the case, not a separate entity and the lower half houses the emergency SOS module, with the upper half featuring the movement, dials and hands.
TIP: We recommend having this watch water tested periodically, as it features many gaskets and they can wear over time. For more advice on servicing, see our Service Center page >
The emergency beacon is activated by unscrewing the lower crown - a spiral is attached to this which you pull out, activating the beacon with an SOS signal on the 121.5 MHz frequency.
The Breitling Emergency has two separate modules, the standard ETA movement and a separate circuit board, so as a watchmaker you have to be very careful when overhauling such a watch.
How To Test Your Breitling Emergency Watch At Home
If you want to test your Breitling Emergency watch at home, you’ll need a radio which you can tune to the 121.5 MHz frequency (Aircraft Emergency Frequency).
There’s a button on the back of the watch which you can press, this will activate the SOS signal and you can listen to it at short range with the walkie talkie receptor.
WATCH OUR VIDEO FOR A DEMONSTRATION