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Thread: Sketchy dudes wear Breitling (Emergency)

  1. #1
    Master Nono's Avatar
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    Sketchy dudes wear Breitling (Emergency)

    "Better late than never"
    This belongs to the "mini-Grail" realm for me for almost 15 years, harking back to a golden era when watch brands crafted no-frills timepieces designed for rugged use. It possesses a distinctive quality: tailored for both commercial and military aviators in the 90s, the Breitling Emergency featured an integrated Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) transmitting an "E" signal on the 121.5 MHz rescue frequency. Activating the PLB involved unscrewing the sizable lower crown and extending the 1.5m antenna. Prospective buyers were required to sign a contract in six different languages, pledging to deploy the locator exclusively in emergency situations; failure to do so incurred a substantial fine for rescue services. In essence, it's unequivocally the wrong watch for a Saturday night out with friends at a bar trying to make a new record in tequila shots.


    And that's precisely why I adore it. It stands as one of the watches that truly embodies the spirit of "The right stuff."


    I only have few shots, but I'll keep this thread updated. Thanx for reading/looking






  2. #2
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    I concur.

    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  3. #3
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    As a boy growing up I always envisaged myself cutting through the jungle with my machete or finding myself marooned on a desert island all with my trusty breitling emergency on wrist safe in the knowledge that something was going to rescue me.
    It remained as the only watch to feature in my boyhood adventures. Certainly a lot of romance tied into the notion that you are doing something exciting enough to possibly warrant a rescue.
    I have never owned one and strangely never looked into it despite the story above.
    A cool watch and both of yours look great!

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  4. #4
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    One of my earliest watch memories is seeing what I would later know to be a Breitling Emergency shown off on Blue Peter in the mid 90s as part of a feature on search and rescue tech - the presenter explained the concept but declined to demonstrate the beaconing, presumably the Beeb were well aware of the fine they would be hit with! I absolutely adore the concept of the Emergency and it doesn’t hurt that it’s based on the Aerospace, which I also love. Unfortunately even the 90s version is far too big for my twig wrists - otherwise I’d hunt one down. Enjoy yours!

  5. #5
    Love those photos OP, also love the watch. Had mine for around 15 years now. Mainly worn on breitling canvas





    fresh back from breitling service


  6. #6
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    Cool pics, thanks! A big Emergency fan here.

  7. #7
    Craftsman RichUK's Avatar
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    I agree.




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  8. #8
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    Got to say I agree!

  9. #9
    Pretty much useless now as there is not much monitoring of that frequency as there are so many false triggers. You need to upgrade to the version two which will cost you about 15k

  10. #10
    Master Nono's Avatar
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    Wow, first of all, I'm amazed at the number of Yellow E's in this thread, but Mainspring came along and saved the day :)

    I want to follow up wolf_ie's and Faiz posts, I too had/have the same feeling about the Emergency and have always seen it on military guys, pilots, and adventurists. The watch kind of evokes that type of lifestyle and even though I don't plan to go on Everest or in the rainforest anytime soon, It just brings a smile to my face when I look at that crazy big ass crown on the side. Unfortunately, these watches are thing of the past, the newer models of Aerospace/Emergency that should be launched this year will be made with vegan leather straps, Eco-Titanium and nature-friendly batteries. Oh yeah, they will cost a fortune as well. Which is fine, but it's kinda moving away from that 90's tool watch era that we all love

    Enough talk, time for a wristshot. Cheers


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nono View Post
    Wow, first of all, I'm amazed at the number of Yellow E's in this thread, but Mainspring came along and saved the day :)

    I want to follow up wolf_ie's and Faiz posts, I too had/have the same feeling about the Emergency and have always seen it on military guys, pilots, and adventurists. The watch kind of evokes that type of lifestyle and even though I don't plan to go on Everest or in the rainforest anytime soon, It just brings a smile to my face when I look at that crazy big ass crown on the side. Unfortunately, these watches are thing of the past, the newer models of Aerospace/Emergency that should be launched this year will be made with vegan leather straps, Eco-Titanium and nature-friendly batteries. Oh yeah, they will cost a fortune as well. Which is fine, but it's kinda moving away from that 90's tool watch era that we all love
    Are there new Aerospaces coming this year? Last I heard was when I went in to a Breitling boutique and was told it was discontinued and thought that maybe they’d gone the same way as Longines in eliminating quartz to concentrate on mechanicals for that luxury feel…

  12. #12
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    Sorry Nono, another common as muck yellow dial Emergency! ;)

    A watch that wasn't even on my radar, until we bought a collection (Rolex/Omega?Cartier/Breitling) 18 months or so ago. This was the stand out piece, I was smitten. I considered that I'd be the last person to want an electric Breitling. It's now one of my favourites...



    Trying not to keep an eye out for the orange dial version....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolf_ie View Post
    Are there new Aerospaces coming this year? Last I heard was when I went in to a Breitling boutique and was told it was discontinued and thought that maybe they’d gone the same way as Longines in eliminating quartz to concentrate on mechanicals for that luxury feel…
    They have been talking about new Aerospace model for some time now, apparently Breitling is working on a new in-house model. So it means it will cost ... a lot! Apparently they will launch the new Emergency model as well, I hope it will be smaller than the current Emergency II because that thing is a behemoth

    Quote Originally Posted by Hackett.dp View Post
    Sorry Nono, another common as muck yellow dial Emergency! ;)

    A watch that wasn't even on my radar, until we bought a collection (Rolex/Omega?Cartier/Breitling) 18 months or so ago. This was the stand out piece, I was smitten. I considered that I'd be the last person to want an electric Breitling. It's now one of my favorites...



    Trying not to keep an eye out for the orange dial version....
    I'm begginning to think that for the first time, I'm finding a black dial model of any watch to be rare :D
    You know, in the back of my mind the Grail Emergency (well, except the Gold one) was always the Yellow model with Yellow UTC bracelet. I just didn't have the balls to pull that off. But thinking about it now....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nono View Post
    They have been talking about new Aerospace model for some time now, apparently Breitling is working on a new in-house model. So it means it will cost ... a lot! Apparently they will launch the new Emergency model as well, I hope it will be smaller than the current Emergency II because that thing is a behemoth
    And I thought the current Aerospace was a bit much at a shade over three grand for something where Breitling have a history of saying “oooh, no, can’t fix that, don’t have the modules”. Maybe in-house they’d commit to keeping the tech available for servicing longer. Suppose that’s the downside of HAQ watches compared to mechanicals.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nono View Post
    Apparently they will launch the new Emergency model as well, I hope it will be smaller than the current Emergency II because that thing is a behemoth
    I always thought the size was part of the package - i.e. no one is monitoring the frequency any more, but if you're lost in the woods of Alaska etc they'll still see a yellow Emergency from outer space ...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolf_ie View Post
    And I thought the current Aerospace was a bit much at a shade over three grand for something where Breitling have a history of saying “oooh, no, can’t fix that, don’t have the modules”. Maybe in-house they’d commit to keeping the tech available for servicing longer. Suppose that’s the downside of HAQ watches compared to mechanicals.
    Well they still change modules, alas they still have them at service. If you have a non-HEQ module, they will offer a replacement to HEQ (Chronometre) version at 700€ for a full service.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom-P View Post
    I always thought the size was part of the package - i.e. no one is monitoring the frequency any more, but if you're lost in the woods of Alaska etc they'll still see a yellow Emergency from outer space ...
    They stopped monitoring the frequency by default, but if you announce your flight, skydiving, hiking, mountaneering ... any risky sport, they monitor the frequency by request. From Wikipedia: "Despite the switch to 406 MHz, pilots and ground stations are encouraged to continue to monitor for transmissions on the emergency frequencies, as most 406 MHz beacons are required to be equipped with 121.5 "homers." Furthermore, the 121.5 MHz frequency continues remains the official global VHF aircraft voice distress frequency."

    P.S. Agreed on seeing Yellow E from Space!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nono View Post
    Well they still change modules, alas they still have them at service. If you have a non-HEQ module, they will offer a replacement to HEQ (Chronometre) version at 700€ for a full service.
    Yes; I thought I'd read that Breitling undertook to service a given model for 15/20 years or something after it had gone out of production, with which I consoled myself years ago when buying an Aerospace, but I couldn't find anything to that effect when Googling just now.

  18. #18
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    Lovely , I regret flipping mine


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  19. #19
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    Very interesting, I hadn't really paid attention to these.
    The newer ones appear to be running on 406Mhz, which is the same as a PLB.

    Maybe I need one of these when out sailing? (sounds like a great excuse to me for another watch).

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyb28 View Post
    Very interesting, I hadn't really paid attention to these.
    The newer ones appear to be running on 406Mhz, which is the same as a PLB.

    Maybe I need one of these when out sailing? (sounds like a great excuse to me for another watch).
    Well there was that story of the guy who survived at sea by using his watch to signal to a ship, with the yellow Emergency you’d be even more visible :D

  21. #21
    BBC Top Gear did a car piece where Hammond (I think) got to pull the ‘rip cord’. I always wondered if they had a minor bump in sales post it hitting the air.

  22. #22
    Master
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    A very good write and cracking photo's. I would not be able to trust myself by setting off the signal though.

  23. #23
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    #monochrome


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merod View Post
    BBC Top Gear did a car piece where Hammond (I think) got to pull the ‘rip cord’. I always wondered if they had a minor bump in sales post it hitting the air.
    They used the newer model, the E II. It was a fantastic episode, and presumably they did bump the sales by little bit. But the Emergency 2 has two fundamental flaws to be regarded as a tool watch: it's beyond too big and too expensive (the DLC titanium version now costs 18.600€). Brutal

    Quote Originally Posted by MADDOG View Post
    A very good write and cracking photo's. I would not be able to trust myself by setting off the signal though.
    Thank you Sir!

    Quote Originally Posted by andyb28 View Post
    Very interesting, I hadn't really paid attention to these.
    The newer ones appear to be running on 406Mhz, which is the same as a PLB.

    Maybe I need one of these when out sailing? (sounds like a great excuse to me for another watch).
    If you have the wrist size for it, by all means!

  25. #25
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    I keep hoping this thread will quietly slip-away, as I now know there is an orange-dialled version and the Want is disturbingly strong, notwithstanding I have no need for one, certainly can't afford it, and have no occasion to wear it...

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post
    I keep hoping this thread will quietly slip-away, as I now know there is an orange-dialled version and the Want is disturbingly strong, notwithstanding I have no need for one, certainly can't afford it, and have no occasion to wear it...
    Tough luck mate, I plan to update this thread with fresh photos every week

  27. #27
    Master earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nono View Post
    Tough luck mate, I plan to update this thread with fresh photos every week
    GAH! Not looking...

  28. #28
    Grand Master jwg663's Avatar
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    Miltonaires were offering a deactivated black dial for reasonable money. It's gone now, I think.
    ______

    ​Jim.

  29. #29
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    If that thing survived Bear Grylls, little snow is a walk in a park for a 30m WR watch


  30. #30
    For some reason I've never really paid these much attention, I know they existed and what they looked like etc but always thought they looked massive
    However that first shot you've put in here Nono has really shed a different light on them! It looks bloody awesome!.......looks like another rabbit hole might have opened up, lol!

  31. #31
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robins View Post
    For some reason I've never really paid these much attention, I know they existed and what they looked like etc but always thought they looked massive
    However that first shot you've put in here Nono has really shed a different light on them! It looks bloody awesome!.......looks like another rabbit hole might have opened up, lol!
    They wear smaller than you imagine.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nono View Post
    If that thing survived Bear Grylls, little snow is a walk in a park for a 30m WR watch
    Are they really only 3atm? I thought they were at least 5 or 10 given the market they’re pitched at! Or is it that in this case they say 3atm and actually mean it rather than for instance Swatch who say that and mean “won’t immediately leak in light drizzle”?

  33. #33
    I still remember thinking how odd it was that Bear was jumping in and out of waterfalls and rapids in his emergency. Not what the spec would suggest you could get away with.

  34. #34
    Craftsman RichUK's Avatar
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    Thanks to this thread I have put mine on a nato for a change.




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  36. #36
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    Doesn't have solar function, but I'm gonna charge it a bit anyway



  37. #37
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    Sketchy enough ?

  38. #38
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    This might be the first time I've ever seen a Breitling watch that I actually like !

  39. #39
    I know it’s wrong in lots of ways but I really fancy an emergency 2. Got the yellow emergency 1, any comments for folk who have made the change?

  40. #40
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolf_ie View Post
    Are they really only 3atm? I thought they were at least 5 or 10 given the market they’re pitched at! Or is it that in this case they say 3atm and actually mean it rather than for instance Swatch who say that and mean “won’t immediately leak in light drizzle”?
    I must admit, the only times I think I'd ever be in a position to use an Emergency would involve lots of water (more than light drizzle at least), which means I've always considered them to be rather Walt-ish in a slightly swashbuckling way.

    I do admire them, I think Breitling are a much underrated brand personally, but I think a good B-1 with a fraction of the running cost has them beaten.

    M
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by tz-uk73 View Post
    I know it’s wrong in lots of ways but I really fancy an emergency 2. Got the yellow emergency 1, any comments for folk who have made the change?
    I’ve had both, the mk2 is a hockey puck in comparison. I plan to sell mine if you get very tempted, just need to get the battery change done.


  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    I must admit, the only times I think I'd ever be in a position to use an Emergency would involve lots of water (more than light drizzle at least), which means I've always considered them to be rather Walt-ish in a slightly swashbuckling way.

    I do admire them, I think Breitling are a much underrated brand personally, but I think a good B-1 with a fraction of the running cost has them beaten.

    M
    A Friend of mine used his E1 as a travel watch for years. Hiking, swimming, sauna...you name it. It never skipped a beat, and never had any issues with WR. But I agree, a bit more would be good for piece of mind

    Quote Originally Posted by joe narvey View Post
    I’ve had both, the mk2 is a hockey puck in comparison. I plan to sell mine if you get very tempted, just need to get the battery change done.

    Joe, does the E1 and E2 use the exact same timekeeping module?

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nono View Post
    A Friend of mine used his E1 as a travel watch for years. Hiking, swimming, sauna...you name it. It never skipped a beat, and never had any issues with WR. But I agree, a bit more would be good for piece of mind



    Joe, does the E1 and E2 use the exact same timekeeping module?
    Sorry, absolutely no idea.

    I did a work job where we had an allowance for beacons and I choose a watch instead I of an EPIRB. I was offered a discount on a mk2 so had both briefly.

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by 459GMB View Post
    This might be the first time I've ever seen a Breitling watch that I actually like !
    You dont like the Superocean Heritage 42 on the mesh bracelet with blue dial, you must be mad.

  45. #45
    Master Nono's Avatar
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    New photo dump of sketchy situations

















  46. #46
    Grand Master Christian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nono View Post
    New photo dump of sketchy situations
















    Superb photos and use of colour.

  47. #47

  48. #48
    Master Nono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian View Post
    Superb photos and use of colour.
    Thank you!!!

    Oh yes, and let's not forget the coolest of them all, the Blackwater Emergency


  49. #49
    Master Nono's Avatar
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    Hey everyone! I just did a little photo review for Fratellowatches blog. If you're into the history or key highlights of the Breitling Emergency, check it out. It's a great read with a cup of coffee.


    Here's the link: A Close Look at the Breitling Emergency: The Watch That Can Save Your Life:

    https://www.fratellowatches.com/a-cl...ave-your-life/

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nono View Post
    Hey everyone! I just did a little photo review for Fratellowatches blog. If you're into the history or key highlights of the Breitling Emergency, check it out. It's a great read with a cup of coffee.


    Here's the link: A Close Look at the Breitling Emergency: The Watch That Can Save Your Life:

    https://www.fratellowatches.com/a-cl...ave-your-life/
    That was a fantastic artile, thank you. That Emegergency is still gorgeous looking watch.

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