By Michelle Graff
New York--The latest version of Breitling’s Emergency watch, introduced by the brand at Baselworld 2013, is finally available in the United States.

BreitlingThe Grenchen, Switzerland-based watch brand announced late Thursday afternoon in New York that the watch has gained approval from the Federal Communications Commission and will be available in the Breitling boutiques in New York, Orlando, Miami and Las Vegas and at select Breitling-carrying retailers across the country in July. 

The new Emergency, an updated version of the timepiece Breitling first brought out in the 1990s, is the first wrist-worn beacon in the world with a dual Personal Locator Beacon, or PLB. 

While the original Emergency watch emitted a signal on 121.5 MHz analog frequency only, the new Emergency is able to transmit on the 406 MHz frequency as well, the frequency that Cospas-Sarsat began using in 2009. (Cospas-Sarsat is an international system that provides location data to search-and-rescue teams worldwide so they can find and assist people in distress.)

At an event held Thursday afternoon at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex in New York, Breitling USA President Thierry Prissert noted that the original Emergency watch saved more than 20 lives, including that of a man hunting in the Alaskan outback in the summer of 2008.

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But the release of this latest version of the timepiece has been held up in the U.S. market because it needed FCC approval, which took longer to obtain than the brand expected. 

“Because a watch is so much smaller than a traditional locator beacon, it took longer than anticipated to get approval from the FCC, but Breitling was able to satisfy the commission that the Emergency can properly send alerts, and the watch performed perfectly during their exhaustive testing,” Prissert explained on Thursday. 

The 52 mm Emergency has an electronic chronograph with 12/24-hour analog and digital display, 1/100th second chronograph, alarm, timer, second time zone, multi-lingual calendar and battery end-of-life indication. 

The dual antennas are housed in the lower part of the watch. When the cap attached to the main antenna is unscrewed and extended to the correct length, a second cap on the opposite side releases, activating the transmitter. 

Breitling said it developed a new rechargeable battery for the Emergency that is 1,000x more powerful than the cells usually employed in a timepiece. 

The Emergency is a titanium watch that retails for $15,825 on a Diver Pro strap, $16,475 on a titanium bracelet and $18,745 on the brand’s “Co-pilot” bracelet. There’s also the Emergency Night Mission on a black Diver Pro strap, which retails for $18,910. 

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