That doesn’t stop Breitling from offering as many fashionable versions of the Emergency II as possible. My favorite is the reference V7632519|C931|260S|V20DSA.2 that I was able to snag for review, which is the Emergency II with a mother-of-pearl dial. Funny enough, Breitling makes two versions of the Emergency II with a MOP dial, the other with green versus these blue accents is the ref. REF. V7632530|L527|286S|V20DSA.2. Strictly speaking, the only reason to have a mother-of-pearl dial is for aesthetic effects. But isn’t this a tool watch? Yes, and part of the charm of luxury timepieces is that you can have such decoration on an otherwise very functional device. This adds both charm and character.
The Emergency II is available in a range of dial colors outside of mother-of-pearl, ranging from yellow to orange and of course a more sober black. The overall dial and rotating bezel design will be familiar for those who know Breitling’s modern lineup of “Professional” watches equipped with analog/digital quartz movements. Inside the watch is the Breitling caliber 76 SuperQuartz movement. This high-accuracy thermocompensated quartz movement has analog hands for the hours and minutes on the dial, as well as two LCD screens that can display other information. In addition to the time, the movement (all functions are controlled by the crown) features a full calendar, 1/100th of a second chronograph, countdown timer, second timezone, GMT, and alarm.
Even though I like the dial design, I’ve never been too in love with this current generation styling of the hands. I miss the higher-contrast and thus easier to read hands of some previous generation Breitling watches. These new hands are fine, but just not as bold as I’d like in a watch such as this. One of the interesting little details on the dial is the fact that the 12 o’clock hour marker is actually a small light. It regularly pulses lightly, and I think it is mostly used as a low-battery indicator.
With its massive titanium case (either natural titanium or PVD-coated black) is a domed sapphire crystal that has dual AR-coating on both sides (thank you!). The Emergency II is also water-resistant to 500m. Around the dial is a rotating navigational bezel with windrose markings. This is a useful beast of a “sports” watch if there ever was one, and there is nothing else out there quite like it.
If wearing comfort is particularly important to you, and you have smaller wrists, then the rubber strap is likely to be the best choice. The matching titanium bracelet looks great, but I recommend it only for those with thick wrists, or who plan to wear it over a jacket.
If I could have it my way, the Breitling Emergency II would be more accessibly-priced and smaller. The latter is likely a tough thing to do given the technology inside of the watch, which is made as small as they could at the time the watch was developed. I can’t comment on price, but I know that the work required to make this timepiece happen was not insignificant, and it isn’t as if there are a lot of competitors. Though, if you merely need a PLB device, there are of course, cheaper options.
Sexy and thoroughly a luxury timepiece with a sporty character, the Breitling Emergency II is admittedly extremely cool. No one can deny that. I don’t think that I will see as many on regular people’s wrists as I did the original Emergency, but with its more functional character and ability to be more useful as a PLB, I hope that the right people, traveling to the right places have access to a watch like this.
The other Breitling Emergency II model I reviewed was the ref. REF. V76325A5|BC46|234S|V20DSA.2 with the black dial and orange accents along with the black coated titanium case. It retails for $18,975 USD, while the mother of pearl model retails for $19,425 USD. The starting price for the Breitling Emergency II is $15,685 USD, which goes up to $16,475 USD on the matching bracelet. The Emergency II collection currently tops out at $19,800 USD for the model in black titanium with the green mother-of-pearl dial. breitling.com
>Model: Emergency II
>Price: $15,685 USD to $19,800 USD
>Size: 51mm wide
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes, sometimes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone who will wear it during an actual dangerous scenario where the PLB feature might be useful. They also need to have manly wrists.
>Best characteristic of watch: Still the coolest “rescue watch” around. Technology is simple to understand and actually useful for many people who live an adventurous lifestyle. Manages to be another interesting halo product for Breitling.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Hands could be easier to see and read on the dial. Large size makes the watch a non-ideal candidate for daily wear. Price of the Emergency II is much higher compared to the original Emergency.