It’s one thing to abstractly write about watches that are about to appear on the market. It’s completely different when you actually get to handle it. Six months ago, we wrote about the Breitling Emergency II watch. Now, thanks to one Chicagoland jewelry store, we’ve finally had the chance to get our hands on one of these wonderful watches.
Call me crazy, but I’ve always enjoyed the analog, heavy feel of a good automatic watch. I love the sound, I love feeling the weight – particularly of larger Breitling watches like the Navitimer World or Navitimer 01. I even love listening to the slight differences in sound between various movements between Rolex, Breitling, Omega, and other top Swiss watch manufacturers.
However, titanium takes away one of those aspects that I enjoy the most – the weightiness of a good automatic watch. The watch is so “light” that it’s almost like I’m not wearing a watch. Plus, without the sound of an automatic movement, that’s two of my favorite aspects removed from the ownership experience.
But the Breitling Emergency II is just, well, different.
Let’s start at the way it wears. At a gargantuan 51mm – three millimeters larger than a Breitling Super Avenger, this is one timepiece that certainly wears large on the wrist. However, with its titanium construction, felt considerably lighter than the Navitimer World I was wearing. However, the head of the Emergency II is actually heavier at 140 grams while the Navitimer World is 112.8 grams. The difference lied in the bracelets.
The differences stretched far beyond the physical feel of the two watches. The Emergency had several features beyond the one it’s most famous for – the ability to send out a beacon in an emergency situation.
It had several nifty features like the ability to light up when tilted, saving the battery by keeping the display dark when the wearer’s arm is tilted away. In addition, there is a 1/100th of a second chronograph, countdown timer, world time function, alarm, and full calendar.
If ever there was a high-class version of the Casio G-Shock (which has practically created a watch collector cult on its own) this is it. Plus, one day this watch might actually save your life.
As for the quartz vs. mechanical watch stuff, this is truly the one watch that I could see finding its way into my collection. That’s a hard thing for a mechanical-only curmudgeon like me to admit, but this is one fine watch and if think you might be even slightly interested in it, then I highly suggest giving the Breitling Emergency II a try.