Here is a "cut and paste" of an email sent to one of our UK members (Spacer) which he posted on the main forum. Excellent clarification in response to many continuing questions and concerns regarding the E and EM...
Frequency 121.5 / 406 MHz – BREITLING Emergency
Regarding our BREITLING Emergency survival instrument, we are aware about the change of frequency creating various questions and concerns and we would like to give you the following explanations:
As far as the aeronautical distress frequencies 121.5MHz and 406MHz are concerned, it must be taken into consideration that a rescue operation is composed by 3 phases;
Alert, Location, Rescue
The planned move to the use of 406MHz announced by the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite network for the year 2009 will improve alerting rescue personnel in the event of an emergency situation and provide an approximate position of the beacon. However, accuracy is within two miles using this frequency.
The usefulness and performance of the BREITLING Emergency therefore is in no way modified since in the second phase of localizing the victim, the 121.5MHz frequency still will be the only precise and reliable system to position the beacon within a few meters. This will continue to play a decisive role in the success of a rescue operation. Furthermore, all 406 MHz beacons operate and will be operating on two frequencies (406/121.5MHz).
In the event of an accident, the signal received by COSPAS-SARSAT is analyzed so as to calculate the approximate position of a crash and begin search immediately. It is only during the second phase, meaning during the search itself, that the use of the Emergency comes into play. Its micro-transmitter with its 48 power reserve is ideal for the close-range localization once the sector of the crash has been determined. As soon as the signal is activated, search aircraft pick up the 121.5 MHz frequency and can immediately home on the Emergency and proceed with rescuing survivors.
The aim of the BREITLING Emergency working on the 121.5MHz frequency is clearly to facilitate the location of the individual in distress and does not necessarily activate rescue operations but is a complement to airborne beacons.
Since launching our time and survival instrument BREITLING Emergency in the year 1996, no false alarm has been incited and its 100% reliability has enabled to localize and rescue about 20 individuals up to this day.
The Emergency instrument will be keeping its function as an additional and personal “life-saving-device” for many years to come and there is no intention to recall our watches and replace the frequency.
We hope these clarifications will help you understand the situation and wish you a lot of pleasure with your BREITLING Emergency watch."