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Breitling to the Rescue: Watch Transmitter Alerts Rescuers to Missing Man’s Location

You wear your watch to tell time or, perhaps, as a style statement. But could wearing a watch actually help to save your life? It could if your watch was a Breitling. In fact, a watch made more than a fashion statement when it helped save a stranded hunter’s life in Alaska on August 15th.

Mark Spencer was hunting grizzly bears about 120 miles northeast of Anchorage when he became stuck in the wilderness along Susitna River in the heart of the infamous Alaska Range. Spencer had left his hunting group by the Tyone River to look for help when a shoal tore a hole in his vessel, sinking it in the icy waters.

Spencer activated his watch’s Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) after a dangerous trek up the frigid Susitna River left him hypothermic and near death in the isolated backcountry. A rescue crew was able to pinpoint his location and lift him to safety by helicopter after they picked up the distress signal. He had spent more than 48 treacherous hours struggling for his life among the unrelenting elements of the Alaskan Back country.

“Breitling is the number one piece of equipment I always bring with me”, said Spencer, who works in the renewable energy industry. “Even if I lose everything, I will always have my watch. That gives me and my family peace of mind.”

The timepiece is designed with a micro-transmitter broadcasting on the 121.5 MHz aircraft emergency frequency. The transmitter is activated by unscrewing a protective cap and extending a short antenna. Despite the small size of the watch, the signal range is comparable to traditional hand-held Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) and can broadcast for 48 hours.

“It brings Breitling great pleasure to hear about this kind of customer satisfaction”, said Thierry Prissert, President of Breitling USA. “We’re hoping from now on he only has to use his watch to tell time.”

What an incredible story! Read the full story online at the National Jeweler.

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