Say you’re stranded on an island, but you’re free of concern because you happen to be wearing a Breitling Emergency Watch ($5,500.00 – 7,600.00), which locates stranded victims of plane crashes and boat crashes. Hours pass and you become confused, days pass and you get worried, weeks pass and you die because you were unaware that Breitling has terminated the 121.5 MHz frequency satellite processing service. You would be outraged, but again, you are dead.
This scenario parallels that LoJack issue a while back when they would cancel their tracking services because they weren’t being used, basically saying “Sorry we didn’t look for your laptop, but it wasn’t getting stolen enough.” But Breitling wants to clarify that the 121.5 MHz satellite service and the 121.5 MHz localizing service are two very distinct features. The satellite alert service (the one that is now offline) was a signal transmitted to all maritime beacons, aviation beacons, and personal beacons in the event an alert was needed, usually for disastrous weather. The Emergency Watch, however, worked in pair with localizing systems on the wrecked vessel (such as man overboard systems and homing transmitters) and therefore did not rely on satellite detection. It served as a supplement to beacons carried aboard aircraft and ships to help pinpoint your location once rescuers found the crashed craft. The beacon gave a small radius to where you were on the entire earth and the Emergency Watch finished off by narrowing it down to a slim point. Sort of like the Broncos defense keep their opponent’s score to a small difference and then Tim Teebow finishes off in the fourth quarter, winning by a slim point.