SOS for Less

Want This, Get This: Breitling Emergency or SPOT Messenger Gen3


If you’re like us, you have a long list of watches you’d love to own. But reality (almost) always steps in, and your desires remain unfulfilled. Gear Patrol’s series Want This, Get This presents a lust-worthy timepiece along with a more affordable alternative that scratches the same itch. This week, we offer two very different ways to save your skin.

Breitling Emergency

We’ve already heaped praise on the Emergency ($15,000), even including it in our list of the best products of 2013. The latest remake of a watchmaking icon is nothing short of revolutionary, the sole occupant of the luxury-watch-cum-personal-locator-beacon category. Rechargeable dual transmitters, the smallest of their kind, alert search and rescue that your sailboat is taking on water and you need help; then the watch pinpoints your location so they can find you. This on top of a thermo-compensated Breitling SuperQuartz calibre that not only keeps time to within seconds per year but also features multiple time zones, a countdown timer, a chronograph and alarms. It’s all packaged in a hefty 51-millimeter aerospace-grade titanium case. You’ll be the envy of the Explorer’s Club with this one on your wrist.

SPOT Messenger Gen3

Maybe your small wrist won’t support a 51-millimeter watch. Or maybe you want to wear your leopard dial Rolex Daytona when you’re rounding the Horn. Or maybe you just don’t have 15 grand to drop on a watch. What’s a small-wristed, penny-pinching adventurer to do? The SPOT Messenger Gen3 ($170) can save your hide at a fraction of the cost (unless you’re footing the bill for that chopper evac). Press the SOS button with a clear view of the sky and you’ll let the GEOS International Emergency Response Center know it’s time to send in the cavalry. Beyond the SOS function, the SPOT also has the added functionality of sending pre-programmed custom messages and “I’m OK” pings to loved ones back home, and also charts your route online so you can relive your adventure (read: “brag”) when you’re back at the office. Sure, it’s 66 millimeters across and bright orange, but clip it to your survival suit and slap a G-Shock on your wrist and you’ve got the same functionality as the Emergency with enough money left over to buy that sailboat you’re going to wreck.