Suunto Core Regular Black Digital Watch - SS014809000
|Condition||Brand NEW in box|
|Name Variations||SS014809000, core|
|Case Material||Composite material|
|Case Diameter||50 mm.|
|Band Material||Black Rubber|
|Water Resistance||30 mt. / 100 ft.|
|Watch Features||Alarm, Altimeter, Barometer, Chronograph, Compass, Date, Day, Dual Time|
- Excellent watch- so far so good! Review by David
- great Review by peezy
- Great watch Review by Chris Bartolo
- Not as good as I'd hoped Review by John L. Wamble
I contacted Suunto and told them I was having accuracy issues even when I carefully set the reference elevation before each use. I asked them to provide an accuracy spec so I could determine whether or not I had a defective unit. The response they gave (after a delay of several days) was their standard admonition to "recalibrate". Here's an excerpt:
"The watch will need to be recalibrated from time to time, especially after large changes in the weather of if you have been in a pressurized environment (eg. an airplane).
You can calibrate your watch by entering the sea level pressure or the reference altitude, normally it is easier to use the reference altitude as this can be found fairly easily for any location (visit google earth) and always remains constant.
Even small changes in the weather will result in a small change in displayed altitude."
To which I say a great big "duh". Of course you have to set the elevation every time you intend to use the altimeter for navigation. I had been careful to let them know that I knew this so I was somewhat irritated with their response. Clearly they didn't bother to read what I wrote. This was just the first of several gaffs by Suunto. Let me cut to the point of this part of my review: Suunto customer service is terrible and their website is a train wreck that will have you pulling your hair out. That's all I'll say there.
But back to the Core. I was consistently seeing errors on the order of 4 to 5 percent of the difference between my starting elevation and my destination. For example I'd start at a known trailhead elevation of 4000 feet, set the reference to ~4000 feet, climb to a known peak of 8000 feet and observe the Core to read ~7800 feet. In a white out in the mountains two hundred feet is plenty to get you lost, friend. And it wasn't a single instance, where the sea level air pressure might have been rapidly climbing, it was consistently off. I started carrying an older Suunto altimeter (X3) along for comparison and that did fine. So I'm convinced it was the Core that was the problem. I'd have gotten a replacement Core but Suunto customer service could not give me any reassurance that it wasn't a problem with all Cores. That performance problem alone is enough to render this instrument inadequate but there's one other detail that's troubling. When setting the reference elevation you can't set it very precisely. On my X3 for example, I can set the reference to within one foot, even though that instrument measures only to the meter so the displayed elevation changes in three foot increments. The X3 will then show you your elevation to the nearest three foot increment as measured from your starting reference. That works well. With the Core you can try to set the reference to within three feet (it won't let you enter in one foot increments) but as soon as you leave the setting routine it rounds your starting elevation to the nearest millibar, which translates to about 30 feet. Which is really annoying. In short this is unacceptable to me.
Other aspects of the Core are nice. The watch and various timer functions work well and are easy to learn. The compass works surprisingly well, better than other electronic compasses I've tried. As other reviewers have noted, the thermometer is useless when it's on your wrist. Gee, it's always 85F. I didn't test the thermometer off wrist. And as I said at the beginning, I think it's a good looking piece. I had the "regular black" and even that one was acceptable to my wife. I wouldn't wear it out to a formal occasion but it doesn't scream "geek" as loud as some of these other wrist instruments. (Posted on 10/7/11)
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