Last year Sunnto released the Core series of watches, attempting to merge style with Sunnto’s almost legendary mixture of features and functions in what they call “wristop computers.” The Core line does a great job of combining the functions that Suunto is known for. You get an altimeter (measuring altitude), barometer (barometric pressure for weather status and predictions), thermometer, digital compass, depth meter (up to 30 meters), sunrise and sunset times, and of course all the other features you would expect such as a timer, stopwatch, alarms, full calendar, and dual times. You might be saying to yourself, “sure it can do all that, but I’ll never remember how to use it or access all that information.” This is a valid concern, but to be honest, my experience with Suunto watches (I do own one) is that they are incredibly logical to use. The 5 available buttons on the case make it so that you don’t need to frequently dive through menus or function trees to get what you want. If I have to mess with a watch for too long to figure it out, I stop wearing it. Actually you can read all about the Sunnto Core’s features right here from Suunto themselves (and its not even in Finnish).
Suunto gave the Core line many styles with steel, rubber, or leather strap options. This is good news for those who desire the available features, but don’t want their watch giving off too much of an “outdoorsy” look. There are actually 6 different models at this time, with more likely to come. Unlike some of the previous Suunto watches, the Core, while still large, has a much cleaner look. The Vector range that is similar to it made wearers look like they were right about to go for a dive. The Core range is decidedly more metropolitan, and fares well in urban jungle along with on a trail, underwater, or on a slope.
Another thing that Suunto does is offer inverted LCD screens. This way you can avoid the standard look of LCD screen making the numbers lighter than the black background, as opposed to dark number on a light background. This is a cool feature which I appreciate as it greatly enhances the look of an LCD screen. Suunto has always made good looking “tool” watches that are both functional and easy to live with. Their competitors are a range of smaller dive watch makers along with the Casio Pathfinder series. I prefer Suunto for their euro-cool attitude and appealing designs. They feel as though they are designed by the people who use them, as opposed to an engineer who is strictly concerned with functionality and could careless about how the watch looks or the ergonomics. That, combined with fair prices (about $150 – $300 for the Core line) make for a great watch to add to your collection.