altimeter watch recommendations

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altimeter watch recommendations

by e-doc » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:15 pm

Any recommendations for altimer watches?

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Re: altimeter watch recommendations

by chasegru » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:48 pm

I like Suunto Core.

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Re: altimeter watch recommendations

by Luc » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:44 pm

the Core is good, I find that the Altimax was easier to get where you wanted to go and do.

Like having to go through the whole menu to set the countdown timer.

Get the plastic case, it's lighter cheaper and has the same internals.
Also head for the regular (light grey) background, the black background is hard to read unless you're looking dead on.

might also have less info in the logs than the Altimax/Vector/Observer (average ascent descent speeds, total runs) but I've got a GPS now so I haven't looked deeper into it.

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Re: altimeter watch recommendations

by DanTheMan » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:16 pm

I like my Texas Instruments Chronos for the low price ($50) and geekiness (reprogrammable). The temperature-compensated pressure transducer also has a very high resolution, with one meter accuracy. Apparently the transducer it is capable of going down to 8 cm accuracy at a higher power consumption rate, but that would require some reprogramming.
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Re: altimeter watch recommendations

by Tonka » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:29 pm

I've had the same Nike (Lance Armstrong Titanium edition) that I've been using for years which has been a good all around sport watch. I really don't use many of the funtions (Compass, weather, temp etc..) but it's been a great watch. I bought it on SP probably 6 years ago for 100 bucks. New they were around 300. Now that a good GPS can be had for around the same price as a high-end watch that may be a better option. I'm looking into myself.

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Re: altimeter watch recommendations

by zeroforhire » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:46 pm

Look into the Suunto x6m. Similar layout as the core as far as the menu navigation is concerned, but much more durable.

It even looks good off the mountain.

Check ebay from time to time... I bought mine for around $100. Fantastic watch.

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Re: altimeter watch recommendations

by Brewer » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:39 am

I have had a Sunnto Core for a couple years now, and while I like it, it has issues:

Alarm is very faint.
Backlight is very faint.
It eats batteries very fast.
The lower-right function button has nearly quit working, necessitating a very hard button press to get it to work (very hard as in "press it against a rock with both hands" - pain in the ass when needing to calibrate altimeter).
Excess wrist-band containment strap broke far too soon. Replaced with rubber o-ring.

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Re: altimeter watch recommendations

by Tomek Lodowy » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:27 am

Checking hundreds of technical reviews and users' opinions I am almost ready to take Suunto Vector. I know it is very much classical model, but I haven't ever used such equipment and maybe I could find anybody here having some experience with it ? How long approximately does the battery live ? and what about the accuracy of those watch altimeters ? Thanks.

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Re: altimeter watch recommendations

by as » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:29 pm

Hi Tomek !
I have had the Suunto Vector for a long time, and I am quite happy with it. Battery lasts for a long time (a year maybe?). Accuracy in altitude does not depend on brand or model, a barometric altimeter is by definition inaccurate as it assumes a model for a standard atmosphere... It can be easily wrong by 50-60m in my experience, but don't remember being off by 100m. The problems are in the frame/case, the plastic case is not very good, it wears easily, the battery compartment cover is hard to open/close after a while, the window is easily scratched, the buttons are exposed to accidents, every time I put on the backpack I hit a button and something happen... maybe they improved it in the new models, I don't know. If I had to buy a new one I would look for a metal case ... ciao

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Re: altimeter watch recommendations

by The Chief » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:15 pm

Second for the Vector. A solid watch and Suunto's warranty program can not be matched. No question replacement policy if the watch fails for any reason other than plain misuse. Have had two replaced, free of charge, over the past ten years! And believe me, they should have been thrown in the trash after what they looked like, literally. I use the shit outta em.

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Re: altimeter watch recommendations

by radson » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:35 pm

I can't stand Suunto watches. They have poor alarm and lights, battery seems to last only months and straps brake costantly. I much prefer Casio. It's solar powered for starters so I never have to worry if it will fail on a long trip, plus the alarm is louder, easier to read, better light and the strap seems to be specially engineered so that it stays on my wrist.

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Re: altimeter watch recommendations

by fatdad » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:15 pm

All the replies above look solid and, if I were to buy an altimeter watch just for backcountry use, I'd probably buy the Suunto. However, when I went to buy a watch with an alitmeter, I always needed a nicer looker watch that I could wear in the city, so I bought a Tissot T-touch. I've been really happy with it--altimeter, compass, chrono, etc. It is more limited that the others mentioned (no light, heavier, etc.) but it's been a better fit for me since it's the watch I usually wear with a suit, which I wear about 3x a week. In contrast, I only use it mt. biking or hiking once or twice a week max. For my schedule nowadays, thought, that's been an adequate comprimise.

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Re: altimeter watch recommendations

by alleyehave » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:03 am

I will second(third? fourth) the suunto core, and I can vouch for their customer service. I bought one of their watches 3-4 years ago(mind you for $86 at an REI used gear sale), broke it 2 years ago(completely my fault), kept it in a box, finally decided to mail it in a month ago. After reading their website, I figured repair cost would start at around $40, and anticipated as much as $150. I went to their site, filled out a form, printed out a fedex shipping label, shipped it off(they said $8 just to ship). Less than two weeks later, I get what looks like a brand new core, same color/strap however, with NO bill whatsoever. Just took it up whitney and it was more accurate than my buddies GPS.

You will pay, but you get what you pay for. I'm sold on suunto.

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Re: altimeter watch recommendations

by WouterB » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:53 pm

Suunto Vector HR, so I can also train with it. No complaints.

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Re: altimeter watch recommendations

by RickF » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:17 am

I had a Suunto. It was expensive and the altimeter feature rarely worked. When I switched to Altimeter mode the display would stay blank 80% of the time. The functions and programing were not user-friendly. It was purchased on-line as gift from my wife. I tried there on-line and telephone customer support without any success. When the battery went dead after little over one year I ditched the Suunto and got a Casio Pathfinder. The Casio is less expensive, the altimeter always works and it way more user-friendly.


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