Extreme Travel | Adventure Sports

Suunto Core watch

Essential outdoor timepiece


Essential outdoor functions in a light plastic case


Suunto is a leading designer and manufacturer of sports precision instruments for diving, training, mountaineering, hiking, skiing and sailing. The Core manages to cover most of these activities in its three simple modes – time, alti/baro and compass. But it also does so much more.

You don’t just get the time, you get dual times, the date, alarm and even sunrise and sunset for over 400 locations – perfect for keeping an eye on daylight hours and planning ahead for any activity.

Switch to the altimeter and barometer, you get altitude logs, your difference in heights, weather trend indication including an easy glance graph, digital thermometer, even a storm alarm when the pressure suddenly drops. Fancy a snorkel? The core turns into a depth metre to 10 metres and is accurate to 9,000 metres above sea level.

The compass even tells you to turn left or right to get you back on a selected bearing, has declination options to adjust for magnetic north and lets you know when it needs calibrating.

This particular model sports the trademark black face, they look good but can be difficult to glance at in varying outdoor conditions. Other high contrasting faces are also available.


With lots of these functions becoming the norm, the thing that makes the core stand out is the automatic alti/baro: no longer do I have to remember to switch them over before I hit the hay, and again before I’m climbing. Having lived with an Observer for a few years now, the core has also become more intuitive in its function use, offering clear on screen symbols next to the buttons. The button lock is another trick usually missed: more often than not my Observer would show me the pressure or compass when I simply wanted to glance at the time – thankfully phased out with the core. With several models and styles to choose from, a large face, light feel and tough construction all make for a watch at the heart of any outdoor activity.