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Suunto Core Extreme 

Calling this a watch is rather like calling Big Ben a clock. I do not just mean the size but also the fact that it is a lot of other things as well. Compass, Altitude and Barometer, Stop Watch but sad to say it refuses to make the tea.

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The watch is round 5x5x1.2cm. Its face is silver grey surround on the front with a chrome back. The sides are matt black with a grey black rubber strap. There are a total of five well marked buttons at 10, 2, 4 and 8 with the fifth at 3.

Despite reading the 54 pages of the User Guide that are in English more than once I still found things out by pushing various button combinations. When I referred back to the User Guide I found they were fully mentioned.

I am somewhat surprised that you need to initially set the time and date as most upmarket units tend to use radio frequency to do this. In the ‘time’ mode there are 1cm tall figures to give you the hours and minutes in the centre of the display. Below this in .3cm tall figures can be the day of the week, date and month but a single press of the view ‘8’ button can change this to seconds display and this also is shown around the outside of the dial by two ‘11’ figures. Various other presses can leave this area clear, display sunrise and sunset times as well as other functions.

In the area between time and day/date etc are the three modes Time, Altitude and Barometer, Compass and a single press of the Mode ‘3’ button toggles you to the next setting.

Altitude needs to be set at a known figure and while this might be more of use to those hiking or mountaineering it can sometimes be useful to mere mortals. Barometer also needs setting from a known figure and not only is the current reading displayed it also shows the current temperature. However this is a stared facility meaning that to get Barometer reading you need to set it in the menus and you then do not get Altitude readings. I think it would be better to have them as separate toggles so that a single push on mode would take you from Time to Altitude to Barometer to Compass and then back to time again rather than having to choose between Altitude or Barometer as the middle toggle option, this is easy to adjust after you have done it several times but not initially unless you have taken the User Guide out with you on your travels.

Compass is again a facility that needs to be used as it returns a degree figure IE 247 and all the time you walk in a straight line it continues that display so you can get an accurate figure after one minute this display will show set compass and you need to press the mode button again to start compass and this means three presses on the mode button to toggle back to compass reading, all the time the time is shown as the smaller lower figure.     

There is of course an alarm feature as well as countdown time and stopwatch. There is also a backlight function.

Time can be 12hour or 24hour display. Date can be day and month or month and day. Temperature can be Celsius or Fahrenheit. Air Pressure can be hPa or inHg. Altitude can be metres or feet.

The weather trend indicator (shown as a long arrow) above the main time when Barometer is the chosen second option can be useful when out walking or hiking as a nice long horizontal arrow shows settled weather whereas an upward or downward trend could mean time to find shelter as conditions are beginning to change.

More details are available from http://www.suunto.com/en/ The model on the link below has a red ring (as opposed to black) but seems the same otherwise and is available at £274.84 with free delivery.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002MDN9XS?ie=UTF8&tag=gadge0a-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634

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OverallSuunto Core Extreme rated 68 out of 100

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