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Suunto Core--What say you?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by BOSS1, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. BOSS1

    BOSS1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    Greetings all,

    Well, 'The Clymb' had a deal running on Suunto Core watches that was too good for me to pass up (I'd been looking at the Vector for while). It's the Lava Red version with the standard face. The 'Negative' face is cool looking, but I could see (and have heard) it can be difficult to read in certain conditions. The standard face seemed like it would be much easier to read. Plus I like the Red...its a good, distinctive shade and I don't have any other watches with that color scheme. It doesn't have the rotating bezel as some other versions, but truth be told, I'd don't think I've ever used that feature on any of the watches I have that do have it.

    So in any event, it still sits in its nice little box until I have a some time to get it up and running with minimal interruption. By and large, most of the things I've heard about the watch are pretty positive. It seems to be by all accounts to be a pretty reputable, durable, and functional outdoorsy wrist computer. The compass configuring might be a little bit of a challenge (deviation input), but I'll toy with that a bit. While it is electronic (oh my, it could fail at any moment!!) and yes, *sigh* made in China (but designed in Finland!!), and no substitute for other more tradition means, I think it'll be a good companion for outdoor excursions.

    So in any event, any other Suunto Core wearer's that can share some bits of experience/wisdom?

  2. nickortizzle1035


    Dec 30, 2009
    I've had a core orange for years and love it. The compass is easy as pie to calibrate. The alto/baro is kind of a pain in ass, but it has saved my bacon many times while out in the woods when the pressure drops. Mine has a nasty issue of the buttons getting gunked up and not working properly, so once a year I disassemble the watch and very carefully clean them out. Last summer I picked up the Xlander military. I like that one a little bit better. The only thing I think it is lacking is that it doesn't have a sunrise/ sunset indicator, but it is made in Finland instead on China which is a huge plus
  3. Brian Andrews

    Brian Andrews

    Dec 11, 2006
    I was given a used core, used it for a couple years, and then passed on the love and gave it to someone who really wanted one.

    Keep in mind, that I don't even wear a watch now so my thoughts may not apply to you, but you might find something interesting in here :)

    First, is durability. I never had any issues with mine functioning. It was beat up, scratched up, and the face scratched easily on the model I had. But, it always worked.

    I used to teach, and still write a lot about land nav. So, I am hard core, old school map and compass guy. I just don't like digital compasses. I don't know what it is, but I just don't like them, and never used it much on this watch.

    Altimeter is actually pretty neat. As an everyday function, you probably won't use it very much. I my home neck of the woods, it is not very useful in the woods either (just not enough drastic elevation changes). But, when it the mountains, I liked it a lot. At the trailhead, you know the elevation, so you just make sure to adjust it before you start. As long as there are no crazy changes in barometric pressure, and you watch the weather patterns, it is pretty neat to know your current elevation. With a good map, and only know grossly where you are at, you can look at the elevation lines and pretty much pinpoint your spot on the trail because of that alone. If you are using a GPS, this probably doesn't do you much good. But, for me navigating with a map and compass, quick glances at elevation was kind of handy.

    Barometric Pressure is kind of a neat thing, more so for watching the trends. While it was neat, in the end I can live without it. The trends would show when bad weather was coming in, bu it was nothing that you couldn't feel was happening anyway. So, while it was neat the have the graph, I never found it necessary.

    Temperature is the one thing I miss. Granted, it has to be removed from your body, or your body heat inflates the temperature. But, there are many time winter camping where I take it off, set it aside for 30 minutes or so, and figure out what the temp is. It was pretty neat to know, and I still remember some temps. Like yeah, when we camped out at that spot, at 10 pm it was 8 degrees F. So, that is pretty cool.

    That is about all my experience.

  4. fx17


    Feb 21, 2014
    I've had one for 5-6 years now, and I love it. I sent it in once, when it was about 9 months old, for a button that wasn't working on they sent me a new one for free.

    It has a Sapphire Crystal, but I did manage to get a scratch on it once. After that, I put a Zagg screen protector on it, to prevent more scratches. I'm rough on watches that way, and I hate scratches.

    I usually leave the altimeter/barometer in the Auto profile. I also leave the storm alarm turned on. that way its pretty handy, whenever I need it. I'm surprised at how well it tracks in this mode.

    I also figured out what the exact elevation was at my house, so I can calibrate it whenever I need to, really easy.
  5. BOSS1

    BOSS1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 16, 2008

    I wore it for the first time the other day and got it mostly up and running, tho I need to calibrate the altitude a bit (I live near the water, so I can do sea level easy).

    I must say that I'm surprised at how pleased I am at this watch. I was a little concerned that it was going to be more awkward/bulky, but it actually fits quite nicely, and has a very professional, presentable look. I am glad I went with the normal screen...it is very clean and easy to read. It is fairly easy to do most of the navigation around the watch, but I'll need a little more practice to get all the sub-modes/settings down. Compass seems fairly accurate with the declination entered (aka variation to the nautical types). There also doesn't seem to be tons of lag time...it seems to read/respond to changes fairly quickly. I am actually trying to get out into the trails this weekend and am planning on bringing it along.

    These watches seem to have a fairly good reputation for durability. The only thing I am sort of wondering about is the durability of the strap, which factory ones are like $40 to replace. Hopefully it holds up. I will say that it is very comfortable.

    And FWIW, I did seem to find out that the Lava model appears to be a discontinued/closeout. If you do a search, you will likely find the one outlet offering Core's with 2 extra bands (which is like $80 worth). If the Clymb didn't have a return for store credit only, I'd probably go that route. That's a heckava deal.


  6. erik the red

    erik the red

    Nov 15, 2009
    Love mine. Been wearing it exclusively for 6 years. I've sent it in to Suunto 3 times for faulty buttons. Customer service is fantastic...no questions asked. Make sure you register it online. The band finally cracked on mine so I replaced it with a Zulu strap from the 'bay.
    The battery compartment is a bit of a pain to tighten/loosen but manageable. Overall a pleasant experience.
  7. nyddde


    Oct 31, 2010
    Mine has been great I have had it for 4years+. I use mine as a duty and outdoor watch. The more beat up this thing get the more I like it.

    Changing the battery is alittle nervrecking, aluminium threds. The best way I found to do it is to slowly screw it in the wrong direction and wait untill
    it get proper set straight befor you try and screw the back on.

    I have never used the compass but I love that its super easy to read and I use the day/date and sunset info.

    Im not a fan of the standard rubber strap. It was okey but when I tried the thin "standard" 24mm straps you can get from Suunto
    and you get the fittings that lets you use any other strap or nato straps made the watch 100% more plesent for me.

    Good luck!

  8. BOSS1

    BOSS1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    I did manage to get in a little trail time over the weekend...nothing epic about it...fairly flat along the side of a lake. I did note that the lack in altitude changes kept the watch mostly on Baro readings, but when we did manage to climb/descend a little, it auto pop over to elevation.

    Thus far, I'm pretty happy with it.

  9. nickortizzle1035


    Dec 30, 2009
    90 % of the time the button issue is from dead skin and dirt getting stuck in there. I took mine apart and was amazed at how much filth was under those little buttons. after the cleaning, all the buttons worked like new.
  10. jmclfrsh


    Dec 1, 2012
    I've had an all black military model for about 4 years now and love it. Never had one bit of trouble with it and I wear it almost daily.

    I just wish I had knew about it several years before I did, it would have saved me some money I wasted on all the other watches I bought prior to it.

    Great watch.

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