Suunto Advizor - Wristwatch or Computer?

Suunto AdvizorIt's midnight on August 31, 2008, the alarm is going to go off in six hours, I'm 970 ft above sea level, the barometer is at 28.90" and rising, I'm facing NW (334 degrees to be precise), the temperature is 82 degrees and my heart rate is 72.  Would you believe that it takes just one tool to give you all this information--a Suunto Advizor Wrist Top Computer? 

The watch part of this wrist-top computer serves the usual time-keeping functions, as well as providing a dual time-zone display and three separate daily alarms. It also displays the date and day.  As you may guess telling time is just a small part of what this amazing watch does.  

One of the Advizor's most important functions is the heart-rate monitor based on wireless technology developed by Polar--the industry leader. The watch displays your current heart rate, and can be set to signal alarms for maximum and minimum rates.  It is the perfect tool for starting that aerobic exercise program.

The barometer displays the current pressure and the LCD around the edge of the watch, which normally displays seconds, acts as a pressure gauge. While in the barometer mode, the watch also displays temperature, though if the watch is worn on the wrist, it is obviously not going to be accurate since body temperature will affect the readings.  The watch displays the barometric trend in a small LCD graph window that is visible in all modes.

The altimeter’s function is based on the barometer--changes in pressure can affect your readings.  Fortunately, the altimeter is adjustable separately from the barometer.  If set correctly the altimeter is accurate to 10 meters. The altitude function also displays the rate of ascent or descent--try it the next time you are on a roller coaster--it's cool. 

The compass works like any standard compass, and displays your heading and true north. The compass can be adjusted for the difference of true north from magnetic north (declination), which changes depending on your latitude & longitude. Using the compass does make the battery wear down quickly—so be judicious in its use.

Is the watch easy to use?  The major functions of the watch are easy to use--I figured them out without a manual.  To figure out and remember all the functions of the watch does require sitting down with a manual.  Other nice touches include the large LCD display and large buttons.  The backlight function is one of the few that I felt could use a bit of improvement.  You have to hold the button down for a couple of seconds before it switches on--

The Suunto AdVizor is an amazing piece of Finnish technology.  Fitting all of those functions in a watch, albeit a large one would not have been possible just a few years ago.  The Suunto line of "wrist-top computers" is the perfect gift for a Dad who likes the great outdoors and gadgets!