Suunto is a Finnish brand with more than half a century’s worth of adventure heritage. What began over 80 years ago as the brainchild of outdoor enthusiast and champion oreinteer, Tuomas Vohlonen- who designed a liquid-filled compass with more accurate readings than the traditional dry compass- has developed into the market leader in dive computers and GPS timepieces.
During WWII, Suunto introduced a compact liquid sighting compass for artillery officers in need of precision navigation. By the mid 50s, the brand had begun producing orienteering and marine compases which were sold world over. In 1965, a British diver found that the Suunto compass also worked underwater, spawning Suunto Diving which, by 1987, was the leader in its field.
Fast forward 30 years- and countless technological advances later- and Suunto is still based in Finland, just outside Helsinki where they work closely with outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers to constantly evolve and improve their offering.
The Traverse Amber is one of Suunto’s first outdoor-specific watches, and we love it! Crafted from brushed-stainless steel, the grey face looks great against the contrasting orange silicone strap, and weighing in at 80g it feels solid, but not too big.
The Suunto Amber is packed with lots useful features which, once you’ve had the luxury of using, you won’t want to go back. The GPS functionality of the watch allows you to not only find accurate coordinates of your location at any moment, but also plan a route in the Movescount app and then download it to the watch to follow at a later date. You can also record your movement when out hiking, running, swimming, cycling… The list goes on.
When used to plot a route, the interface allows you to follow a track using arrows and way-markers, however, the map isn’t complex enough to rely on entirely. With no contour lines, it’s easy to lose sight of where you’re heading. But when used with a paper map at the same time, it’s an excellent tool.
We’ve used the watch out hiking in the hills, running on the trails, cycling on the roads and swimming in open water. Each time, it’s been an invaluable tool. When training (running, cycling and swimming), the watch gives you real time pace and splits, keeping you on track. You have the option to personalise the display in whichever mode you are using. For example when running you can display total distance, average pace per km and time elapsed on one screen.
The watch can also be linked up to a heart rate monitor for even more in-depth data for your training, as well as the expected stopwatch, countdown timer and even checking what time it is!
The altimeter and barometer are useful functions when out in the mountains, although we’ve not had a chance to really put the altimeter to the test in alpine conditions yet (apart from watching the number rise on a plane). The watch even beeps when the air pressure drops, indicating a storm is close!
Furthermore, the orange strap looks great both out on an adventure, and when worn casually. The chunky watch feels mechanically solid and takes the knocks involved with climbing and scrambling like a trooper.
- GPS and GLONASS for route and POI navigation
- Real time breadcrumb view of the recorded track
- Tracking for speed, distance and altitude
- Route planning in Suunto Movescount with topographic maps
- Route preview and route altitude profile on the watch
- Discover new routes with heatmaps on Suunto Movescount and Suunto Movescount App
- 100 m/330 ft water resistant
- Altitude (FusedAlti™)
- Weather trend and storm alarm
- Sunrise-sunset times
- Backlight in flashlight mode
- GPS time update
- Vibration alarm
- Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly activity tracking of steps and calories
- Mobile notifications
- Compatible with Suunto Movescount App (iOS and Android)