Suuntos New Traverse GPS Hiking Watch
Navigations specialist Suunto has launched a new walking-specific GPS watch called the Traverse, which mixes traditional mountain watch features like an altimeter and barometer, with advanced, on-the-wrist GPS navigation using topographic maps. All that and it looks like a traditional watch too.
Suunto says the watch is easy to use with quick access to its main features. The GPS element means you can monitor your progress as you go, keeping an eye on altitude, elevation gain and distance travelled and there's also an automatic breadcrumb track to make it straightforward to run away back to your start point if everything becomes a little too much for you.
Most importantly for walkers and hikers, you can plan out routes in advance using Suunto Movescount software then upload the route to your watch and follow it on the ground using topographic mapping on your wrist.
Altitude, vertical gain and total ascent are, it says here, calculated by a combination of GPS data and FusedAlti™, barometric pressure information. There's even a 'storm alarm' which warns of impending doom with a silent vibration alert to minimise aural disruption.
Alongside the navigational features, Suunto has also incorporated some modish activity tracking functions so you can record daily step counts and approximate calorific consumption.
Finally, the watch interacts with the Suunto Movescount App, allowing you to adjust settings using your smartphone, transfer recorded activities to the app and 'stay up to date with incoming calls, texts and push notifications' smartwatch style.
Hard to judge the scale of the watch from the images provided, but it's a traditional design and Suunto says that a new antenna construction keeps lines streamlined and gives 'an excellent fit on all wrists', something that can be an issue when bulky watches meet smaller wrists.
The case is made of a lightweight composite with a stainless steel bezel protecting the recessed screen and the total weight is claimed at 80g. The watch is water resistant to 100m and is compatible with GPS only initially, but will also be able to use the Russian GLONASS system 'later this year'.
Battery life from the USB-rechargeable lithium ion cell under normal use is claimed as around 100 hours or 14 days in time mode, though that'll vary enormously with navigational use. And yes, it does also tell the time...
Available right about now for £285 you can find full details at www.suunto.com/traversecollection