With only one touch of a button, the Suunto Observer
gives you accumulative ascent/descent and number of runs skied
while you are recording a logbook. (Last night’s Snow King run)
As a backcountry skier, I’ve come to the conclusion that the best feature to have in an altimeter watch is a running total of your accumulative ascent and descent while you are actually skiing. Nearly all Suunto watches track this in the logbook, but only a few actually let you view them with only one push of a button. Enter the Suunto Observer.
The Suunto Observer comes in 3 styles and 2 have a high contrast, reverse LCD display that is easy to read in bright sunlight and at an angle. This is actually very noticeable when compared to other black-on-grey style displays. The Observer is more shock resistant than other Suunto models which also makes it great for high speed, outdoor activities. It has all the typical features that most Suunto altimeter watches have like barometric pressure, compass, stopwatch and a multitude of time and altitude alarms to keep you busy. But the best feature is the QUICK button, which automatically reads of accumulative ascent, descent and runs skied (any continuous descent over 150′) from any display window you are currently in. This is a very skier specific feature and great when you’re logging in the laps and dizzy from exhaustion.
The Observer is much smaller in profile than the popular CORE model.
I’ve been rocking the titanium TT model lately, which adds extra durability and weighs only 75g.. And for those that think that all altimeter watches are big and bulky, the Observer has the lowest profile of all of Suunto’s offerings and fits nicely on my skinny, rando wrists. Which is nice, because I know it will be on them for the next 8 months.
Good timing! I have been trying to decide between the Observer and the Core. If you had to choose one, which would you pick?
If you’re into trcking vert when you ski…I’d go for the Observer…mainly becaseu you can easily track your totals while you’re skiing.
The CORE is a great all around model…and has great displays for ascent/descent/baro…more features overall really.
Outstanding, thanks for the advice!
I still miss my Avocet Vertech, but it died and Avocet didn’t fix it right. I’ve got the X6HR now and like it a lot, but now wish it had that Quick button! My backup is a cheaper but accurate High Gear Aerial.
I’ve had an X6HR in the past…and it is probably the best option from Suunto if you are looking for something that tracks heartrate AND has all the features of a full service altimeter watch. But man…that damn QUICK button on the Observer sure is worth a lot!!!!!!
the core will show you vert while the log runs too. in altimeter mode, hit view (bottom left) until the lower row changes to total ascent. it updates periodically, not every foot, but often enough.
I’m not sure if that is accurate Hart…maybe I’m wrong. I believe that is a ‘start from zero’ vertical read out…which goes up and down depending on how far you are from where you started. For example…
You start at 1000′ above sea level and climb to 3000’…the ‘start from zero’ feature would read 2000′. Then you ski down 1000′ to 2000′ above sea level. Now, the ‘start from zero’ feature would read 1000′. You ski back to where you started…now it reads 0.
I know how to get cummulative ascent on my X6. Does anyone know if I can get cummulative descent also, and how?
It’s been a couple years since I used an X-series Suunto, but isn’t cumulative descent just another display/window once you have accessed the logbook??
Timely post, Steve – REI just replaced my Core (“increase” button stopped working) and I may swap it for the Observer while it’s new in the box. The Quick button would be a nice feature.
Maybe it’s just me (somewhat technically-challenged) but the Core’s manual doesn’t do a very good job of explaining using the logbooks. If you’re bored and looking for a topic I’d love to have them explained by an expert.
Having the same question about cumulative descent, I scoured the X6HR manual and did not find anything. Looks like only ascent is shown during an active logbook session, but both asc & desc are tracked in the logbook post-event.