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After ten years, it is time to replace my Casio G-Shock Gulfman G9100-1. I'm looking to replace it with a G-Shock and have asked for help in the Casio forum. BUT, I am intrigued by Suunto.

Given the following requirements, do you think Suunto is suitable and if so which model would you recommend:


  • Time.
  • Stopwatch.
  • Countdown Timer. Auto repeat. 1 sec measuring unit. This is important for intervals. So I can do 30/30 seconds as an example.
  • Button Tone Operation On/Off.
  • 12/24 Hour Formats.
  • Can take a beating in hostile and harsh terrain: seawater, sand, mud, desert etc.
  • Good battery life.
Nice to have features:

  • Dual time
  • Solar
  • Vibration for alarms, stopwatch, countdown timer.
  • Stopwatch that records split laps.
All other features are nice to have, but not essential. I am not looking for tide graph, moon data etc. ABC is nice to have, but again not essential. The watch will be used for military purposes. The cost is not important, the watch will be with me for the long term so I'm more interested in finding the right one.
Any help is appreciated.
 

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I only just saw this and I am surprised that no one chimed in earlier. Here is what I would say for Suunto military use watches:

- Vector - fantastic watch... bulletproof, as long as you don't need GPS
- Advizor - equally great, but without GPS - the HR monitor is a plus for some, but when I was young, I just needed a tough watch. This is it.
- Observer - smaller than the others.... but equally reliable. The Black versions are excellent for plain clothes/PPD work, but the alarm is weak
- Xlander Black - like a Vector on steroids....
- X10 - mine was fantastic until it stopped giving me a GPS fix.... survived 2 tours in Afghanistan without a hiccup, but I was at a FOB and didn't have to worry about being in the bush for a month at a time, but this wasn't an issue for me.
- Ambit 3 - all of the above, but my only concern would be on a 2 week patrol - to have to charge a watch every 2 weeks isn't a bad thing, unless you're on a long range recce patrol and can't get access to AC for a while....I'm no longer in the field, but this might be a problem for some

Overall, Suuntos have done tours to Africa, Afghanistan, and the Middle East with me and I've never had anything but great thing to say. You won't be disappointed except that some of these watches are now extremely hard to find.
 

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I only just saw this and I am surprised that no one chimed in earlier. Here is what I would say for Suunto military use watches:

- Vector - fantastic watch... bulletproof, as long as you don't need GPS
- Advizor - equally great, but without GPS - the HR monitor is a plus for some, but when I was young, I just needed a tough watch. This is it.
- Observer - smaller than the others.... but equally reliable. The Black versions are excellent for plain clothes/PPD work, but the alarm is weak
- Xlander Black - like a Vector on steroids....
- X10 - mine was fantastic until it stopped giving me a GPS fix.... survived 2 tours in Afghanistan without a hiccup, but I was at a FOB and didn't have to worry about being in the bush for a month at a time, but this wasn't an issue for me.
- Ambit 3 - all of the above, but my only concern would be on a 2 week patrol - to have to charge a watch every 2 weeks isn't a bad thing, unless you're on a long range recce patrol and can't get access to AC for a while....I'm no longer in the field, but this might be a problem for some

Overall, Suuntos have done tours to Africa, Afghanistan, and the Middle East with me and I've never had anything but great thing to say. You won't be disappointed except that some of these watches are now extremely hard to find.
What are your thoughts on the Suunto Core and Alpha Traverse for military use?
 

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I have several friends who have used both these watches and they rave about them. The common theme amongst these guys is that the Core replaced the Vector/Advizor and the Alpha Traverse replaced the X 10 Military, right down to the red back light. I've never used either of them, but I have friends who use them daily and swear by them.

I've heard a number of horror stories of Suunto watches failing catastrophically - I had an X9 that simply stopped working. I exchanged it through Suunto, no questions asked, and they gave me an X10 as a replacement. I think for a soldier choosing a watch, the big question is do you need GPS. We normally had a hand held GPS with us, like a Garmin with a normal battery, but I sure loved having my X10 that could act as a back up.... 3 is 2, 2 is 1, and 1 is none when you're outside the wire.
 

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I have several friends who have used both these watches and they rave about them. The common theme amongst these guys is that the Core replaced the Vector/Advizor and the Alpha Traverse replaced the X 10 Military, right down to the red back light. I've never used either of them, but I have friends who use them daily and swear by them.

I've heard a number of horror stories of Suunto watches failing catastrophically - I had an X9 that simply stopped working. I exchanged it through Suunto, no questions asked, and they gave me an X10 as a replacement. I think for a soldier choosing a watch, the big question is do you need GPS. We normally had a hand held GPS with us, like a Garmin with a normal battery, but I sure loved having my X10 that could act as a back up.... 3 is 2, 2 is 1, and 1 is none when you're outside the wire.
Just wanted to ask one more thing. I might be able to get a hold of a new Vector and X 10 Military but at a premium. They would cost me more than the Core and Alpha Traverse. Do you think this premium is warranted for these older models or should I just go with one of the new ones? I'm not too fussed about paying the premium as this will be a watch that will see good use for many years. I'm more interested to learn if these older models have something that the new ones don't that make them better.
 

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A premium? If you're getting taken to the cleaners for these watches, even if they're BNIB, I think you're being overcharged. Check out Ebay and see what the going rate for these watches are. Granted they're harder to get, but you shouldn't be dropping huge coin for these watches. In my humble opinion, you should not be paying more for a Vector and an X10 than you would for a Core and Traverse.
 
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