Suunto has launched a new all-singing, all-dancing AMBIT Watch, which it says is ‘the first true GPS watch for Explorers’ and features not just GPS but a range of mountain-friendly additional features.
The watch, which has classic Suunto lines, combines a GPS navigation system – the first Suunto watch to have one – with an altimeter, a 3D compass and heart rate monitor in a single ‘robust instrument’ that looks, well, like a watch.
Swiss Machine Approved
It seems to have got Swiss Machine Ueli Steck all hot and bothered to:”I can’t wait to get my hands on the AMBIT,” he says. “It has everything a mountain athlete could want — heart rate function for training, barometer for weather forecasting, altimeter for navigation and logging vertical gain and best of all, a GPS for location and an accurate trace.
“It’s great for everything I do, whether training with speed, distance and heart rate or for proving my climbing records.”
Six times world mountain running champion Jonathan Wyatt is similarly enthused commenting: “As a trail runner and mountain athlete, what I need in a watch is a heart rate monitor, speed & distance, and altimeter. The AMBIT has all these features in one unit which is really exciting”.
The built-in GPS unit means that waypoints and, presumably, routes, can be pre-loaded and used to find your way across the hills. Waypoints can be displayed in different formats. Right now, Ordnance Survey grid references aren’t an option, but we’re told it’s something that Suunto is looking at.
In addition the AMBIT will create a tracklog of your journey, will display temperature, incorporates a barometric sensor for weather prediction and has a ‘unique 3D compass’.
The watch uses a technology called Suunto FusedSpeed, which uses a built-in accelerometer in conjunction with the usual GPS signals to give more accurate speed data.
That should be handy if you use the watch as a training tool, since it’s also a highly advanced heart rate monitor that will record training data for download and analysis later. It will even predict the recovery time you should take for optimum rebuilding before your next training session.
‘Built To Last’
It’s all packaged in Suunto’s BuiltToLast – no, there are no missing gaps – casing and has a battery life of up to 50 hours in full GPS mode. It’s also water resistant to 100m, so a wet day in the Pennines should be a walk in the park.
Looks like an interesting bit of kit with a neat mix of GPS and all-round training and outdoors capabilities in a watch-shaped package from a brand with real pedigree when it comes to outdoor-friendly precision instruments.
The AMBIT will be on sale from March 2012 and comes with or without a heart rate belt. The UK price is £350 without a HR belt and £400 with.
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More Suunto information at www.suunto.com.