Whoops, its a clear case of watch freeze-up. Thats not surprising; there are lots of watches out there and lots of good choices.
Of course, the Suunto Vector ($199; suunto.com) watcher, wrist-top computeris a near-classic. It combines an altimeter, barometer, and compass with the usual watch tools day/date, alarm, stopwatch, etc. It has been around several years, is tried and true, and would be a solid purchase.
St. Moritz is based in Vancouver, B.C. Ive touted several of their watches over the years because theyre well designed and exceptionally rugged, with titanium or steel bodies and crystal faces. I used a Momentum VS-1 ($200; st-moritz.com) last year on several hikes, climbs, and long bike tours in the mountains and came to like it very much. Like all of these watches, sussing out the fine points of operation is a little tricky (not helped by the fact the VS-1 manual is printed in type thats about three ink atoms in width). But generally its intuitive and the features are great. Besides, these things are as much for entertainment as anything else. And the Vs-1 has features such as little sun, rain, and cloud graphics, derived from its barometer function, which is surprisingly accurate. And it has a little bar graph that shows your relative altitude and the ups and downs of the past hours or miles.
One feature that I especially like is that if the watch doesnt sense any vertical movement for an hour or so, it locks down" the altitude so it doesnt respond to barometric changes. Overall, its accuracy is extremely good. And its more ruggedly built than the Suunto. Price is about $200.
Myself, if I were shopping for a watch, Id get the St. Moritz.
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