I have spent years ratcheting watch straps to the point of near circulation loss just to get giant, silver-dollar-size bezels to sit flush against my wrist.
I have spent years ratcheting watch straps to the point of near circulation loss just to get giant, silver-dollar-size bezels to sit flush against my wrist. (Courtesy Suunto)

First Look: The Suunto 9 Peak

The Finnish watch company recently announced its thinnest, lightest model to date. We got an advanced sample.

I have spent years ratcheting watch straps to the point of near circulation loss just to get giant, silver-dollar-size bezels to sit flush against my wrist.

Sports watches have grown ever more advanced over the last decade. Astronomical battery lives; highly accurate sensors for heart rate, altitude, and GPS; detailed mapping functionality; smart features that use algorithms to tell you how well you’re sleeping, how long you need to recover, how much fuel you need to consume … you name it, and you can probably find a fitness watch that does it. Unfortunately, all that fancy technology comes with one significant trade-off: bulk. 

The more sophisticated sport watches have gotten, the bigger they’ve gotten. For some, this just means it’s harder to fit your watch underneath a jacket sleeve—a minor annoyance. For anyone with small wrists, it’s a much bigger problem. 

Personally, I fall into the latter camp. I have spent years ratcheting watch straps to the point of near circulation loss just to get giant, silver-dollar-size bezels to sit flush against my wrist. So when Suunto announced its new Suunto 9 Peak ($569), the lightest and thinnest model the Finnish brand has ever debuted, I jumped at the chance to test it out. 

It landed on my desk a week ago. Out of the box, I immediately noticed the difference between this watch and pretty much every other advanced sports tracker on the market. It weighs 2.2 ounces, on par with Garmin’s smallest Fenix watch. But it comes in a titanium version ($699) that weighs just 1.8 ounces. It’s also thinner—just over ten millimeters top to bottom—and boasts a sleek silhouette that looks more like a smartwatch than a clunky wrist computer. 

Still, it offers most of the same features Suunto users have come to expect: GPS and Glonass satellite connectivity, 24/7 optical heart rate, barometric and GPS altimeter, built-in interval training, mapping, sleep tracking, recovery tracking, and a long list of customizable sport modes. It lasts 14 days on a charge in regular watch mode, and anywhere from 25 to 170 hours in GPS mode, depending on the tracking frequency you select. 

So far I’ve used it for three runs and two strength sessions, and two full days of work. I’ll be continuing to test it out over the next month. Stay tuned for a more in-depth review. 

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Lead Photo: Courtesy Suunto
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