I have now had my Suunto Core All Black Military watch for just over 2 years (2 years & 2 months to be close to exact). It has been my every day watch, and of course, my go-to watch for backpacking, since the day it showed up in my mailbox. Before purchasing this watch, I was sporting a High Gear Axio Max watch, which was a nice watch, however, some of the functions of the Suunto Core seemed to be more what I was after. So, in my search, I found a Suunto Core for $60 off its suggested price of $300, and in the color configuration I wanted, the negative display, so I bought it.
Of course, I posted an unboxing video of the watch at that point in time, and then after a year of use, I posted a follow-up video too. Now, after another year of use, and still getting lots of comments on those first 2 videos, I figured it was time to do another follow-up video…
As mentioned in my 1 year follow-up video, the only issue that I found with the watch was that in temps around freezing or below, the backlight acted up and wouldn’t light up until the watch was warmed back up. Even after changing out the battery, I still experienced the same results, so, this is kind of a bummer, and especially so since this is a $300 watch (which is expensive to me). However, to be fair, I have read reports of LCD readings, or backlights not working right on lots of other watches that fall in the same category as the Suunto Core once the temps take a dip. That still doesn’t make it better really, but it takes away some of the sting…
The battery life has shown me twice now that about a year is the average life expectancy from the single CR2032 battery. This is completely acceptable to me, and especially so since these batteries are so easy to find, and quite inexpensive. But the best part is, I can change the battery out myself at home! No special tools required, and no reason to have to send it in, or take it to a dealership to have it done for me. All I need is a nickel, a new battery, and about 1.5 minutes, and I am all set!
Aesthetically, the watch is scratched up a bit more since the 1 year mark, but that is expected. While I am not completely mindless about my watch, I don’t take the time to treat it delicately. It bumps into door faces, walls, tables, etc… on a daily basis. When I use it hiking, it has fallen against rocks when removing it, bumped rocks while navigating over/through them, hit trees while walking between them, and who knows what else. The black along the rim of the bezel is almost completely gone now, however, this is pretty much the only area with any real wear from these bumps along the way. The crystal is still scratch free, and just as clear as the day I opened it, which is what matters to me.
Functionally, all the features still work as expected since the day I started using it. The displayed time seems to stay true when compared to the time on my phone. The altimeter still seems to stay relatively true, however, over the last few hikes, the ever-changing weather conditions seemed to give it a hard time and I often found myself resetting the reference twice a day (morning and night) when I was at areas of known elevation. I have never used the compass, and as neat as it seems, I have still yet to use the log’s on the watch to record my elevation… I never remember it to be honest… And of course, I sometimes use the stopwatch or the timer, which also still works just fine.
The only real problem I can report on my Suunto Core since the 1 year follow-up is one of the buttons has gotten really hard to press. The top left button, which starts and stops the stopwatch, or the timer, has gotten to where it sometimes doesn’t respond when pressing the button. It seems that if I don’t use it for a while, it gets worse, but after using it a couple of times, it becomes a little more responsive. The problem is I have to press the button really hard to get it to work, and sometimes that takes a bit of pressing… So, I feel like this button will likely stop working all together sometime in the future… when that is, I have no clue. I can send it back in to have it repaired, however, my warranty is about 2 months expired now, and I am not looking to put more money into this watch.
Overall, the watch has been fine, although, between the backlight issue, and now the button issue, I can’t say that I would replace this watch with another Core. As I mentioned, this is also my every day watch, but I am thinking of getting another watch for every day use, and resigning the Core to backpacking use only. Saying this, I really do like the watch. I still love the negative display, and I love the way the features are set-up. The size is about perfect for me (or maybe I have just gotten used to it) and it’s pretty comfortable to wear. As well, 2 of my other friends have had this same watch for even longer than I have, and they have not had any issues with theirs that they have mentioned…
At this point, I can’t say that I regret buying the watch, although, it would have been nice if I could have got it for cheaper… but then again, that’s with anything. As well, a lot of folks have been asking me if I would suggest this watch, and I honestly can’t say one way or another. Reason being, I haven’t used any other watch to really compare it too (other than the High Gear, which isn’t available any more). The best suggestion I can give to someone else considering this watch is to make a list of what you want in a watch, and then start checking off boxes and go with the watch that has more boxes ticked off.
So, I want to finish by saying, I don’t know if I will do another follow-up on this watch. It will really depend on if I continue using it as my every day watch or not… So, until then, thanks for stopping by!
Disclaimer: I paid for this watch with my own, hard-earned monies. I am not affiliated with Suunto, and am not receiving any sort of perks for sharing my thoughts on this watch.