For watch snobs, it’s all about the appeal of traditional mechanical movements when it comes to wristwatches. That changed during the 1970s and the quartz revolution, when more accurate and yet more affordable battery-powered quartz movements became popular all over the world. Nowadays it is the dawn of the smartwatch, and that’s spearheaded by watches like the Suunto Traverse Alpha.
Features of the Suunto Traverse Alpha
Suunto advertises this device as a GPS watch for hunting and fishing. They don’t lie or exaggerate—that’s exactly what this is. It’s surely not your typical wristwatch fashion accessory at all.
- This comes with GPS and GLONASS technology, which gives you more precise navigational assistance. With those combined technologies it doesn’t take more than a minute most of the time to get a fix of your location using a satellite. If you’re able to get at least 50% of the sky view, you can get a fix within 15 seconds. The accuracy is terrific as it will display your location on the watch to within 15 to 20 feet of your real location. You can then easily save your current location as a Point of Interest (POI).
- Other GPS features include the automatic breadcrumb trail, which marks your path as you move along the hunting or fishing area. This can help you backtrack and find the places where you found your prey or your fish.
- You have the classic ABC suite of features, which includes the altimeter (for elevation), barometer, and compass. The barometer pressure sensor provides weather readings, and the compass gives you a sense of where you’re going.
- This comes with various other features that help hunters and anglers. These features include automatic shot detection which records the time and your location when you take your shot, vibration alerts for sunsets and sunrises, and a location-based moon phase calendar. The calendar and the vibration alerts can help you find the best times for hunting and fishing, when the lowlight conditions may signal the tendency of your targets to appear.
- This offers several lighting options for you. If you’re in the dark and you want some light, you can illuminate your area with its built-in flashlight. If you’d rather that you weren’t noticed, you can then use a red backlight that’s more discreet and compatible with night vision goggles.
- Like many fine watches, this Finnish watch is handmade. However, it has also been tested against military standards. The sapphire-crystal glass is scratch-resistant, and the nylon strap is durable and water-resistant. The fixed knurled steel bezel helps protect the case as well.
- This can connect to a smartphone through Bluetooth. You can then get mobile notifications and find out about incoming calls through your smart watch.
- In GPS mode when you record your location every second, the watch can last for 10 hours straight. Extend that to recording the GPS location every 5 seconds and it can last for 15 hours. If it’s every minute, the battery life goes up to 100 hours. If you’re just in time mode, the battery can go for 2 whole weeks.
It’s clear why this watch is such a boon for hunting and fishing aficionados:
- The GPS is fantastic. It tracks where you are so you don’t ever get lost. What’s more, you can record spots where you find prey or fish, and then you can get back to that spot for your next visit to get more. The spots you mark can also denote dangerous spots that you should avoid. It really helps that the GPS is accurate and it doesn’t take too long to get a fix on your location
- With this, you can plan when you should be out and ready to hunt or go fish. The alerts for sunrise and sunset as well as the moon phase calendar can tell you the right days and times when you should be ready.
- Like any smart electronic device, it has lighting options to let you see the data when it’s dark. Here you can even see that data with night vision goggles so you don’t reveal your position to hunters. If you want to be seen and you also want to see around you, there’s a built-in flashlight too.
- This is super durable, and that’s great for outdoor work.
You do need to consider a few minor issues.
- You may want to keep it in locked mode sometimes, because bending your wrist may inadvertently push the button to barometer or compass mode. That can drain the battery more quickly.
- It would have been nice to get more hours of GPS use.
If you’re a hunter or an angler, you may want to put this Suunto Traverse Alpha smart watch on your wrist. It’s extremely useful and durable, and its functions are simply just right for your needs. Who care about fashion? Besides, it actually doesn’t look half bad. It looks modern, and super-advanced, and that’s the whole point.