‘Luxury watch’ has leather band, digital face, wilderness sensors inside

With price tags hovering at $950 and up, this spring Suunto will upgrade the look of its Elementum watch line. The “luxury timepiece” collection, first released in 2010, includes models that are sold as high-fashion watches at home in the mountains or ocean as well as in a business setting.

But a digital face and Suunto’s wilderness features — from barometer to compass to underwater depth sensors — are built into the watches, which come in three models.

Updated Elementum watches from Suunto

The styles — the Elementum Aqua, Elementum Terra, and Elementum Ventus — are made respectively for diving, mountaineering, and sailing. Sensors included in the individual models can measure altitude, air pressure, water depth, direction (compass), and more.

The Elementum Aqua has dive sensors that automatically turn on when the wearer enters the water. It then begins logging measurements (depth, dive time, water temperature, etc.) to quantify a dive.

Leather strap, a digital face, and a sleek look make the Elementum unique

I use Suunto watches as tools for navigation and exploration in the wilderness. Indeed, I’ve had a Suunto watch on my wrist for almost every major adventure over the past five years, from a trek to Mount Everest, to the Darwin Mountains of southern Chile, to my training runs and rides at home in Minnesota.

As a daily watch, my Suunto Vector model is handsome but a bit techy perhaps for business types. With its Elementum line Suunto offers a solution, albeit a pricey one, to bridge the gap from fashion to function, from meeting room to mountaintop, no change of wristwatch required before you go.

—Stephen Regenold

Suunto sells its Elementum line for casual or business use as well as outdoors. Photo on right by Kim Havell

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.