Well my Core Aluminum landed today and I am blown away with how good it looks. The quality is top notch. The button push is sooo much smoother and mirrors the feel of the X6M. Yea, its that good. If you look closely at some of my pics, you can see a stainless steel collar that surrounds the buttons as they protrude from the aluminum watch case. The buttons are set in like a piston. This collar is not on the plastic Cores and can only be found on the Aluminum or Steel Core. This could explain why the button push is noticeably better.
The specs are :Suunto Core Alu Black. Mode# SS014280010. Serial number is 009*****. Of course this means it was built in March of 2010. It has a software of 1.1.0 and hardware of 3A. Needless to say I am happy it is a post 2009 model. The factory contrast was set to 5 and I bumped it up to 6 or 7 just because. I didnt see any ghosting at these setting. At 10 ghosting was obvious. The negative display is supper sharp. Its like Suunto may have tweaked the screen display. Anyway, my first impressions are breathless.
The Aluminum makes the watch look organic or something out of a high tech aircraft. It has the same shade and texture of aluminum as the knobs and switches in my Audi S. The bezel is almost seamless. So seamless I didnt know the inner part of the bezel with the button labels didnt turn. It fits tight and seamless with the outer bezel, it looked to be one solid piece. The watch has a German car feel about it, if that makes any sense?
Bezel turn is solid and tight with a quality feel. No slop, no side movement at all.
The only down side of this watch is the Leather strap. Its not in the same league as the watch. I knew this going in and planned on using the "light black" Core elastimer strap. I really just wanted the matching aluminum lugs to use with a few 24mm rubber dive straps I ordered for this watch. I love to change straps and give the watch a different look from time to time.
The light black Suunto strap breaths better than any other strap I have use on a Core. It also fits seamlessly and tighter into the watch case than my other Cores I have used it on. No gaps what so ever. I love the look. Its gives the watch a very high tech stealth look. I put the watch through all my test. It passed with flying colors. I generally try to get a new watch to fail the first day of ownership.
I used my wife's rubbermade gift wrapping tub and filled it full of 34" of water to test the depth gauge. It read 1 foot at exactly at 12" of water and 2 feet at exactly 24" of water. This is more accurate than my last Core where it needed 16" of water for it to register 1 foot.
The back light seems to be stronger as well?? It still flutters in compass mode but its very good. I am gonna get a pic later. To sum it up: Its like having a old friend back on my wrist. I have and had a lot of different ABC watches and I can comfortably say there is NO other ABC watch that has the graphics and features as the Suunto Core. The Core is THE ABC which all other explorer watches are currently judged by. The aluminum Core is as good as I thought it would be and the all metal case makes huge difference in the button push and bezel feel. I am kinda ticked I waited this long to buy the Core Alu. Its worth the extra money IMO.
Kinda looks like it came out of this movie.