As others on the forum, I was selected by Suunto to test one of the new Elementum watches. Here is my review of the Terra watch that Suunto was kind enough to send me.
Watch Review By: cb400bill
Watch Brand: Suunto
Watch Model: Elementum Terra
Serial No.: 91300700
Country of Manufacture: Finland
Date Purchased: Received for testing 5/27/09
List Price: $TBA. Estimated US $1000
Date of Review: 6/03/09
Bill's Initial Use Watch Rating
Case, Crystal and Crown.... 10/10
Strap and Buckle.............. 10/10
Packaging and Manual......... 9/10
Ease of Use..................... 10/10
Overall Rating................. 95/100
The Elementum line is a new direction of Altimeter/Barometer/Compass (ABC) watches for Suunto. Suunto is marketing this new line as an upscale watch for the Urban Adventurer. There are 3 models in the Elementum line. The Ventus for sailing, the Aqua for diving, and the Terra for land adventures.
This watch uses a quartz movement with a positive LCD display. There is a stopwatch function that keeps time in hours, minutes and seconds. There are no stopwatch fractions of a second displayed.
Case, Crown, and Crystal
This is a brush finished 45mm case made of corrosion resistant AISI 316L stainless steel. The pushers are also made of AISI 316L stainless steel. The top pusher is knurled for better grip as it is turned as well as pushed when used for various setting functions.
The sapphire crystal has an anti-reflective coating. The crystal is flush with the bezel.
Strap and buckle
The case requires a 22mm band. This Terra came with well constructed and very thick black leather strap with contrasting white stitching. There are also available a black rubber strap and matching finish stainless steel bracelet. The large matching stainless steel buckle is signed.
The LCD display shows many functions at a glance. In time mode, the center of the display indicates the time of day, either in 12 or 24 hour style.
Under the time is displayed the month and date. These can be displayed as either mm/dd or dd/mm style. Above the time display is the elevation display. Elevation can be displayed in either feet or meters.
Above the elevation display is the barometer trend indicator. This indicates the last 6 hours barometric pressure and is used as an indicator of any upcoming weather changes which may be developing. Around the perimeter of the display is the sea level air pressure meter.
The one minus of the Terra's display is the lack of a time-of-day seconds display. Some have stated that this is a "must have" item on a watch. I believe that Suunto chose to omit a seconds display so as to keep the display less cluttered and easier to read at a glance.
Like most quartz digital wristwatches the Terra keeps excellent time. I've not found any official accuracy rating but, when comparing it to my other quartz watches, it is just as accurate as any of them.
The altimeter has a display range of -500 m to 9000 m and a resolution of 1 m.
The barometer has a range of 28.60 to 31.30 inHG and a resolution of 1 hPa.
The 3D compass has a resolution of 1 degree and a maximum tilt angle of 45 degrees.
Packaging and Manual
The Terra comes packed in a very nice signed black carton. Inside the carton is the hard cardboard watch box. The watch is shipped on a soft cushion. Under the cushion is a signed cleaning cloth.
Suunto ships the Terra with an 18 language Quick Guide. This guide shows the owner the basics of how to set the watch up. The full owners guide is available at no charge on Suunto's website.
Initially the thick leather strap was quite stiff but in the first week of wearing the strap has broken in quite nicely. At 10" in total length, the strap should fit on almost any wearer's wrist. The Terra itself is very comfortable for me to wear all day. The three pushers never cause the wearer any discomfort whatsoever.
As an upmarket wristwatch, the Terra presents itself as a good value. The materials used and the watches fit and finish are top notch. The feel of the pushers is very solid. When turning the knurled pusher, the resistance is just the correct amount. At an estimated price of $1000 US, the Terra compares well with other ABC watches in its price range.
Ease of Use
One of the design goals for the Terra was to make the watch easy for the owner to operate and I believe that Suunto has achieved this goal well. Initial setup is a snap. Using the top two pushers to set the various functions is quite intuitive. The bottom pusher changes the display from time keeping to compass mode.
As stated above, the top pusher is knurled to assist with turning it when utilizing it for various setting adjustments. The pushers all work smoothly with just the correct amount of resistance.
The LCD display is very clear. The time display is centered on the dial as utilizes larger digits than the altitude and date displays.
The back lighting is tinted blue/green and is very bright.
The Terra, with its leather strap weighs in at 95 grams or 3.35 ounces.
I have rated this watch very highly. The Terra is an easy to use, high quality wristwatch. Suunto has used first class materials and workmanship in manufacturing the Terra. Everything about this wristwatch just oozes quality. If you are in the market for a high quality ABC watch, the Terra should be on your shopping list.