User Review: Nike Lance 4
Price Paid: $220
I've had this watch for 1.5 years and have found it to be quite reliable.
Pros: altimeter works well, easy to use (much more intuitive than Suunto Vector that I saw), useful configuration options, replaceable battery, very comfortable wrist band, looks good
Cons: brushed titanium face scuffs easily - will not always look new; the graphical representation of altitude change over time doesn't make sense to me.
Overall I really like this watch. I've used it numerous times for measuring cumulative elevation gain over local routes that we mountain bike on. It's definitely important to make sure that you use an appropriate time interval in this mode or you will get outrageous numbers, but if you set the watch to take readings every minute, it seems to be pretty accurate.
As with all barometric altimeters, the Lance 4 watch does drift as weather fronts come through. The only side-by-side comparison I ever tried was against a Suunto Vector: overnight the Suunto didn't drift at all while my watch drifted by 100 feet. Not a big deal to me, but it is a reminder that to use the altimeter accurately you need to calibrate to known elevations on a regular basis.
This watch does seem to be built tough. I've taken a few hard crashes biking with this watch on. Once I hit the watch face directly on a rock. The face cracked slightly, but everything still works.