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Suunto observer watch strap

Though I would NEVER buy another one. If your active the watch strap lasts only about a year and cost $50+ . That I was buying them 2 at a time. 

Now it seems that they stopped making them . Be for warned all Suunto watches are set up for the same scam.

Anyone know a after market solution or any old stock so I don't have to toss this $400 watch.

not impressed



I have had various Suunto watches over the years with no problems with the longevity of the straps. I lost my first Suunto watch 3 days ago, through no fault of Suunto's. I had hung it on a neck strap to keep it out of the way when climbing (few watches will stand up to jam cracks). I used a short strip of velcro to feed through the spring pins that many watches have. Suunto and Polar use tiny screws to fit their shaped straps. Some of Garmin's training/GPS watches use the spring pin approach.

But I will have to say that the straps on Suunto's  watches for running, hiking, training, etc are awkward to put on your wrist by yourself because of the stiffness of the plastic material they are made of. I have had to get help a few times from my spouse to get the "teeth" (is that the right word for the spikey things that fit into the holes of the strap?) to fit into the right holes without cutting the blood circulation to my hand.

I have also used Polar watches for running, hiking, etc. I find the same problems with them for putting them on and taking them off. I prefer the Polars, I have never had a Polar strap fail either.

For both Suunto (made in Sweden) and Polar (made in Finland), they do very well for most of the functions I want - GPS, altitude, tracking, heart rate. Suunto and Polar both have a means of transfer from watch to computer and have apps to display mapped tracks, speed along the track, altitude profile, heart rate, lap speed, with the displays allowing finding the details and matching to the map and distance and altitude profiles. Both also have the capability of showing a "backtrack" line on the face of the watch - you can use them to backtrack, but the track on a watch-face is prettttyy tinny. A handheld GPS receiver is much better at this with a bigger map face.

The only complaint I have with the Suuntos beside the awkwardness of putting the watch on my wrist by myself) is that their method of computing calories burned is the amount burned above resting burn rate. Polar gives the total burn rate. In a discussion I had with a Suunto rep, he explained the philosophy of showing extra calories burned during the actual exercise, not the total calories burned including your resting burn.

The difficulty with the straps is why I use a plain old Timex "Triathalon" for most purposes.

Reason I am more familiar than I would like with HRMs, GPS watches, etc, etc. is that back in the late 1970s-1980s, Barbara and I used to race bicycles. There were all sorts of widgets to determine your training level. Some worked well, some were a complete waste. Both of us were Cat 2, so we got lots of training advice (in retrospect, lots of misleading advice - but no, no use of "performance enhancement" chemicals - that came much later and among professional racers, not us lowly amateurs).

I also have a collection of Garmin HRM watches, some with GPS chips. Their usability was (and remains) poorer than the Euro devices. But their straps were attached to their watches using the more or less standard watch band spring pins. You could replace worn or broken bands fairly easily. And they are cheaper than the Scandanavian devices.

Well Bill that is not the new norm! 

I work with a number of other guides that have the same problem with the straps only lasting a year or so.

so all I can tell you is that I managed to find an old cloth/Velcro strap and made it work. 

I can send all the old pieces if you like. 

I can't agree about the functions other than telling time. 

The altimeter needs be calibrated daily and I wouldn't trust the compass to get me to the store.


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October 17, 2021
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