I wasn't wearing a watch for a while. This seemed like a pretty big lost opportunity. I checked out the prime real estate on my right wrist (I'm a lefty) and decided I needed the best watch ever.
What I wanted was something reasonably good looking that packed the most function in it as possible. My friend Todd had a Casio Pathfinder which packed a lot of features. I ordered one of those and kept looking.
Then I spotted the Suunto X9i watch. It has a GPS, Stopwatch, Altimeter, Barometer, Thermometer, Compass, three alarms, dual time, and will even calculate the sunrise and sunset based on your location. WOW!
Best of all, it's actually a pretty decent looking watch. I ordered one of those too.
Then I found out that Suunto also made the X9Mi, which was the military version. The only practical difference is that the X9mi had an inverted screen (white on black) and a red backlight for better night vision. I bought one of these as well.
All three watches came, I tried them all, and returned two of them. It should come as no surprise that the winner was the X9mi, although I will say that the X9i was MUCH easier to read.
Before ordering these watches I read a bunch of reviews. Most were negative. After using the watch and rereading reviews, I can tell you one thing : most people are morons. They weren't using the watch properly, so ignore all of their reviews. On my recommendation Todd bought an X9mi as well and agrees that those reviews aren't written by smart people.
The GPS is awesome. I use it for two things mainly. When I run it keeps track of my total distance, pace, and a few other stats. I can plug the watch into the good old computer and see my actual route! I also use it when I travel to find my apartment or hotel. I just set it as soon as I get here, and then I'm never lost.
It has tons of other useful features. I used the altimeter when I went skydiving and it was accurate the whole way. It calculates the sunrise and sunset time, which we used when going to a beach in Panama. I use the compass when I'm stuck in a dense urban jungle and can't figure out which way is which.
The ONE problem with this thing is that the bezel isn't glued on very well and mine started to come off after six months. Suunto will ship you a new one with instructions to repair it though, so it's not all bad.
Battery life is good. With heavy use I get 3-4 weeks per charge which only takes a few hours.
Bottom line? If you have a wrist, you should get one of these. If you don't, you should get a hook.
I've been using the LunaTik watch kit that turns an iPod Nano into a watch. The Lynk model is pretty stylish
and the newer iPod nano's even let you choose from several different watch faces. It doesn't have some of the other bells and whistles you mentioned but I don't find myself in the jungle needing a compass or GPS all that often. It does support the Nike+ pedometer for workouts if that's your thing. Probably the biggest thing it lacks is an alarm, because it has no speaker. I find my smart phone fills in for most of the other situations that I find a need for: GPS, Compass, Sunrise/Sunset.
Just my 2 cents.
To say that we packed light is an understatement. We packed super light. Someone recently told me a saying that stuck in my mind.
"No one ever wishes they packed heavier."
So true. With fewer baggage comes more freedom, and that's exactly what we're after. Still, when Todd suggested that we take only a small backpack each, I thought he was crazy.
I took my watch off, placed of reverently on my dresser and took a deep breath. I had worn a watch almost non-stop since I was 10 and got my first Timex as a gift. It was a green army style watch with their glow in the dark hands and numerals. Whatever it is, all kids love things they can use the dark, flashlights being the best example. My girls will play with flashlights or light up wands for hours at a time, exploring basements, closets, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Taking my watch off was inspired by @JFM and his book about being a minimalist. After reading it - which was very good - my thought was to experiment with how time might move while you're not consciously aware of it.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="250"] The watch I don't wear.[/caption]
Checking the time was second nature to me. Like a nervous tic I would do it whether I needed to know the time or not. What were the things I really needed a watch for? I have meetings to attend but never more than four or five in a day so my iPhone certainly sufficed for that. My iPhone also has an alarm and my computer has a clock. Before taking it off my hopes were high that things wouldn't be too difficult and this might be a permanent change, here's what I learned.
We don't give enough credit to things moving at their own pace. Having a watch does not make lines move faster, traffic more efficient or kids dress quicker. Having a watch does not manipulate time but it lets time manipulate you. My wife and I went to Disney and there were many lines there. Without having a watch to watch it seemed like a simpler, less stressful trip. There was just waiting for something and when that was completed we would head to the next thing and wait more. A quick aside - we were in Disney for four days and did some nice adult things.
Taking a timepiece off my body also made me check my phone less. It doesn't matter exactly what time it is and I found that this applied to nearly all the other information my phone could display. Weather? Look around. Weather in five days, does that matter right now? Facebook updates? Enjoy this moment, check later. Very important emails? With my job there's nothing that important.