When a lot is too much

To Suunto, Garmin, Nike, and all you other sport watch companies: I think you're missing an easy mark here.

You're all offering some incredible pieces of modern engineering. Watches, smaller than my great-grandfather's pocket watch, capable of doing so much more than display the time - there's alarms and heart rate monitors and altimeters and ascent rates and log books and gps tracking...

But what if I want something simple?

I want a watch that:

  • Is minimalist in size and display;
  • Tells the time;
  • Tracks my routes using GPS;
  • Tracks for longer than 8 hours, preferably to 24;
  • Let's me share that data with others.
Battery life is the crux of GPS sport watches - 1 second GPS fixes is the norm - but it doesn't have to be. It would be an easy addition to allow the user to change settings from 1s, to 15, 30 or even 60 seconds - at least that seems easy to me. Switching to a 60s GPS fix would allow any of the watches on the market to have an extended battery life of 20 hours, if the 1s/60s battery ratio for the Suunto GPS Track Pod is any indicator (the only device that has this feature, and none other).

Such a simple watch would certainly be cheaper - less than the $300 Suunto Core altimeter watch I wear while guiding, or the $400 Suunto Ambit 2 HR that my wife runs with.

The closest match I've found so far is the Soleus GPS Mini or Fit watches, both for $99, but with GPS track limiting the battery to 8 hours.

Oh well - I'm still looking.


photo: etsy.com