Suunto, a long-time maker of sophisticated sports watches, also has a line of very nice dive computers for both recreational and professional use. In addition to standard timing features, Suunto dive watches will monitor your air pressure, measure depth and water temperature, and compute things like remaining dive time and decompression stops. These watches are not toys — they are tools to keep divers alive, and hence are priced accordingly.
Suunto has just announced updates to the D9 which is now available with either a rubber strap or a titanium bracelet. Features of the Suunto D9 include:
- Air, nitrox, and gauge modes. Air mode is for diving with standard air, nitrox allows you to use up to three different gas mixtures, and gauge mode is for free-diving (diving without any tank at all).
- Integrated digital compass.
- Altitude adjustment in case your dive doesn’t start from sea level (as may be the case with lakes).
- Optional wireless transmitter which attaches to the high-pressure port on your tank and sends pressure data to the D9.
- Low battery warning — essential for preventing a diver from finding a dead computer mid-dive.
- Temperature measurement.
- Multiple decompression modes.
- All the expected digital watch functions (12/24h modes, multiple alarms, dual time zones, stopwatch, clock, calendar).
- USB interface with PC software for downloading dive logs.
- Graphical interface for depth and dive time.
- Maximum depth reading of 200 meters, or 660 feet.
a slightly less fancy computer that can also be worn as a gauge, lacks the graphical abilities of the D9 and the pressure transmitter, but it does have all of the dive computer and logging features. It also has larger buttons than the D9 which are probably easier to operate with gloves on.
The Vyper2 will be available “early 2007” as will the titanium version of the D9. The D9 is available in rubber now with a street price of approximately $970 to $1,800, depending on the retailer.
By Paul Hubbard