Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass
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- Handy and reliable wrist compass for navigating around town or the country
- Employs Suunto's two-zone system for reliable readings in northern hemisphere
- Serrated bezel ring turns easily even when you're wearing gloves
- Ratchet mechanism for setting direction; jewel bearing and side reading window
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The Suunto M-9 wrist compass is designed for maximum usability while keeping your hands free. The large luminous card has 5* increments for navigation and is great for geocaching, hiking, scrambling, or traveling in an unfamiliar city. The compass features a side window for taking bearings and a ratchet mechanism allows you to set a desired direction. The strap features a brass buckle and can be worn over a light jacket.Operating temperature: -22 to +140F (-30 to +60C).
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One negative: the M9 is sensitive to being oriented flat when reading it. If you have it at even a fairly minor angle the rotating disk will bind. Ditto when using the sighting feature.
I will probably end up ordering a Suunto Clipper compass for my watchband and use the M9 as a backup, backup, compass. A Marathon Wrist Compass is also apparently smaller than the M9, but unlike the Clipper does not have a rotating bezel.
There are a lot of one star reviews here from people who don't understand how to use the product. There's a window on the back side of the compass. You can see it in the photo, the little rectangle with a pointer at the top. This is where you're supposed to read your heading. If your compass is pointing north, you will see a "0" in the window on the back of the compass (which is the south end of the needle). The compass is marked correctly.
I'm amazed that so many people think this is a dive compass. This is not a dive compass. It was not designed to be a dive compass.
I wish it was faster. I have a thumb compass with a faster needle and it feels so luxurious compared to this thing. A faster needle and I would give it 5 stars.
1. The reverse numbering system seems good, but when you are tired from running off two hours sleep it just confuses you.
2. Impossible to read in the dark. Doesn't glow in a way that's helpful for actually reading your azimuth. Also the fact that the north seeking arrow is red makes red lense flashlights unhelpful for a quick compass check.
All in all: meh. Save your money and get a basic NSEW, wrist compass that attaches to your wristwatch. It's more helpful.
I've used an M-9 since 2001, and it finally died, the plastic case cracked, some liquid leaked, so a bubble that formed keeps the pointer from spinning freely.
This is my 3rd M-9, as I've bought two, keeping one as a spare. I use them both on surface and underwater to as deep as 260' ... although not rated as a diving compass, all fluid filled devices are non-compressible and should take great depths without issue. Diving capacity has been proven for the years I've owned this compass and others who use it similarly.
Very free spinning and accurate
Rotating degree bezel
transparent case, easy to check for defects
Usable underwater to depths at least to 260'
Velcro strap binds very well underwater
If not leveled during sighting, pointer will lock [fix: flick it with your finger, and a proper direction will not change much with movement]
Plastic case, will not last forever
I've seen a number of compasses for field use in the middle of nowhere, and for so simple a device, its amazing so many are unreliable [whatever magnets they use don't hold its magnetism permanently], inaccurate markings, or poor construction. If you get lost because your compass doesn't work when you need it, its not worth any amount of money.
Suunto has made a name for itself in compasses, and what seems cheap looking is very well engineered, yet simple.
If you need a compass for general use, the watch mounted Clipper works best. I use those underwater too to 260', to backup the M-9.