EXCLUSIVE – New Suunto AMBIT GPS Watch and Win Kilian’s Shoes

We are delighted to announce today that the sports watch we have always wanted has finally been developed. Our friends at Suunto have spent the last few years perfecting the technology to bring out a new GPS enabled watch that appears to do it all in one stunningly beautiful package. We were given an exclusive sneek peak at this yesterday of what you can expect when it hits the stores in March and read on to order yours today.

Introducing the NEW Suunto AMBIT

But that is not all – for those lucky Ultra168 readers, if you order one of these MUST have watches though our athlete sponsors Footpoint, you get to go into the draw to win your very own pair of Salomon Sense – the shoe made famous by all conquering ultra runner Kilian Jornet.

So while you come to terms with the prospect of wearing the must have watch for 2012 and lacing up the must have shoe of 2012 let me take you through some of the key features to look out for in this sleek little number.

How do the following features grab you:

  • Rapid response built in Waypoint GPS using SiRFstarIV chip
  • Built in FUSED Accelerometer linked to the GPS
  • 50 Hr Battery life with 60 second interval GPS use
  • 3D Compass
  • Accurate Barometric Altitude
  • Real time Heart Rate Graph
  • Temperature Measurement
  • Highly responsive Speed and Pace training function using FusedSpeed integrated GPS Accelerometer
  • Advanced Heart Rate Monitoring with built in PeakTraining Effect and Recovery Time function
  • Water resistant to 100 meters
  • Available in Black and Silver
  • Built to Last Technology and sleek design

So what is this new FusedSpeed function ? Basically it combines an accelerometer and the GPS to give a much quicker response and more accurate real time speed and pace reading for those runners who like to get very detailed analysis of their changes in pace without the erratic readings sometimes seen on existing competing GPS sports watches.


What is going to grab everyones attention is the ability for the watch to go for 30 days on a single charge during non GPS use and 50 hours with 60 second GPS capture and 15 hours for continuous GPS use. This will put it firmly in the realm for the 100 miler and beyond ultra runner.

And according to the pre release information the watch will be upgradable with new features on-line through Movescount in the near future to further enhance and improve its features including battery life, with continuous GPS recording being able to sustain 20++ hours.

As always the build quality of the new Suunto AMBIT is like all Suunto’s and that is bombproof. From what I have been told in comparative tests alongside the most recently launched leading GPS competitor that the AMBIT outlast all other watches for durability and high impact damage with ease. Something that is going to be very attractive for such an important investment.

And the final word always goes to our fashion barometer Andrew Vize who says he will definitely wear this to work as well with it’s simple watch features such as time, date, alarm and dual time zones.

We are online throughout the day to answer all you questions and follow the debate and comments on our FaceBook page to keep up to date.

We have it on good authority that we will be getting our hands on this watch next week to give it a thorough testing at our Victorian Alps training camp.

Author: Marcus

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56 Comments

  1. You are correct, that does have everything I want.

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    • I know, all our Christmas’ at once ! We get to play with one in the Victorian Alps next week!

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  2. Lots of great features. Couple of questions:

    Is the data downloadable to a PC?
    How versatile are the data fields for setup?
    What memory will the watch have?
    Can you load a file to follow a course?

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    • If it is like my Quest, you can configure the data fields just how you like. The data is downloadable to the internet on movescount.com which is the Garmin Connect equivalent. As for you other questions, we will get back to you Rod

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  3. Hi Guys,

    How much for this device???

    I have a a Polar RCX5 but the GPS keeps droping out and sick of carrying it around!

    This would be a great pressie for myself.

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  4. Certainly can count on Ultra168 for the latest info! Kudos to another fantastic launch!
    Suunto watches in recent years have had models that are made “else where”, outside Finland.
    My other ‘Assembled in XXX Designed in Finland” Suunto is a disappointment. Can you share if this is a real deal and offers the same pedigree as many of the successful Suunto Diving and Flying ranges?

    50 hours – Very good Selling point. Any Specs on the number of cycle (charges) it can hold? Couple of hundreds?

    Garmin Forerunner (Australia) have a good ‘replacement’ warrenty here in Australia. What do you know about Suunto after sales support?

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    • Great comments Buzz,

      from what we have been told and the upcoming videos, the build quality is off the scale – literallyu. In some of the test to try break the watch, the machine broke apparently !

      Its a Lithium-Ion battery so not an expert on how many cycles re charge. I will let the techs at Suunto asnwewr that one.

      I have had faultless customer service with my Suunto as it has never broken down and looks brand spanking new.

      What is a great feature is that new functions will be added later in the year as a download. Sounds like the watch that keeps on giving.

      Will need to give it a thorough going over next weekend in the Vic Alps to see it in action. Come join the mountain fun ;)

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  5. ah crap… I just (literally this morning!) unboxed a 910XT that has been on pre-order since October! Looking at this I’m wondering if I made the right choice. I do a bit of mountaineering and this looks perfect… my initial take on the two watches:

    910XT – better for the triathlete and swim functions are considerably better than sunnto. Lots of accessories for cycling as well (cadence & power meters etc)

    AMBIT – if you care more about trail running/climbing/hiking and general outdoor/backcountry/bush this is probably a better watch (especially if you don’t do any swimming).

    Will be interesting to see how the software stacks up, garmin connect is pretty good these days and you can program some very sophisticated interval training sessions. But if I was going to be climbing in NZ for 5-6 days then the altimeter, barometer & compass on the suunto would make it no contest as to what I’d rather be wearing on my wrist!

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    • Ha, same here – bought a 910XT yesterday. But this beauty does look rather appealing, so very keen to hear how it stacks up in your further tests. Perhaps you could wear a 910XT on your other arm and do a comparison, in particular for the altimeter. I wonder though what accuracy you give up for GPS recordings at only 60 secs intervals, then again how would this compare to Garmin’s “smart GPS recording”? Agree with Andrew, it does look nice with that Zegna suit no doubt.

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  6. Looks like an awesome, must have for anyone’s kit but like Adam have a 910XT on order for the wife and a still functioning 405CX for me. I could explain to my wife the benefits of the lengthy battery life and how it is a great function given the somewhat questionable life span of the 405CX however I am sure it will be wasted breath.The only comment which comes in to question for me is using Vizey as your fashion barometer. I am sure he has two white work shirts which get recycled every other day and he has been seen walking the floor in hush puppies after a weekend on the trails. Notwithstanding this, it is aesthetically appealing and it is a great review. It will be sneaking its way in to my wish list basket in the near future along with the socks and undies I will likely get from the fam instead.

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    • 20 white shirts Flanno, all exactly the same. This watch would have helped you navigate off Kozi in early December – it was nearly dark by the time you came off the mountain.

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  7. Does it have an armband like Polar for the GPS? Looks a neat watch, I like my Garmin 610.

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    • Hi Thomo,

      the GPS is built into the watch alongside the accelerometer so there is no additional armband to wear. It is pretty impressive how they have packed all the technology into such a small watch

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  8. 1.) Price?
    2.) Is the battery user replaceable?

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    • Steven,
      The RRP for the one with HRM is $629.95 ; the other without HRM is $549.95.
      I have been chatting with Josh Cooper from Footpoint about it. If Josh is not there, try Tom!

      Not sure re: battery but I am sure it is. As Marcus said, the after sales service in Suunto is good and thus shouldn’t be a problem. Question is, often version 01 of new stuff aren’t that great. If you are considering it, it will be because it is a Suunto and not it’s a new GPS watch.

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    • On point 2.) the battery is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

      On Point 1, Keith is spot on, they have been taking calls all day.

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      • Thanks for the quick response Andrew and Keith. :-)

        On the battery – pardon my ignorance, but does being a rechargeable lithium-ion mean it is or isn’t user-replaceable?

      • Hi Steven, we will get back to you on that one from the manufacturer. How are you with a screwdriver?

      • LOL! Passable at best ;-)

        I understand the batteries in some other GPS watches (no names mentioned) are wired in, hence only replaceable by the manufacturer.

        If the Suunto is more user-friendly in this regard, it is definitely on my Birthday list.

  9. That is a smart looking watch. I like the way you can reverse the screen from black to white.

    I will be interested to see how big it is on the wrist. I guess there would be a trade off between that massive battery life and size.

    Has Killian been spotted with one yet?

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    • Hi Ewan, it will be a fair bit smaller than the 910 XT but still packs a battery and GPS and accelerometer inside so it wont be wafer thin that is for sure . As for Kilian, yep, when speaking with Suunto, they infomr us that as it is such a versatile watch, eg mountaineers, explorers, skiers, runners etc they have signe up a host of ambassadors to spruik the brand. For the trail runners it is Kilian and Jono Wyatt – two legends of the sport so pretty good endorsement IMO

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      • Yeah, it is rather thick, and one may have to check if the antenna part of the case fits nicely or rubs you wrong… but that said, it’s not bigger or even thicker than many an expensive watch that just tells the time and date.
        I’ve been collecting info about it (but now, there’s a lot coming anyways) and hope I’ll get a chance to also put it through its paces come late February… http://www.zhangschmidt.com/2012/01/suunto-ambit-gps-core-training/#.TxfHTqWiFrA

    • Ewan, this is a comment on the display from your favorite US watch forum. So cool.

      It is not a segmented display like on a G-Shock where each element is fixed, it is an addressable display where each pixel can be energized individually. Energize all the pixels positively and you have a blank white display, energize all the pixels negatively and you have a blank black display. Whether you have an information field presented as light numbers on a dark background or dark numbers on a light background is dependent on how you format the signal driving the display. It is a simple matter to just reverse it.

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      • It is like 2 watches in one!

        I wonder whether you would change it between black or white face depending on conditions or just leave it on the one you prefer.

        So who will be doing the hand modelling for the in-depth review?

  10. My poor old Garmin… I would have to classify this as runners porn – something that gets me really excited and my wife worried …. and she should be. Can’t wait to get my hands on one.

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  11. sorry if my questions are dumb … i don’t know Suunto very well as compared to garmin… but this watch, allthough more expensive seems to be very interestingly positionned on the market …

    - Are there training functions implemented ?
    - can you see your track on a map like on FR 305-310XT-910XT? and find your way back to your starting point ?
    - How much storage do you have ?
    - How do you charge the watch (i.e after 50 hours of running is ther a way to continue running while chargin the device with an external battery ?)
    - is movescount able to upload big files (50 hours and more of recording)
    - if recording points every 60s, is the watch using the accelerometer to compute distance between the two recorded points (instead of just drawing a straight line between points and coming with an inaccurate distance because ther was a lot of curbs between the points ?)

    Thank you for your answers!

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    • There is no such thing as a dumb question Basile, thanks for asking these great queries. We are working with Suunto and their preferred nominated preseller Footpoint Shoe Clinic to have answers back on all questions as soon as possible. Thanks AV

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      • Andrew, I share the same interest as Basile about one feature: the possibility to follow a track on the watch. This is something doable with 910xt, and, if it is possible on the new Suunto, I will not go for a 910xt and wait for Suunto Ambit to be on sale! If you can get information from Suunto on this topic, alongside the others in Basile’s list, that would be great

        I hope Suunto is proposing this ability. For a “watch for explorers”, this is an important feature: preparing an itinerary, install it on the watch, and having the watch helping us in following our route.

        Thanks for any feedback you could get!

  12. Well such a long wait for this watch. No more google search for X11!

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  13. Anyone know how the USB connects to the watch? Im not a fan of the T6c connection.

    Also, Is it ANT+ or still on Suunto’s porprietary ANT setup?

    Sure would be nice to use one chest strap for my garmin cyclecomp and this watch.

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  14. I’m a Triathlete, but also do long trail runs, adventure races and go mountaineering – this sounds perfect.
    I’ve had a Suunto T3 for 2 years, but was going to go for a Garmin 910XT. I was concerned about the analysis provided by Garmin Connect and the battery life of the 910. On long races the Garmin wouldn’t be any good.
    Do you know if the Ambit syncs with a bike pod?
    Will it record / calculate the same sort of performance metrics as the T6?

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  15. Thanks for your questions guys, we’re just going through them and will have some answers for you shortly. Stay tuned…

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  16. Not that big a wait guys. We are told it will be an early March delivery, maybe even late February. It is going to be in really limited numbers though so first in best dressed.

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  17. So if the altitude is barometrically measured, does it have a barometer like the Core or Vector ranges? If so, yes, this is approaching a perfect watch, if not, I’ll just have to wait.

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  18. stoked for this to come out. like others, was considering the 910xt bc of battery life, but don’t need the swimming/cycling extras.

    am interested in finding out if the 60s GPS track is supplemented by the accelerometer to provide tracking and how accurate this is.

    thanks for the preview.

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  19. Hi.
    Thanks for the review, looking forward to hearing more. A few quick questions:
    1) Is it fair to assume the monitoring & training functions & analysis capabilities will be based on the T6c, so include both post-run and live (during run) V02 and EPOC? (presumably plus additional ones based on GPS data)
    2) Can you set distance-autolaps (eg 500m) for it to display & beep (like the garmins)?
    3) If the answer to 2 is yes, then does it also have a vibrate alert as well as a beep?

    I agree with Glen about runner’s porn. :-) I’m trying to remind myself though, that functions like EPOC will be almost useless to an ultra-runner as it is only sensitive in high-intensity, relatively short runs (eg intervals). See the following for a brief explanation of how this works:
    http://www.endurancetraining.com.au/Articles/Suunto%20t6%20Heart%20Rate%20Monitor%20Review.pdf
    If anyone has ideas for better physiology-based workload estimates appropriate for ultra-runners, please post a reply!
    Cheers!
    Andrew.

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  20. The Ambit looks very interesting. Does anyone know if it’s Mac OS compatible? This has been an issue for Suunto in the past and primarily why I’m currently with Garmin. I’ve had a series of 405s and 410s working flawlessly with the Mac, ismarttrain, and TrainingPeaks. Does anyone have any experience with Suunto working across these platforms – or whether the Ambit will be able to?

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  21. Concernant cette nouvelle SUUNTO
    -est-ce que “etanche a 100m” veux dire que l’on peut aller sous l’eau à une profondeur de 100m.

    -Ou bien que, comme la military, elle est simplement etanche a une pression de -100m “MAIS A L’AIR” soit 100m sous le niveau de la mer (spéléologie)

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  22. Hi,
    I use firstbeat athlete software. Will the Ambit register TE, EPOC, respiration rate and similar data like the t6d does? If it does and I can use it with Firstbeat Athlete then this is truly awesome!
    But if not……..
    Alan

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    • Did you guys have a chance to test it out in Bright last weekend? You mentioned that you will have one to play around with over the long weekend.

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  23. Í have have hæð the core and now have the x9, í wanted the x9 in the core styling, wish come true. Thankyou suunto. Jack defontaine Australia

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  24. hi,

    i have an suunto vector,X10 and garmin 310xt whish is an fantastic watch, but the X10 is really an very pour watch, and the Suunto after sales support the worth thing that i see , they really only want to sale , after that , wrong … i have an problem with my X10 i need the bezel and the answer was send the wacth to see , so if i send my watche with a few months they keep my watch there in finland and send me an X10 99XXXX with is an reassembly or other watch that in the past have problems, and what append with my new X10 they keep it (not very nice) so forget Suunto , i prefer garmin that really have an nice service and the 310Xt really an good watch, also the X10 have worth GPS that i haver see , he don’t point to the real place but , allways a few setps away…

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  25. Hi,
    How does it compare to the Garmin 910. I am looking to use it for Ironman training and was interested in the Garmin 910 due to its swim/bike/run modes. Does this watch offer similar/enhanced options for long distance triathlon use?

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  26. Any updates on a comparison of the Ambit and 910XT? Can’t wait to read your in-depth review after using both.

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  27. UPDATE:-

    We know a number of you have posted comments and questions for Suunto on this new watch. We have submitted them for comment and we are yet to hear. We understand your frustration but will endeavour to get you the answers as soon as we hear from them. It appears this watch has created enormous excitement globally and we look forward to their responses soon.

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  28. Morning,

    Is this watch compatible with the TANITA BC-100 scales??

    Fingers crossed

    Post a Reply
  29. Morning again,

    Sorry that was mean to read TANITA BC-1000 scales.

    Thanks

    Post a Reply

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