Suunto Core All Black Military Watch Review

This post may contain affiliate links. Buying something through these links doesn't cost you anything and helps support Know Prepare Survive. For some light reading, check out our affiliate disclosure.

suunto core all black

Suunto Core All Black Military Watch


Let’s get it out of the way now, the Core does not have GPS. It does have plenty of other features like a barometer, altimeter, and compass (an “ABC watch”)

Ease of Use

Super simple to use, there’s no need to even read the manual!


The Suunto Core is in the average price range of an ABC watch but you get more value, in my opinion.


The Suunto Core All Black military watch is a large faced, digital ABC watch that is rugged and durable enough to take with you whether you enjoy hiking, saving people from burning buildings, or just live a tough life. It’s easy to use, has a ton of features, and won’t break the bank or your wrist.


  • Reliable
  • Easy to read
  • Good battery life


  • No GPS

Get the Suunto Core

The Suunto Core: Weird Spelling, Great Watch

Suunto are one of my favorite manufacturers because, in my opinion, they make damn cool watches.

They are cool as hell to look at, and unlike most politicians, they deliver quality information day after day.

In all the time that I have owned Suunto watches, they have never let me down, or failed on me.

And let’s be brutally honest here I am bloody hard on my watches, and I put them through a lot.

Is The Suunto Core For You?

While I love to talk about myself (who doesn’t), you probably couldn’t care less about my preferences or bias towards a certain brand.

All you care about is whether or not this watch would complement your lifestyle.

The biggest failing with the Core is that it doesn’t have built-in GPS.

So if that is a deal-breaker for you, then you can scratch this off your list immediately. Take a look at the Garmin Fenix 3 at the bottom of this post if you’re searching for a great GPS watch.

Back to the Suunto, the screen is never going to burn your eyeballs, but in bright sunlight, it is really simple to read.

The lack of a GPS does bring with it the advantage of about a year’s battery life, so if you can never be bothered to go traipsing to the store every few months to change the battery, the Suunto Core does come with certain advantages.

I do accept that lack of GPS will be a killer for many people, but your mileage may vary.

suunto core military watch

Features and Benefits

I got a little carried away in the beginning of this review, but hey, I am a passionate guy when it comes to my watches.

So let’s take a closer look at the benefits of the Suunto Core All Black.

In my opinion at least, all black watches look damn cool.

They scream out to me as action watches for people who mean business.

This is supposed to be a military watch for goodness sake, so who the heck would want a shiny silver band? Not me, that’s for sure.

As well as the look and the battery life, this watch has a few other tricks up its sleeve.

It is really simple to use – you won’t need a 100-page instruction manual to get the full benefit out of this watch. And if you are anything like me, you never read the manual anyway, I just try and work my watches out.

  • It looks great, especially with a contrasting watch strap. I have used a bright red strap on mine which complements the black face perfectly, but bear in mind I am a bit flashier than some.
  • The Digital Altimeter is one of the most accurate I have ever used, and it could be argued that, partnered with a map, this may be more beneficial than GPS. GPS relies on a view of the sky after all, not particularly easy in the middle of a forest or ravine for example.
  • It has a barometer, which is always a valuable asset to have on a watch and can give you early warnings of impending storms.
suunto core specs

If you are after a great outdoors watch then this could be a really excellent choice, provided you are not worshipping at the GPS altar.

Reliability in my experience is market leading, and I have always been a fan of watches that have a black face – hey what can I say, I like to stand out from the crowd.

Suunto Core Main Specs

  • Water Resistant 30 Meters
  • 64g weight
  • Electro-Luminescent Backlight
  • Digital Compass
  • Compass Accuracy to 5 degrees
  • Sea Level Pressure
  • Max Weather Recording Days 7

Learn More About the Suunto Core

What I Liked

For me this watch is probably a bit more function over form.

I loved how it looked. All black, tactical style watches have always appealed to me and this watch was no exception.

It also felt great on my wrist, and it was both accurate and reliable, two features that can be overlooked.

It was also very easy to operate, which probably meant that I made use of every feature available, as I didn’t need to jump through fifty hoops to find out how to do something.

In my opinion, this is how anything gadget related should be, if you need to read the damn manual to work out how to turn it on, then it is an epic fail.

The display was clear and easy to ready whatever the light situation which is another huge benefit in my opinion (Have you ever spent time with a flashlight trying to fiddle with a poorly designed watch face?)

Finally, I loved the battery life, as it gave me confidence that the watch wasn’t going to die in the middle of my expedition.

What I Didn’t Like

To be entirely fair to this watch, there was nothing that I disliked about it, but I say that on the proviso that I knew there was no GPS.

Provided you make your purchase with this knowledge, then I think it would be pretty unfair to complain about that omission.

And if you bought it without checking the specs first, then that’s probably more your fault than the manufacturer’s.

In reality, the Suunto Core Military watch does exactly what it says on the box; there really isn’t much not to like, although some people might feel the screen could be a little brighter.

tactical hiking watch


I would certainly give this watch a hearty recommendation.

And if you have a teenage child who you are trying to encourage into hiking or whatever, it would be an excellent starter product to force them to learn how to navigate without GPS.

GPS watches are excellent, but it never hurts to know how to do it the old fashioned way.

I would say regarding the price, it is reasonable value for money, and extremely reliable.

Read More Reviews of the Suunto Core

Suunto Core Military Alternatives

G-Shock Rangeman

G Shock Rangeman GW9400

This is our favorite tactical watch.

It’s tough as nails and comes with quite a lot of features. 

What’s Better

What’s Worse

  • Compass
  • More heavy duty
  • Solar powered
  • Harder to read
  • Very “military”

Get the Rangeman

Garmin Fenix 3

Garmin Fenix 3 GPS watch

If you’re looking for a legit hiking watch with GPS (and are willing to pay for it), you’re going to want to look at the Fenix 3.

What’s Better

What’s Worse

  • A real smartwatch
  • Full GPS tracking
  • Battery life
  • Hard to read in low light
  • More expensive

Get the Fenix 3

Leave a Comment


  • Super Bright 1,000 Lumens
  • 5 Modes (Low, Medium, High, Strobe, and SOS)
  • IP66 Rated – Durable Enough to Handle Any Situation 

*Inventory is limited, offer only good while supplies last