Suunto Elementum Terra Altimeter Watch

A top-shelf watch that can go absolutely anywhere and help you track information along the way.

Whether you're tracking your ski vert, trying to figure out what the clouds are up to, timing the miles of your marathon-training run, or choosing which way to head up the hiking trail, you can chart your course with the top-of-the-line Suunto Elementum Terra Altimeter Watch. Of course, this altimeter watch comes with basic time, date, and alarm functions. But it comes with everything else you could need to help you track your weather, altitude, and direction. And it's all in a sturdy, well-crafted, go-anywhere package.

  • High-resolution, real-time altimeter gives you an accurate reading anywhere from 1600ft below sea level to 29,500ft ... so basically, it works anywhere besides the moon
  • Altimeter will track your total ascent/descent distances and store them for up to eight separate laps
  • Built-in compass lets you track your direction on the trails and in the backcountry
  • A tricked-out barometer function lets you read the weather's trend
  • Backlight gives you the info you need long after the sun has dropped below the horizon
  • Stopwatch lets you time your running laps
  • Super-sturdy construction means this watch can go anywhere, thanks to a corrosion-resistant steel case, sapphire crystal face with anti-reflective coating, well-placed knobs, a top-quality LCD display, and solid water resistance
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Not what I was looking for

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have the Suunto Elementum Terra and overall is a nice LOOKING watch. Things that I don't like: no seconds display (I should say that is a basic feature of a watch and is useful for the work that I am doing).

Also, is difficult to get the real altitude. I understand that the altitude value is related to the atmospheric pressure, but I noticed the altitude to jump from positive 380 m to negative 480 m and even over reading during several hours, without significant weather change.

I just don't know how would be able to find the true altitude when you are outdoor and don't have a reference point. Use the topographic map on your smart phone?...

Overall, I am not happy with my purchase. I would expect more from a watch at this price.

Is this watch overpriced? I'm looking for...

Is this watch overpriced?

I'm looking for a good watch for my father who I partner with on several week long excusions a year. I have been using the Garmin Tactix and love it. Am I missing something here? It doesn't look like this watch does anything more than mine, but costs almost twice as much.

Best Answer

Hello Jeremy,

If you are looking for a great quality watch you are looking at the right company; however, it is a bit expensive but you surely get what you pay for. I have used all models of Harmon, Timex, and Tom tom and found not of them even come close to Suunto's technology. If you want to come up somewhere in between price, performance, and value, check out the Suunto ambit 2 sapphire with HR. Hands down the best watch I have ever know. It still has features I never new about. I keep calling the technical support line to help me figure out all it can do with

Check it out!

If Jack Bauer wore a Suunto

    I have had my Suunto elementum terra for a while now, and although it is not AS feature rich as some of the other models, it shines with both its craftsmanship and style. I get many compliments on this watch and wear it with pride. And yes, I could see Jack Bauer sportin' this badboy... GREAT Watch


    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size


    what is the size of the case for the...

    what is the size of the case for the elementum terra altimeter watch?

    45mm across, 13mm thick.

    Is it possible to order the amber rubber...

    Is it possible to order the amber rubber wristband model with shipping to Canada?

    Hey Stody, thanks for your question. Unfortunately Suunto is a brand that can't be shipped outside the US due to vendor trade restrictions. Sorry for the bad news.

    However if you have friends/family in the US, it is OK to purchase any of these products with an international credit card and have the product shipped to a US address. Then have your family/friend forward the package to you in Canada.

    where is it made?

    where is it made?

    Hello and thanks for the question.

    I gave Suunto a call and they informed me that this watch is manufactured in Finland.

    Suunto SUUNTO Elementum Terra Altimeter

    simply unreadable

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    I should have trusted the community on this - I just didn't think that a new watch could have such a basic flaw. I had the negative face, which may be the problem, but I simply could not read the dial unless lighting conditions were just perfect. Too little contrast. Shocked that Suunto would ship a product with a flaw this big. I really wanted to love this watch.

    selling on ebay

      ooook ive been wearing a suunto since they 1st came out and have always loveeeed the watch until i bought this 1.4 the prise of this watch ud xpect more out of it.there is no storm warning on it,u cant see the weather changing,i had the core b4 this one and wore it till the yellow was gone lol .do u research on this watch b4 u buy n hey if ya wanna buy mine let me know

      Did you sell your watch?

      The Elementum Terra Overview

        _Time, date, alarm
        The Elemetum Terra is an incredible watch that is easy to use and provides the following information. It also looks incredibly cool!!
        _Barometric pressure & trend
        _3D compass
        _Cumulative ascent/descent
        _Log: last 8 ascents/descents, max. altitude

        Hi, would like to check what is the longest...

        Hi, would like to check what is the longest duration which the watch can record for the culmulative ascent/descent function?

        From the user manual, "The measurement stops and resets automatically when either the
        maximum log duration (48 h) or the maximum ascent/descent value (19 800 m /
        65 000 ft) is reached."

        "The measurement stops and resets automatically when either the
        maximum log duration (48 h) or the maximum ascent/descent value (19 800 m /
        65 000 ft) is reached."

        The Core has a screen lock - does anyone...

        The Core has a screen lock - does anyone know if the Elementum series does? Haven't seen anything about it anywhere...

        Suunto lists "button lock" as a feature. I assume that's the same thing.

        Best Answer can lock the buttons by pushing the top two buttons at the same time.

        Any one have an idea on the battery life?...

        Any one have an idea on the battery life? ... i have several solar and auto-wind and like the watch but not too thrilled about having to go back to changing a battery...

        Best Answer

        Suunto says about 9 months with average use, probably 9 months to a year with general timekeeping duties. The battery change is going to be a little more involved than say the Core or Vector, which can be done in the field. The Elementum will either need to go back to the dealer or a jeweler, or sent back to Suunto for a battery change. The caseback for the Elementum has four Torx screws holding it, rather than screwback, as other Suunto models.

        The battery lasts around 18 months. I just had a battery replaced at a jewler...the charged my $20 and it took about 15 minutes.

        Don't go hiking without it

          Great design and quality.

          This watch really helps you to measure how much altitude you still have to do. It records up to 8 trips. If weather conditions are stable the altimeter is very precise.

          Only negative point is, that the manual is very short. most of the functions you have to find out for yourself by pressing the different buttons... for this one star less.

          Does the rubber band come with the positive...

          Does the rubber band come with the positive face?

          Not without a watch strap swap, I'm afraid. Backcountry carries the other straps (rubber, leather, steel) to swap or change strap types.

          Best Answer

          It does beginning April 2012.

          Suunto Elementum Terra

            First off this watch is one of the nicest and most luxurious watches I have ever owned. With that being said it is rugged and ideal for the outdoorsman who works hard during the week and looks to escape to the outdoors on the weekends.

            The Terra is one of the easiest to you use from the Suunto collection. It has two sensors in it, one for pressure and one is an electronic compass. The pressure sensor will give you the barometric pressure and altitude data. The compass is easy to access by one push of a button. Another great feature is the two time zones ideal for someone who travels a lot.

            This watch is a must have for anyone who likes a little luxury mixed with great functions for outdoor use.

            Suunto Elementum Terra

            Great Job!

              I've owned my elementum (rubber/negative) now for a couple of months and I am already MUCH more please with this than I have been with my previous Cores. I unfortunately was one of poor fools that bought the original batch of Core and because of the battery issues that so many of them had, I went through 4 of them before I finally got one that didn't have problems.
              The elementum is not as feature rich as the Core is but this shouldn't be a deterrent. The things that you are sacrificing are minor features such as sunrise/sunset, depth meter, etc. On the other hand you are gaining some things that are major improvements. The upper dial is so easy to use and changing settings is much less frustrating. I love having immediate access to both the barometric reading as well as the altitude on the home screen of the display vs. having to scroll to get through it. Once you've been able to figure out the Log feature it becomes extremely efficient.
              Overall, the user friendliness of this watch is very accommodating. I spent less than 15 minutes just playing with the buttons and sequences and was able to work out most of the features. The biggest gripe that I did have was the manual. Very little to go off of and finding other resources was just an annoyance.
              The other review is displeased with the brightness of the negative face. A couple of different Cores that I tried we significantly dimmer and much harder to read. In comparison the elementum is much easier to read than the Core, however be aware, any watch with a negative style face will require more off an effort to read.
              My favorite thing about the elementum watch is the look. First of all, it looks much better in person than the pictures give it credit for. Across the board, it will work in literally any situation that you're in. Whether you need a good church, board meeting watch, or if you want something that will bridge the gap between rugged and professional. Outdoors this watch has worked great. I've had it up in Uintahs multiple times and have yet to be let down.
              My overall impression, FANTASTIC. It's is so much more settling to finally have a Suunto that is made in Finland vs. the Core that was "designed in Finland" but ultimately made in China.
              Bravo SUUNTO. I was happy with the style of the Core but let down with its performance. For me this was redemption.

              very dimly lit face

                My wife just gave me this (rather expensive) very generous gift of a Suunto Elementum Terra Altimiter watch with the "Steel / Negative Face". I'm a fan of Suunto, and have been wearing a different model now for something like 3 years. She bought the Terra for me because of my past enjoyment of the other Suunto watch, and because I once told her about the new Elementum Suunto watches.

                With all that said, it was very clear from the moment I powered up this watch that the display was unusually dim. I spent the first 15min with it attempting to see if there was some brightness adjustment (there is not), and then I spent the next 30min trying to determine if the batteries were low (they're fine). Through talking to folks and further reviewing marketing materials, it just seems like this is it. Do you see the picture above from of the "Steel / Negative Face Front"? Do you see anything on the face? No? Nor can I. If you change the angle of the face and get it under the correct lighting, you can eventually see the face digits. And, of course, there is a back light. The back-light button is shared by other functions and is time dependent though, so if you don't press and hold the button just right it won't light and will change the watch into another mode.

                Because I like Suunto and I don't want to be so negative, I will say that their "Elementum" line has a nice appearance, that I'm sure the electronics are similar in accuracy and functionality compared to their other models, and that they are probably somewhat rare (they have priced them to be "exclusive", I'm guessing). The band is seemingly sturdy. I did not spend enough time operating it to get to know how user-friendly it was. Digital watches have a tendency to be somewhat non-intuitive. At first glance, this did not seem exceptionally intuitive either, but time would maybe tell differently.

                In summary, this watch is way to expensive to only be so-so. If I got it for $200-$400, I might think it's OK, but would still not wear it much because of it's dim digits. I suppose there is a reason you never see these watches in stores; if you were to see it in person before taking it home, you wouldn't buy it.


                You can actually adjust the contrast on this watch to get a brighter display:

                1. Press the middle right button for 15 seconds, or until the screen goes blank.
                2. The display will ask you if put the watch into Sleep Mode. Select YES with the rotating crown and confirm with the middle button.
                3. After watch has entered sleep mode, press the upper right button for 5 seconds until the absolute pressure is shown.
                4. Press the upper right button several times until 'contrast' is displayed.
                5. Adjust the contrast by rotating the upper right button.
                6. Press the upper right button to acccept the adjustment.
                7. Press and hold the upper right button until the time is displayed.

                I have mine set to 7 on the steel / negative face. All negative face watches are difficult to read in darker settings. I think you will be happer with the higher contrast setting though.

                Another tip is if you hold the upper right two buttons at the same time you can lock the watch so that you won't accidentally put it into log mode. The light still works in this mode which is very cool.

                My only gripe about the watch is the stop watch feature has a sort of "fake" 1/100 resolution. I.e., the stop watch only works to 1/10 resolution and not 1/100, recording values like 5.50, 6.60, 7.70, etc.

                I have about 10 Suunto watches in the Vector and Core lines and this watch is my favorite. I also have the leather strap / positive face Elementum Terra and that also sees a lot of wrist time. The displays on the Elementum Line are just so cool to look at. Seems strange, because at the end of the day, it is just a digital watch, but the font they use is very nice.

                Suunto Elementum Terra Watch Review