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Suunto M3 Global compass review

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Lyle Brotherton:
Excellent review Pete. I concur with Callum, in that the bubbles created in the capsule of my Suunto, whilst annoying, did not affect its performance. However that is not to say that if they grew in size they still could not. I learned a few months back that Silva now do manufacture in China and as Callum observed, quality can be variable, but maybe it is not the actual fabricators, but instead the firm’s accountants, who squeeze cost out of the materials to increase profit, just like they do  in all other businesses?

When I was working with the Bohag 10 Team, the Mountain Rescue Team responsible for the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau in Switzerland, I remember that they were working with a Swiss manufacturer in developing a compass that did not develop bubbles. I have pinged their team leader to ask how these trials got on and what the results were, and will post back when I get the results.

I just received my Suunto M3 Global compass and It had a clinometer!

It works much better (well seems way more sensitive) than my old military style compass which would stick and also had a bubble

Like you Mikee, my ex-service Silva accompanied me everywhere, until I gave up mentally converting mils to degrees with the kids I was instructing in the outdoors, and bought the Silva Expedition. Not only was it's construction noticeably poorer, especially in the movement of the bezel, but, like your Silva, it developed small bubbles, that eventually became one big bubble. Bought the Suunto M3 a year ago and from day one it was apparent that the quality was 100% better than the Silva, and this winter in the Alps, I will discover if it too is going to bubble. (Pete McK took his M3, along with his Silva, last year to the Alps and the Suunto won thru).

captain paranoia:
I notice that the red scale markings seem a little worn on the above example.  Is this typical?

<edit> I see you mention this issue...

Pete McK:
CP, We bought two Suunto M3 compasses, only on mine did the red printing, near the edge, wear. I emailed Suunto and asked if this was a common problem and how I could go about replacing it. They asked for my address and sent me a new one, but did not answer my first point. Emma’s still has all its printing as new, and my replacement, now three months old, is still intact – could have been a rogue batch. Will keep the forum posted.


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