Suunto, a Finnish maker of sports precision watches, got its start in 1936 when orienteer Tuomas Vohlonen invented a new method for manufacturing liquid-filled compasses. The company has developed a range of devices, from underwater and nautical compasses to industrial hypsometers, and also created the world’s first underwater dive computer. Suunto has expanded its horizons to cover outdoor and lifestyle products, and it continues to reinvent itself as an authentic
premium sports brand.
Welcome to the 25th issue of B.
People who aren’t particularly enthusiastic about brands often tell me that they wonder whether people aren’t driven to excessive vanity and greed by brands that hype their products with functions that aren’t really necessary. For example, there are people who set out to hike the hills behind their houses wearing mountaineering getups made of special materials invented for Himalayan expeditions. Others will invest in ultralight professional racing bikes just to pedal along the flat paths by the Han River. Then there are the people who buy high-end digital cameras capable of outputting images at staggering resolutions when all they needed was something to occasionally capture memories with families and friends.
I believe that most people want to express their own dreams and desires in different ways. Even if only in their imaginations, they become outdoor adventurers struggling against the forces of nature, athletes striving for new records, or a photographer capturing a historic moment. Of course, it’s not good to get obsessed with excessively expensive brands. But it’s also important that we don’t disparage other people’s dreams and desires as “unnecessary overspending.” Instead, we should try to understand the hidden connection between human nature and business.
This issue features Suunto, a Finnish maker of functional sports watches that measure and quantify various aspects of the outdoor environment. Since Suunto’s foundation in 1936 as a compass maker, the company has won the hearts of numerous outdoor sports lovers with its diving depth gauges, mountaineering altimeters, and GPS-enabled sports watches. But the unique identity of Suunto products allows for them to be enjoyed in urban environments as well, and they can also be seen on the wrists of suit-wearing businessmen. Suunto features attractive designs that set the brand apart from the militaristic designs of other outdoor gear makers, and ultimately, Suunto appeals to not only outdoor users, but also those who dream of the outdoor life.
Convincing people to rely on the information provided by your products in very dangerous situations takes something more than just a simple brand concept—it requires trust. Just like with all businesses, establishing a brand is the result of carefully building trust with individual consumers. I believe this trust building process is what takes brands from being “a maker of necessities” to “a brand people want”—and from there even to “a brand people love.” This is the same message we tried to deliver in B’s third issue, which featured Snow Peak. If you happen to see a dive computer on the wrist of a friend who can’t often go diving, you should try to start a conversation about it. Instead of viewing it as an extravagance, try to understand the passion that motivated his purchase. If you think about it, I’m sure you will find that you too have a brand or two that you hold dear to your heart, but that others might not understand.
The founder of Suunto was inspired to create an improved compass by his experience in orienteering.
B takes a look at Suunto’s products, dividing them into the exploration lines which most clearly show the company’s roots, and the lifestyle lines that have resulted from more recent expansions.
B compares Suunto’s signature products, each equipped with GPS, speedometer, and altimeter, with other professional equipment offering each of those functions.
After planning a simple run with an Ambit2, we observe how Suunto’s software system connects with Movescount.com, where the data collected is analyzed.
B met the Suunto users who make the products, use the platforms, and strive for better records.
Suunto tailors each product to its use: be it hiking, diving, or mountaineering. But other conventional watchmakers also offer specialized models comparable to Suunto products.
From boutique stores to high-end department stores, Suunto products are offered in a wide range of stores.
66 Daily Watches
B asked Suunto users about the watches they choose for everyday use.
68 Talk of the Scene
Here are some people who wear professional sports watches from other brands.
73 B’s Cut
These are the captured impressions of Suunto, from a hand-held compass to the company’s wrist-mounted products.
88 Brand Story
Suunto came from a Finnish noun suunta, which means “direction.” As the brandname suggests, Suunto has continued to chart a course of its own.
Suunto is a wrist-top computer for both natural exploration and urban life. For the brand’s users, every day is an expedition to discover new regions in life.
- Suyong Joh
- Editor In Chief
- Taehyuk Choi
- Senior Editor
- Eunsung Park
- Heeyoung Yoo, Bora Nam
- Translation Editor
- Heejean Kim
- Gieun Lee, Hyunkyung Yoo, Jeanhee Ha, Rancy Kim, Soonok Hwang
- Copy Editing
- Eugene Larsen-Hallok, Heeyoung Yoo
- Simon Chan
- Styling Editor
- Insung Yoo
- Intern Editor
- Jaeeun Shin
- Nari Park (UK)
- Guest Editors
- Chanyong Park, Hyun Son, Mihye Nam, Seungchul Yang, Sojung Jung
- JOH & Company
- Senior Designer
- Younghyun Ok
- Ayoon Jung
- Film Designer
- Onedoe Jung
- Jaeyong Park, Jdz Chung, Junghoon Woo, Juyeon Lee, Minhwa Maeng, Minhyung Kim, Sangkyun Han, Seungbok Lee, Sunghoon Park, Wooyoung Jung, Zai Nomura
- Hyekyung Shin
- Sunyoung Park, Nohseon Song, Hyoungjin Choi, Inhyub Kang, Eunyoung Lim, Shinyoung Park
- JOH & Company
- Top Process
- Printed in the Republic of Korea
- 978-89-98415-48-8 03050
- Suunto’s official YouTube page – MovesCountbySuunto
- Documentary film “Breathe”
- Diving clip “Free Fall”
- Divers of the Dark
- Wildwood Wisdom
- Popeye Magazine 800th issue