Suunto has made precision outdoor electronics since forever. Before they went all battery-crazy I owned their first product, a dive abacus. The beads were stainless steel, it was mounted on a giant wristband, really a nice unit. It used to be mostly serious divers and their ilk who used Suunto, but lately they’re moving into the average joe market by porting their great electronics expertise to more platforms.
The Core is a great example, a multifunction watch that does the whole ABC thing: altitude, barometer, compass. Oh yeah, and get this: it tells you the time! The altimeter goes to 30,000 feet, so you can take it to the top of the world. It logs everything and you can graph it all out on-screen. The barometer function has a very useful storm warning, and the alti/baro modes have a neat automatic setting that switches back and forth as you start and stop moving. You can even set sunrise and sunset times according to a database of cities. All this in a lightweight package you can wear in the shower.
The Core is not meant for scuba, but it makes a great snorkeling partner and will give you depth readings down to 30 feet. The Core really shines as a mountaineering tool. OK, so here’s the secret beta. It comes in various versions priced from $250 to $500, but all have the same exact electronics and interface, it’s just the quality of the materials that varies, i.e. plastic versus aluminum housing. One glitch: the backlight is effectively useless unless it’s very dark, but I’m told they’re working to correct this.