Suunto Oy, based in Finland, is a company that produces and markets sports watches and precision instruments for Diving, Training and Outdoor sports. Headquartered in Vantaa, just outside Helsinki in Finland, Suunto employs more than 400 people worldwide, and its products are sold in over 100 countries. Suunto is a subsidiary of Amer Sports Corporation with sister brands Wilson, Atomic, Salomon, Precor, Arc’teryx and Mavic.
Suunto is best known for its magnetic compasses, dive computers, heart rate monitors, and outdoor watches and electronic compasses. In 1933 the company's founder, Tuomas Vohlonen, a surveyor by profession, applied for a patent for a unique method of filling and sealing a lightweight compass housing made entirely of celluloid with liquid to dampen the needle and protect it from shock and wear due to excessive motion. In 1935, Volhonen was granted a patent on his design, which went into mass production a year later as the wrist-mount M-311. Suunto introduced a compact liquid sighting compass, the m/40, during World War II for artillery officers and other users needing a precision instrument for measuring an azimuth.
Compass products 
Suunto makes a wide variety of magnetic compasses, including the A and M series for general navigation, the Arrow series of compasses for orienteering and adventure racing competition, and the KB and MC line for those requiring a professional-quality hand bearing compass. Suunto also produces the Recta line of compasses, including the new DT baseplate series based on Suunto designs, the DS series of mirror sighting compasses, the Recta Clipper and Comet micro compasses, and the famous DP 'matchbox' series of military compasses invented by Recta in 1941. The Recta DP-6 is still used by the Swiss Army. In 2009, Suunto discontinued the Swiss-made Recta DO series, moving all remaining Recta compass production from Biel, Switzerland to its production facility in Vantaa, Finland.
After acquiring Recta AG in 1996, Suunto incorporated the Recta Turbo 20 global needle system technology originally patented by Recta SA into many of its own compass designs, such as the Suunto M-3G (Global) Leader and the MC-2G (Global) Navigator. These 'Global' compasses have proprietary needles that can operate in all world magnetic zones with needle tilt or dip of up to twenty degrees. The company also continues to refine its line of sport and orienteering compasses with features such as improved luminosity, adjustable declination, and fast-settling needle designs.
Since 1967, Suunto has offered its KB line of high-quality hand-bearing surveying compasses and inclinometers that are accurate to fractions of a degree. These compasses are popular among cave explorers, foresters, geologists, archaeologists, land surveyors, and mariners. Traditionally made of a solid block of machined aluminum (some newer versions are in high-impact plastic housings), each KB compass contains a magnetized dial with calibration markings printed along its outer edge. A magnifying lens (KB-14) or prismatic sight (KB-77) is mounted at one end of the instrument with a crosshair providing a view of the disc, containing both forward and reciprocal bearings. In operation, the user divides his or her field of vision with the instrument, using the device's lens or prism to precisely measure the bearing of the object in view.
Global Needle System 
In the Suunto Global Needle System acquired from Recta, the conventional magnetized compass needle is not used. Instead, the compass needle and magnet are built as separate units functioning independently from each other. The needle itself is fixed at its pivot by means of a double-jeweled bearing, while the magnet rotates on a pin with its own jeweled bearing. When attracted by the earth's magnetic field, the separate compass magnet absorbs the vertical force of the magnetic field, so that the inclination of the magnetic field cannot tilt the needle, and the needle can no longer move in a vertical plane. This provides accurate readings of magnetic north in all magnetic zones of the world. Another advantage to the system is that the strong magnet causes the needle to settle very quickly, facilitating fast and accurate bearing/course measurements. Current products that incorporates Global System or Needle are M-3G Baseplate Compass and MC-2G Mirror Sighting Compass.
Suunto is also famed for its multi-function electronic wristwatches such as the Suunto Core, Ambit, Vector, X-Lander, and X10, which can provide a variety of functions including compass bearings, acceleration, altitude, training effect and even GPS location, depending on the model. These multi-function electronic wristops are made for different sports like sailing, golfing, hiking, mountaineering, alpine skiing, training and diving.
Military models 
The Suunto M-5N protractor compass is current issue to Finnish Defence Forces (M-5NT) and British Land Forces (RA-69NT), while the MC-2 optical-sight (mirror) compass has been approved for issue to various NATO military forces, including Canadian Land Forces and some U.S. Special Forces units (the 'T' in the model designation indicates the compass has been fitted with tritium self-illumination).
In addition to its own line of magnetic compasses and other measuring instruments, Suunto continues to produce the DP 'matchbox' compass line, including the original Recta DP-6 for the Swiss Armed Forces.
Other products 
Suunto also produces diving equipment and instruments such as dive computers, where Suunto is the market leader.
Suunto provides high-end training technology to help athletes quantify their training. For cycling, running and heart rate (HRM), Suunto uses the Suunto ANT and ANT+ (based on the ANT network standard) protocols in wireless transmission of data. Suunto also provides software to interpret those results.
Suunto in the media 
- Using Suunto Vector altimeter/compasses and Garmin 60CSx GPS mapping receivers, Australians Nathan Welch and Mark Kalch became the fourth team in history to successfully navigate the entirety of the Amazon River.
- The Suunto X10, a wristop GPS receiver, was awarded Best Adventure Gear of 2009 by National Geographic Adventure magazine.
- Survival expert Cade Courtley extensivley used a Suunto X10 during his show Surviving Disaster which aired on Spike TV in 2009.
- Suunto Core has taken the glory in one of the most renowned and hardest-fought international design competitions by winning the "red dot: best of the best" award at the red dot design competition in Germany in 2010.
- On April 4, 2008, Swiss climbers Ueli Steck and Simon Anthamatten made the first ascent of Mt. Tengkampoche's North Face in Nepal using Suunto Core wrist altimeters.
Suunto in movies 
- The movie Clockstoppers (2002) featured a yellow Vector as the main prop.
- in the movieAlien vs Predator the X6HR is used
- In the movie 127 Hours (2010), Aron Ralston (played by James Franco) wears a yellow 'Vector'.
- In the movie Shooter (film), Mark Wahlberg wears a Vector.
- In the movie The Hurt locker, Actor Ralph Fiennes Character: Contractor Team Leader wears a Suunto X10.
- In the TV Series Supernatural (U.S. TV series), Character: Dean Winchester played by Actor: Jensen Ackles and Character: Sam Winchester played by Actor: Jared Padalecki both wear a Suunto Vector
See also 
- Suunto Oy, Suunto Company History, December 2001 Article
- Gubbins, David, Encyclopedia of Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism, Springer Press (2007), ISBN 1-4020-3992-1, ISBN 978-1-4020-3992-8, p. 67: In 1690, Sir Edmund Halley demonstrated a rudimentary working model of a liquid compass at a meeting of the Royal Society.
- Fanning, A.E., Steady As She Goes: A History of the Compass Department of the Admiralty, HMSO, Department of the Admiralty (1986): The first liquid-filled mariner's compass to receive a patent as a working model was a nautical design invented by Englishman Francis Crow in 1813.
- E.S. Ritchie & Sons Company, Inc. About Us, Article: In 1860, Edward Samuel Ritchie, an American physicist and instrument maker, received a U.S. patent for the first liquid-damped marine compass adopted for general use aboard ships and boats.
- Hughes, Henry A., Improvements in prismatic compasses with special reference to the Creagh-Osborne patent compass, Transactions of The Optical Society 16 17-43, London: The Optical Society (1915): The first liquid-damped compass compact enough for pocket or pouch was the Creagh-Osborne, patented in 1915 in Great Britain.
- The Compass Museum, Article: Though the Creagh-Osborne was offered in a wrist-mount model, it proved too heavy and bulky in this form.
- Dickison, Dan, Powerboat Reports Guide to Powerboat Gear: Take the Guesswork Out of Gear Buying, Globe Pequot Press (2006), ISBN 1-59228-069-2, ISBN 978-1-59228-069-8, pp. 91-93
- Recta: More Than 100 Years of Heritage, Recta AG - About Us, retrieved 13 April 2012
- Vorpe, Gilbert on behalf of Recta AG, Swiss Patent CH 663091, EC: G01C17/04, November 13, 1987
- Dickison, pp. 91-93
- Ministry of Defence, Manual of Map Reading and Land Navigation, HMSO Army Code 70947 (1988), ISBN 0-11-772611-7, ISBN 978-0-11-772611-6, ch. 8, sec. 26, pp. 6-7
- Steck Makes First Ascent of Tengkampoche North Face, Article
- Suunto – Official site