Suunto was born in Finland more than 80 years ago, when championship-level orienteer and keen outdoor enthusiast Tuomas Vohlonen invented the mass production method for the liquid filled compass.
Since then, Suunto has been at the forefront of innovation, hand crafting premium sports watches, instruments and dive computers that have been tested in the world’s harshest conditions. From the beginning of time, man has explored. All that has changed are the tools.
The word “Suunto” comes from the Finnish word meaning “direction”. Suunto is pronounced “Soon-toh”.
Tuomas Vohlonen had long been bothered by the inaccuracy and lack of steady needle operation of traditional dry compasses. Being an engineer with an inventive turn of mind, he discovers and patents the production method for a liquid-filled compass with a much steadier needle, better readings and a new level of accuracy.
Finnish soldier Lieutenant Norrback is shot by a Russian sniper during the Winter War. The M-311 field compass he carried in his shirt pocket takes the bullet and saves his life. Robustness has since been a hallmark of Suunto!
Suunto introduces 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, the horizontal angle of a bearing.
In the 1950s Suunto starts manufacturing orienteering and marine compasses. The first marine compass, Suunto K-12, is launched in 1953. Its base bowl, made of brass, is a real masterpiece of precision engineering. At this point, the company is exporting compasses to over 50 countries around the world.
Suunto introduces the SK-4, the world’s first diving compass after a British sports diver attaches a Suunto compass to his wrist and finds that the device also works underwater. Thanks to his feedback and initiative, Suunto Diving is launched!
In the 1980s Suunto becomes the world leader in the manufacture of diving instruments. Suunto’s first dive computer, Suunto SME-ML, is launched in 1987 and completely revolutionizes the sport. Previously divers had to calculate times using diving tables. Thanks to the SME diving computer, the sport becomes an easier, more fun and safer hobby.
Suunto marine compasses become the standard in Swan and Baltic boats and almost all the yachts in the Whitbread Round the World race are equipped with Suunto compasses.
The world’s first watch-sized dive computer Suunto Spyder is launched. It combines the performance of a top-of-the-line multi-level dive computer with a high-quality dive watch that also functions as an everyday watch.
Suunto Vector is the first outdoor wrist-top computer to feature the now hallmark 'ABC' functions of altimeter, barometer and compass, as well as a thermometer. Vector’s unique functionalities and iconic design have made it one of Suunto's most successful products. It remains hugely popular among mountaineers and has probably seen more of the Himalayas than any other watch.
Suunto D9, the world’s first wrist-sized all-in-one dive computer is unveiled. It combines advanced dive features with a digital compass and wireless air integration. D9 is the first product in Suunto’s popular Suunto D-Series which now consists of Suunto D4i, D6i, D9tx and DX.
Suunto t6, an advanced training watch is introduced. It provides Olympic-lab level technology to help athletes quantify and qualify their workout with personalized training feedback.
The award winning Suunto Core is unveiled, raising the bar for outdoor sports watches. Combining altimeter, barometer and a compass with weather information, the Core provides the essential features for adventures in the great outdoors.
Suunto HelO2 dive computer is brought onto the market. It is the first dive computer from Suunto with full mixed gas capability. The dive computer is designed specifically for technical divers who need multiple gases such as trimix, nitrox and oxygen to go deeper and for longer to explore wrecks, caves — and their own limits.
Suunto Elementum is unveiled. It is a premium sports watch combing modern design and a heritage in craftsmanship with the functionality of a high-tech watch. With altimeter, barometer and a compass it suits outdoor life as well as everyday use.
The online sports community, training diary and dive log book Movescount.com goes live, allowing sports enthusiasts to upload, rate, track and share their sporting activities. It also allows users to search for routes and follow other members such as Suunto athletes for inspiration.
Suunto Ambit, the ultimate outdoor and training watch that combines unparalleled GPS functionality with body monitoring functions and sleek design receives stellar independent reviews worldwide. Users can customize their Ambit and download GPS navigational aids using Movescount.
Suunto DX, the world’s first rebreather compatible wrist-sized dive computer is unveiled. The premium design and materials, combined with the new superior Suunto Fused™ RGBM, make it the must-have instrument for dive missions and everyday adventures.
Suunto is still based in Finland where most of our products are designed and hand crafted with pride in our flagship factory outside Helsinki. Our aim is to provide adventurers and sports enthusiasts with the best tools to explore and conquer new territory from the highest mountains to the deepest oceans – and anywhere in between.