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LTR - Origo Watch - kathryn

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  • Dark Lazarus
    Here is the LTR text for the Origo watch. HTML can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/8u8v3w kathryn -- Long Term Report: January 3rd, 2009 I have taken the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2009
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      Here is the LTR text for the Origo watch. HTML can be found here:
      http://tinyurl.com/8u8v3w

      kathryn

      --
      Long Term Report:
      January 3rd, 2009

      I have taken the watch out on numerous day hikes, car camping trips
      and backpacking trips over the last two months. Over the last four
      months my usage of the watch went from exploratory, where I was
      testing the various features, to using the watch. When I had the
      chance to calibrate the watch to a GPS I found the altimeter to be
      close enough. While not spot on, at least once, it was within 1 ft (30
      cm) of the GPS reading while another time it was withing 25 ft (7.5
      m). The watch migrated from my wrist to my pack strap as the weather
      cooled down. It is easier to consult the watch from the strap rather
      then digging it out from under warm layers.

      Trips:

      I have taken the watch out on numerous day trips in the DC area that
      due to number I will lump together. Most of the hikes took place
      either on the Maryland side of the Potomac River or on the Virginia
      side of the Potomac River, but essentially in the same area. As the
      elevation gain was minimal, the water was used more for time and
      timing then for elevation. As the weather has been cooling off, I have
      been finding it hard to wear such a bulky watch under my winter
      clothing layers and still be able to get readings. Inside my coat, the
      temperature listing is way off. It was actually 39 F (4 C) outside but
      inside my jacket, the watch was reading at 66 F (19 C). Also, with the
      bulky watch face, it can be difficult to pull my glove down, then my
      jacket up enough to read what is on the watch. I have noticed that if
      I don't lock the time reading, then I find when I consult the watch
      for time, or check the temperature, I find I either accidentally hit
      the compass button, or the watch is in some other mode. While it is
      easy to scroll through, I don't know what effect this has on the
      battery life. So far the battery is still working fine. I have taken
      to wearing the watch around my pack strap while hiking as in this
      position, I can get accurate temperature readings, it is easy to read
      the time and without having to dig through layers of clothes. The draw
      back is that the compass feature requires the watch to be level to get
      an accurate reading where none of the other features have this
      requirement.

      The next trip out was a three day, two night backpacking trip with a
      rather large group of people in the Shenandoah National Park. Before
      leaving my house, I finally set the base camp altitude. I started off
      without the manual as I figured it would be set the same as all the
      other features that require setting. Basically I assumed I would have
      to enter the correct screen mode then hold the adjust/el button. This
      was not the case. To enter the base camp mode, the stop/start button
      is pressed while on the altitude screen, this toggles between the two
      modes. From there, the reset button is held down for at least 2
      seconds when then allows the setting of base camp. I had to pull out
      the manual to figure out what button to press to set the elevation.

      Another quick day hike out to Difficult Run in Virginia allowed me to
      play with the watch on the shoulder strap of my day pack. From there I
      had easy access to time and temperature as well as the weather icon.
      Since there was no big elevation gain, I didn't bother with the
      altimeter this trip. The weather was about 35 F (2 C). The weather
      icon was predicting sunny skies but the skies were in fact partially
      cloudy. Further into the hike the sky became overcast and threatening.
      The weather icon continued to show sunny. It eventually started
      raining and around that point the weather icon changed to cloudy.

      I took the watch out on a long day hike to the Shenandoah National
      Park to hike to St. Mary's Rock and the Pinnacle in Virginia. The
      elevation gain was about 2000 ft (610 m), distance was about 7 mi
      (11.3 km). This was a very windy and cold day. The temperature reading
      on the watch registered between 25 and 33 F (-4 and 1 C) depending if
      I was facing the sun or not. The temperature was only indicative of
      the air temperature and not the real feel temperature which was much
      lower given the 50 mph (80 kph) gusts I experienced on the summits and
      30 mph (48 kph) sustained wind. The watch had earned a spot on the
      shoulder strap of my day pack on this trip for which I was grateful to
      not have to expose my warm wrist to the howling winds.

      Another overnight trip to Big Schloss say temperatures down to 23 F
      (-5 C) as an overnight low. Since I didn't reset the altimeter to base
      camp before leaving I noticed that the altimeter was off during the
      trip. This trip the watch became a permanent fixture on the shoulder
      strap to my pack. I find this spot almost ideal as I can get a quick
      reading on the watch with little effort. I do have to be careful to
      not hit a button when tipping the watch up for better viewing. I find
      in this position, I have fewer inadvertent button presses and I don't
      have to dig under layers of clothing.

      The last trip out was a car camping trip with a 6 mile (9.6 km) loop
      day hike from the base camp. A fellow hiker had a GPS and was taking
      somewhat regular readings. On this trip I did not bother to calibrate
      the watch before leaving or once I arrived as I forgot. I was rather
      impressed that the watch, not having been calibrated in some time
      (about 2-3 weeks), was still accurate to about 5 ft (1.5 m) on this
      trip.

      Final Musings

      Overall, I found the watch cool, and somewhat useful. There were
      features that while I did test that they worked and were accurate, I
      just did not use them over the course of my trips. The watch does
      satisfy my curiosity about the current temperature but in many cases I
      had to remove the watch to get an accurate reading until I started
      attaching it to the outside of my pack. I found the weather icon
      gimmicky and I also was constantly resetting it to reflect the current
      weather. At first I felt this might have been partially due to not
      having initially set up the base camp feature to my home, but once I
      set it up it still was rather inaccurate and didn't reflect the actual
      weather or upcoming weather. In the end I didn't bother consulting it
      or trusting it. My use of the watch on the last few trips had me
      attaching it to the strap of my day pack or backpack. I would then
      place the watch in altimeter mode and from there I had the current
      elevation, temperature and time. I rarely use any other setting now
      and I wish I could lock it in the altimeter setting as I sometimes hit
      the mode button while checking the watch.

      I think having the trend line available for the barometer and
      altimeter might have been more useful then the weather widget. I have
      found the altimeter was very useful on hikes with large ascents and
      descents as it allowed me to know approximately how much further I had
      to go and gave me an idea where I was on the map. After some use, I
      tended to just put the watch in altimeter mode from the beginning. As
      I hike mostly on well marked trails, the compass was mostly only
      useful when leaving camp in the morning to make sure I was going in
      the right direction. It did occasionally come in handy on summits to
      determine what landmarks I was looking at. The one button quick
      features are very useful, and can quickly be exited by pressing the
      mode button. The timer only seems to count down but it is possible to
      set various countdown times. The chronometer only counts up but only
      counts up to 59 minutes and 59 seconds. I never had to reset the time
      other then to switch out of day light saving mode. The calendar has
      also been spot on without any end of month adjustments to account for
      only 30 day months.

      Wear and tear on the watch has been minimal. I tried to take care to
      not bang up the watch, but there is some surface scratches on the face
      of the watch. The scratches are not so bad that they obscure the
      readings, to date the scratches are light and barely noticeable. I did
      get some sunblock on the housing over the summer with all the kayaking
      I was doing. The sun block seemed to stay on the housing for a few
      wears but eventually it faded and is no longer visible. The strap
      looks in good shape with no visible cracking or damage to it. I feel
      it is still going strong and I trust it to stay on my wrist or pack
      strap. Even after exposure to just below freezing temperatures the
      strap and water are still doing well. The battery is still going fine.
      I haven't had the watch stop working nor have I noticed any low
      battery indicator.

      Pros:

      - everything is available in one place and easy to use/read

      - once calibrated the readings are accurate

      - the quick feature buttons are valuable and used constantly

      Cons:

      - size of the watch especially under clothes is an impediment

      - temperature reading not accurate while worn

      This concludes my long term report on the Origo Traverse Peak watch. I
      wish to thanks Origo and BGT for allowing me to test this watch. Thank
      you for following this test series.
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