Navigating around town or through the countryside has never been easier thanks to Suunto’s handy and reliable M-9 wrist compass. Featuring a serrated bezel ring that turns easily even when you’re wearing gloves and a luminous card that’s legible in dimly lit conditions, the compass is great for hiking, biking, and a host of other activities. More significantly, the M-9 fits conveniently around your wrist like a wristwatch, so you needn’t worry about rummaging through your pockets for a handheld compass each time you want to take a reading. Add in a jewel bearing, a side reading window, and a ratchet mechanism that helps you set the desired direction and you have a great “in a pinch” compass.
The M-9 employs Suunto’s two-zone system to achieve precise, accurate readings regardless of location. Previously, most compasses functioned well in only one of five geographic zones. That’s because the compasses were balanced differently based on the zone’s inclination, i.e., the vertical intensity and direction of the Earth’s magnetic field. However, as people began to travel more, it became clear that globe-hopping adventurers needed compasses with a greater geographical range. Suunto’s two-zone system, by contrast, considers only the northern and southern hemispheres. In practice, this means that a Suunto compass designed for the northern hemisphere–as the M-9 is–will still work for a fair distance into the southern hemisphere and vice-versa. Suunto is one of only two compass manufacturers to offer two-zone compasses.