This is the Suunto MB-6 Global Compass, it’s a mechanical compass with a globally balanced needle on a jewel bearing and an adjustable declination correction scale for use in the mountains and on other non-level terrain.
Perhaps the most important feature of the MB-6 is the fact that it has a globally balanced needle. Typically compasses are set to work in either the northern or southern hemisphere and things can go awry when you cross the equator.
Suunto: A History Speedrun
Suunto was founded in 1936 by Tuomas Vohlonen, a Finnish orienteer and inventor. Vohlonen invented the liquid-filled compass, which provided more accurate readings and stable needle movement compared to traditional dry compasses. This innovation formed the foundation for Suunto’s early success.
In the 1950s, Suunto expanded its product range to include marine compasses and other navigational instruments. The company continued to develop and refine its compass designs, gaining a reputation for producing reliable instruments that became a mainstay for many mariners.
In the 1980s, Suunto made a significant breakthrough by introducing its first dive computer, the Suunto SME-ML. This revolutionary device enabled divers to monitor their depth, dive time, and decompression limits, enhancing safety and convenience during underwater exploration.
Over the years, Suunto continued to expand its product line. The company introduced sports watches with integrated GPS technology, heart rate monitoring, and other advanced features, catering to the needs of athletes and outdoor enthusiasts, and they did it many years before Apple and Samsung joined the fray.
The Suunto MB-6 Global Compass
The Suunto MB-6 Global Compass was designed specifically for people who plant to travel globally, it has an (aforementioned) globally balanced needle so it’ll work anywhere in the world, it’s also water-resistant, and it has a 20 degree tilt margin for easier readings in varied terrain.
Each one of these compasses is made in Finland, they’re given luminescent markings for working in low light, an adjustable declination correction scale, a clinometer, each one comes with a Suunto limited lifetime warranty, and they come in a tough polycarbonate slide-out matchbox-like case for safekeeping.
Sunnto is currently showing that this compass is sold out on their website however the official Sunnto store on Amazon still has 14 in stock (at the time of writing). There’s also a slightly cheaper version with just a Northern Hemisphere needle if that’s all you need.
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