Gadget Guru: Watch Time

Several years ago, there was a watch on the market that told you not only what time it was,but what altitude you were at and kept track of how many runs you did. Imagine the bragging rights you’dhave if you knew just how much vertical you achieved over the whole season? Don’t fear altitude sickness,there’s a new breed of watches that out-tech their predecessors. Three watch companies offering timepiecesthat tell you just how high you are (and we’re talking about the mountains, puffy), your ascent and descentrate, and even tracks your year-end vertical-descent total. At last you’ll be able to figure out what youactually accomplished all winter.

FreeStyle Altimeter

This wristwatch records total descent by day andyear, tracks ascent/descent rate, has an altitude-accumulation pause function, and dual-location setting forquick calibration. Other functions include backlight, date, alarm, and 34-lap memory stopwatch with recall.Bonus: Tells you how to work through the features easily by just following the directions on the display.Price: 200 dollars Number of pages in instruction booklet: 40 Size of watch: Bigger than average, butsleek style For more info: 1-877-STYLECLICK, or:

G-Shock Riseman

(Terjepro-model Riseman pictured, but it’s only available in Japan.) An altimeter, barometer, and thermometer allin one timepiece. It also boasts a backlight, 200-meter water resistance, calendar, alarm, and date features,plus has a low-temperature resistance. Bonus: Displays the altitude and the time simultaneously. Price: 250Number of pages in instruction booklet: 73 Size of watch: Monstrous For more info:1-800-BY-G-Shock, or:

Suunto Altimax

The Altimax tracks number of runs,ascent/descent rate, date has a dual-time function, and a backlight for midnight poach sessions. It alsofeatures an altimeter, barometer, and thermometer. Bonus: A logbook function allows you to check thecumulative vertical ascent/descent in feet or meters (for the rest of the world), as well as the number of runsyou’ve taken. Price: 179 dollars Number of pages in instruction booklet: 44 Size of watch: Frickin’ big Formore info: 1-800-543-9124, or: -J.S.