I’ve been diving for nearly a decade and in that time I’ve averaged between 100-200 dives each year. Over that period I have gone through a LOT of dive gear. Some of it has been lost, some of it has been unsatisfying in performing the job it is intended for, some of it has broken or deteriorated. And while I currently have plenty of equipment that I am incredibly happy with, there is one piece of equipment that has, dollar for dollar, been the best gear investment I have made: my Suunto SK-7 compass.
Forty dives and the Suunto SK-7 is still going strong
This little unit was purchased with my first set of gear somewhere around dive #40, before my rescue course during my first year of diving. It’s still going strong. It’s been all over BC, been passed around to dozens, maybe hundreds of students, been tossed around several gear bags and just keeps ticking. It now resides in a pink Deep Sea Supply bungee mount rather than its original wrist mount, but that’s about all the work I’ve ever done to it.
Durability and performance
The SK-7 is not only durable, but in terms of performance it has pretty much every other underwater compass beat. It is easy to read and has a tilt potential of 30%, which means you don’t have to worry about it getting stuck if you don’t have it perfectly level (hard to accomplish underwater). Navigation is much easier when you don’t have to struggle with your compass or second guess it.
I have such a fondness for this reliable piece of equipment I am considering retiring it while it is in working order. It has been through a lot of up and downs with me throughout my diving history and may have earned a spot as a sentimental keepsake. Besides, a $90 piece of equipment that has logged upwards of 1000 dives doesn’t owe me much any more. The lubber line is barely visible. When the time finally comes to replace it, you can be certain I’ll be buying another SK7.