Columbia Peak 15 ABC Watch Review
The Columbia Peak 15 is built by the same guys that are behind Soleus and Converse watches. Soleus in particular has gotten come great play lately because of their sub-$100 Soleus GPS 1.0 training watch. We were impressed with that product and we were equally impressed with the Columbia Peak 15. It’s named for Mount Everest (which up until 1865 was known simply as Peak 15) and has a decidedly winter bent to the design which includes a skiing oriented timer that measures rate of decent.
The Columbia Peak 15 includes all the features to qualify as an ABC watch – altimeter, barometer and compass. The compass delivered accurate readings during our tests but did need calibrating regularly. The same was true of the barometer and altimeter. Weather prediction based on changes in barometric pressure tended to be less accurate but still a valuable feature. Temperature readings also were inaccurate but this is the case with every ABC watch since the thermometer sits too close to the skin to give truly accurate ambient readings.
The watch itself is made of stainless steel and comes in as the heaviest in our test at just under four ounces. The face is clearly labeled with a large Mode button in the lower left to switch from one function to another. In the other three quadrants, Columbia locates a Set/Light button along with Start/Lap/Recall and Stop buttons.
Materials: Aluminum housing, rubber band
Weight: 3.875 oz
Watch Face Dimension: 2 in
Water Resistance: 320 ft
In addition to the ABC features the watch includes a chronograph, a ski timer which calculates rate of decent and interval timers. The chronograph worked flawlessly in our tests. The ski timer worked well too, but I found the utility somewhat lacking, since it only tracks one hour’s worth of data. The interval timers seemed to miss the mark a little as well. They count down but then continue to recycle until stopped by the user, adding segments as indicators of progress.
The Columbia Peak 15 boasts a face of two inches in diameter and roughly a half inch thick. That’s a large watch. But not too large. After an initial wearing, the watch looked right at home on my wrist. The rubber band adjusted easily and the retaining strap contains a small circular notch to positively lock the band in place. One knock, the large Mode button can be easily and inadvertently pressed causing users to jump from one function to another unknowingly.
The Columbia Peak 15 delivers the ABCs and then some. Compass, barometric pressure and altitude readings were accurate, and calibration was easy. We also liked the look and feel of the stainless case, the quality of the rubber wrist band and general build quality. If you’re in the market for a new ABC watch, don’t overlook the Columbia Peak 15.