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Reviews > Electronic Devices > Watches > Origo Rendezvous Peak > Test Report by Jamie Lawrence

Origo Rendezvous Peak Watch

Test Series by Jamie Lawrence

Initial Report - 7th October 2009

Field Report - 8th December 2009

Long-Term Report - 10th February 2010

Tester Information

Name:

Jamie Lawrence

Email:

jlawrence286@gmail.com

Age:

27

Location:

Hobart, Tasmania AUSTRALIA

Gender:

Male

Height:

1.70 m (5' 7")

Weight:

70 kg (154 lbs)

 

I was introduced to backpacking/tramping/hiking as a young child in Boy Scouts and through my school physical/adventure education. After leaving school, I mainly did short daywalks until recently when I started to re-walk some of Tasmania's key routes and try others I have yet to attempt. I mainly walk in the winter months, in Tasmania's central highlands area. I prefer light gear, extended walks (3-5 days) in a group of 3 or shorter walks (1-3 days) walking solo. I would generally carry a base weight pack of around 8 kg - 10 kg (17 lbs - 22 lbs).


Initial Report

7th October 2009

Product Information & Specification

Manufacturer:

Origo

Year of Manufacture:

2009

Manufacturer's Website:

http://www.origowatch.com

MSRP:

US$180.00

Listed Weight:

70 g (2.47 oz)

Measured Weight:

74 g (2.61 oz)

Dimensions:

Diameter: 32 mm (1.26 in)

Case: 43 mm (1.69 in)

Thickness: 15 mm (0.59 in)

IR1

Image courtesy Origo


 

 

According to Origo the Rendezvous Peak (the RP) is 'Designed for the uncompromising athlete, Rendezvous Peak watches are precision instruments that not only perform, but project sophistication. Its competitive nature is hidden behind its handsome exterior. Each multi-sensor watch unites barometric pressure, altimeter and digital compass data in a small, sleek timepiece. The perfect Rendezvous is waiting for you.' 

 

This RP is available in only Black but with a choice of standard display or reverse display (as pictured above), I am testing the reverse display model. The regular display model has a white background with black numbers/icons.

Trying out the Rendezvous

The RP is a multi-sensor watch that features in-built barometer, altimeter and digital compass. I have never used a watch of this design before but I have seen plenty of them in camping stores so had a good idea of what to expect. My initial reaction on opening the box was that the RP is in fact a nicely designed timepiece that I could easily wear as a casual accessory as well as an important piece of bushwalking navigation gear.

When I removed the RP from the box I immediately needed to adjust the time for my local time zone. I figured that this would be an easy enough task and being a stubborn male, decided not to read the instructions manual. So I set about pressing and holding down all the buttons! Naturally this didn't work and I as confronted with the words KEY LOCKED on the screen. At this point it is worth noting that the instructions manual included with the RP is excellent and clearly explained to me where I had gone wrong. Within a minute or so I was able to correct the time as well as change the output to 24 hour format (my preference), temperature to Celsius and altitude to Meters. For the record, KEY LOCKED is a useful function to prevent the watch accidently changing to 'high power consumption functions such as digital compass, EL back light, altimeter and TIME function', according to page 10 of the manual.

Onboard Functions

The RP has 4 buttons, START/STOP, RESET, MODE and ADJUST/EL. By pressing the MODE button you are able to scroll through the different functions of the RP. Each function is displayed on the screen with the following abbreviations:

MODE

DESCRIPTION

TIME

Current time, calendar, current weather and temperature display

COMP

Digital Compass

BARO

Current weather forecast, barometric pressure and history

ALTI

Current altitude and altitude history

ALTI DATA

Altimeter data logbook for user recall

CHRO

Chronograph with lap and split time

CHRO DATA

Chronograph logbook for user recall

ALRM

2 Alarms

TIMR

Countdown timer

 

The only functions that I have been able to figure out how to use without reference to the instructions manual is the TIME and the TIMR function. From my first quick flick through the manual I know I need to calibrate the digital compass as well as reset the barometric pressure to give both accurate altitude readings as well as barometric pressure changes for the weather forecast display in TIME mode. I have yet to do this as I have not needed to use the functions and given the large size of the watch compared to the simple watches I wear on a daily basis, I am simply getting used to wearing the RP.

Wearing and Using the Rendezvous

I was initially concerned that the RP would not fit my wrist, despite the 10 holes in the band to enable a wide range of fittings. My concerns were not because of the number of holes but more the general design of the wrist band. The large body of the RP is connected to the wrist band at almost right angles, making it a very tight fit. The wrist band also doesn't flex or hinge off the body of the watch, this makes for quite a tight fit on my wrist, especially compared to my usual wrist watch.

IR3

IR4

The large body of the RP compared to my normal watch

The wrist band of the RP which is not hinged to the body

 

I find that the RP is most comfortable on my wrist when I use the middle holes on the wrist band. I find it really easy to get the watch on, but taking it off is quite hard. I have to really pull at the band to release the pin from the hole. Hopefully this will loosen up with more use. For the most part, the RP is quite comfortable to wear and the display is easy for me to read, with the exception of the small weather indicator icons and battery icon. In simple terms these are just too small for me to see!! Mind you I don't need a watch to tell me if it is sunny or cloudy, I can just look at the sky for that. I find the display is also a little dim, so much so that even in a lit up room I have to sometimes use the EL function to backlight the display. Even with the EL on, which is a pleasant blue colour, the display is still quite dim, but in close to total darkness, the EL function is great. I am not sure if the dimness of the display is because of the reverse display design or not.

Summary

Overall I quite like the Rendezvous Peak as an outdoor timepiece but I need to spend a lot more time reading the instruction manual before I can use it to its full potential. I was quite surprised by how much I was not able to figure out by just 'playing' with the RP as I am usually tech savvy. Lucky the instruction manual is super small so I have no concerns in taking it out in the field with me as a reference.

So far I like the general design and quality of the RP. I look forward to getting to know the full features in more detail in the field. I am a little concerned about the wrist band but assume this will resolve itself after a bit more wear.

This concludes my Initial Report of the Origo Rendezvous Peak Watch. 


.

Field Report

8th December 2009

Field Locations & Conditions

I began testing the Origo Rendezvous Peak (RP) on a recent trip to Freycinet National Park. This 3 day trip was mainly on coastal tracks at sea level but did involve a climb of Mt Freycinet (620 m/2,034 ft) and Mt Graham (579 m/1,900 ft). During this trip there was no rain and temps were around 20 C (68 F) during the day with night time lows of around 8 C (46 F). I also wore the RP during a 6-hour Rogaining event. In addition to this I have been wearing the RP regularly as my watch when I am playing sport or training.

Performance in the Field

On their website, Origo clearly state that the RP has been "Designed for the uncompromising athlete'. With this in mind I commenced my testing by wearing the RP whilst competing in a 6-hour Rogaining event. Rogaining is a sport of long distance cross-country navigation which involves planning a route and navigating between a variety of check-points worth different levels of points based on their complexity to locate or reach. The idea is to collect the most amount of points within the set time-frame. 

FR1

Collecting a check point during the 6 hour rogaine

A Rogaine is normally undertaken on foot but I participated in a mountain bike based event which for me was a great challenge and a heap of fun! Our team of 4 covered around 80km (50 mi) across a wide range of terrain ranging from coastal walking tracks, urban streets to dense rough bush. In a rogaine, points are deducted for every minute beyond the finish time that teams arrive late to the finish. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to test the timer (TIMR) function of the RP. When I selected TIMR I discovered the countdown was set to 30 minutes. By holding down the ADJUST/EL button, I was able to then access the set up for the timer. By pressing MODE I was able to scroll through to set 6 in hours and clear out 30 in the minutes to leave me with 06:00.00 on the screen. When the start gun was fired I simply pressed START/STOP and the countdown started. In TIMR mode the RP displays 3 lines of data with the top line being the original time set (6 hours in this case), the middle (largest) display being the time remaining on the countdown and the bottom line being the current time. I prefer 24 hour time format, which I set as my preference in TIME mode, which is also displayed in TIMR mode. I was pleased that I could make this adjustment and operate the START/STOP button without removing my as I was wearing full finger cycling gloves.

I have no idea at what point it happened, but I was highly disappointed to discover that when I went to check how much time I had remaining during a drink stop the countdown had stopped. I was fortunate that I recorded the exact start time on the corner of my map so I was still able to work out how much time was remaining in the race but it was easier to simply glance down when in TIMR mode. After the race I restarted the timer and pressed all 4 function buttons on the RP to see what could have caused the timer to stop. Pressing the ADJUST/EL button simply activated the backlight. Pressing MODE selected the next mode of display (TIME is after TIMR). However by scrolling back to TIMR by pressing MODE a few more times, I noted the countdown had continued. Pressing RESET did nothing whilst the timer was counting down. Pressing START/STOP made the timer stop (obviously) so I can only assume that during one of my many tumbles that the START/STOP button must have been pressed by mistake.
FR2

During the event weather changed from bright sunshine to pouring rain. I also had a few falls so by the end of the race the RP was covered in mud and had been wet for hours. After a wash in some fresh water, the RP was as good as new  with the exception of a tiny scuff as shown in the picture to the left.

I have also tested the RP during the above walk in the Freycinet National Park. I used very few of the functions of the RP (I forgot they were there!) but I was able to test the COMP function as well as ALT and BARO. When I arrived at the start of the track I had to calibrate the COMP to ensure it was tracking north correctly. This was easy enough to do by pressing a few buttons and then rotating the RP through 360 degrees slowly over around 30 seconds. Once complete, I found north aligned with north as displayed on both my GPS and base plate compass. Having said this, I found the degrees heading display changed very fast, even when I thought I was holding the RP still. The displayed degrees seemed to swing around 4-5 degrees. I did not test the impact of this on actual navigation as I was on formed tracked and therefore did not require compass navigation.

The other surprise I had during the trip to Freycinet was the displayed altitude verses the readings of my GPS. As per above, I did not need compass/GPS assistance to navigate so my GPS was simply to compare against the RP in ALT mode. When atop of Mt Freycinet, my GPS put me at 619 m (2,031 ft) but the RP displayed only 589 m (1,932 ft). However, the cloud icon was visible on the screen and there was a definite change in the weather coming in so I assume the drop in air pressure may have resulted in the difference between my actual altitude and the perceived altitude of the RP. I switched to BARO mode to see if there had in fact been a change in air pressure and the small graph in the top of the screen was flat. I did not recalibrate the BARO at the start of the walk when I set the compass, maybe this was a mistake, because the barometer setting is in mbar and I am only familiar with the hectopascal system so I had no idea how to set it nor to what (as I had no current air pressure reading anyway!). I plan on having another good read of the instructions manual to figure out this function more successfully.

As noted in my Initial Report, I found the RP really hard to get off my wrist due to the design of the band. Whilst I find it highly comfortable to wear for many hours at a time, I always struggle to get the RP off, and sometimes it even hurts! I have changed my thoughts on this though from the design of the band to the design of the buckle. I noticed the pin in the buckle that goes through the holes in the band has a large bow in it, with an almost 90 degree bend in the very end. I think that it is this shape that makes it hard for me to get the pin to release from the hole when I want to remove the watch. I compared the pin design to other watches I own and the RP pin is very different to all the other watches I own, which have quite straight pins.

Summary

So far during my testing I am still coming to terms with the full functionality of the Origo Rendezvous Peak watch. In general terms I find it is highly comfortable and extremely suited to athletic and outdoor type uses as claimed by Origo. Despite this I feel the design of the buckle appears to be a serious design flaw in my view. In addition the lack of adjustment of the barometer measurement from mbars is also a little frustrating. I will continue my testing of the RP and see if I can become more comfortable with these annoyances with what is otherwise a high quality timepiece.

This concludes my field report of the Origo Rendezvous Peak watch.

Again I would like to thank Origo and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product.


Long-Term Report

11th February 2010

Field Locations & Conditions

I continued my field testing of the Origo Rendezvous Peak watch in various settings, including some backpacking and camping as well as off-shore sailing. As all my long term testing has been during my summer, I have spent a lot of time at the beach and in coastal locations. I recently spent 2 nights camped at Bridport, at sea level. There was no rain and temps ranged from 35 C (95 F) to lows around 12 C (53 F). I also used the RP on an overnight walk into Mt Field National Park. During this walk I was between 1,038 m ( 3,405 ft) and 1,272 m (ft). Again the weather was lovely and sunny with no rain and temps were hot, getting to 38 C (100 F) during the day and only dropping to 18 C (64 F) at night. I also wore the RP during a recent off shore ocean race. This short race of around 90 nautical miles (166 km/103 mi) was from Hobart around Bruny Island and involved travel between 43° 31.421² S and 42° 52.945²S latitude. Sea and weather conditions were light and sunny with no rain.

Ongoing Performance

I have continued to wear the RP as pretty much my regular timepiece when ever I am in an outdoor or sports type setting, or pretty much when ever I am not in the office at work. I actually found that during the yacht race I used quite a few of the features of the RP. Firstly, prior to the start of the race it is critical to have an accurate countdown to measure the precise start of the race. A gun/canon is fired exactly 10 minutes before the race starts. I set the TIMR function to be 10.00 (10 minutes) and as soon as the gun fired, I pressed START/STOP to begin the countdown. This proved to be a highly reliable gauge of the remaining time before the start of the race as the gun went off within seconds of the countdown ending and the RP beeping telling me 10 minutes was up.

I also used the BARO setting a few times to monitor any possible changes in the weather whilst out off the coast. Fortunately for us on board this proved to be somewhat useless as a large high pressure system was present the whole 15 hours of the race, and light stable weather was all that resulted. The RP simply displayed the Sun icon the whole time and there was next to no noticeable difference in air pressure.  I also tried to use the COMP function to be a handy reference to check direction of the boat without checking the GPS or on board navigation gear. I found it rather annoying that the display was so quick to change, which I assume was due to the pitching of the boat. When I left the RP in COMP mode I would always have to hit START/STOP due to the RP display going blank after around 90 seconds. Despite not being designed as a primary navigation tool, it was handy to be able to quickly check the boat heading with the RP COMP function.
On deck

Apart from the yacht race, I also wore the RP a lot during recent camping and day trips to the beach.  I actually ended up wearing the RP in the water for quite some time and at no point did this cause an issue. Despite being sandy, I did not notice that this made the RP less comfortable to wear, which was a bonus.

During the long-term testing phase I only really had 2 issues. The first was with the volume of the alarm in ALRM mode. I found it really easy to set an alarm time without reference to the instructions manual. I set the alarm to 7am as I needed to wake up at this time to be somewhere. I had the RP sitting just near my head. I was annoyed (and late!) when the RP alarm went off and wasn't loud enough to wake me. I also thought that I had turned the alarm off after this incident but to my surprise it went off again for 2 mornings! I double checked the reference guide and after I followed the step by step instructions the alarm was finally off. When the alarm is on a small icon appears on the TIME screen. Unfortunately for me, I was unable to see the icon as it was simply too small. The second issue I had was a bit strange. I was checking the time one day and I noticed what I thought was the battery icon indicating the battery was nearly fully drained. I thought 'gee, that's happened quick' and made a mental note to replace the battery when I got home the following day. I clearly have a bad memory and forgot to replace the battery. This was about 6 weeks ago and the battery icon now displays the battery having full life!!! Given the small size of the icon, I assume I simply didn't see the indicator bars the first time.

Final Summary

Throughout the testing period I have greatly enjoyed wearing and using the Origo Rendezvous Peak watch. Apart from when I want to remove the watch, the RP is really comfortable and highly suited to a multitude of sports and outdoor activities for its handy functions and practical design. I anticipate that I will continue to wear the RP for many years to come, especially when heading out backpacking into the wilderness.

This concludes my test series of the Origo Rendezvous Peak watch. I would to
thank Origo and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product.



Read more reviews of Origo gear
Read more gear reviews by Jamie Lawrence

Reviews > Electronic Devices > Watches > Origo Rendezvous Peak > Test Report by Jamie Lawrence



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