Manufacturer: Traska | Price: $500 USD (£415 GBP, €460 EUR (Approx))
I recently reviewed the Traska Freediver II, an absolutely outstanding dive watch for the money, with a fit & finish you’d expect from a watch priced at 3 times as much. I actually bought one for my own collection and I have recommended the Freediver II time & time again since then. This time however, we have a field watch from Traska. I actually backed their Kickstarter campaign back in October of last year and although it arrived some time ago, it has taken me until now to get round to reviewing it. Yup, no review samples with this one, I bought and paid for this one with my very own beer tokens.
Oh yeah, I’d also like to add before I start with the review, the actual Kickstarter campaign that ran for the Traska Summiteer was an absolute pleasure to be a part of. I was kept up to date at every single stage of the watch manufacturing process, with a total of 13 updates from Jon, the owner of Traska. I digress, so will I flip this Traska Summiteer further down the line in the future, or is it a sure-fire keeper that will stay in my collection?
- Dimensions: Diameter – 38.2mm, Thickness – 9.8mm, Lug to Lug – 45.7mm, Lug Width – 20mm
- Movement: Miyota 9039, Automatic, 28,800vph (4Hz), Hackable, Self Winding, 42hr Power Reserve
- Case Material: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel with Polished Accents, Scratch Resistant Coating, Drilled Lugs
- Bracelet: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel, Scratch Resistant Coating, Solid End Links, Screw Pins, Milled Clasp
- Crystal: Flat Sapphire, Underside Anti-Reflective Coating
- Bezel: Fixed, Radial Brushing with Polished Chamfered Edge
- Water Resistance: 100m / 10ATM / 330ft
- Lume: Swiss Super Luminova® BGW9
- Crown: Signed, Screw Down
- Caseback: Screw Down, Exhibition Display, Sapphire Crystal, Unique Serial Number
- Warranty: 3 Years Overall Weight: 114g
- Where to Buy: Traska Dial Colour Options: Black, Blue, Green
Traska - The Brand
Traska are an independent American watch brand with a passion for exquisite detail and a commitment to excellence. Unmoved by the shallow ethos peddled by luxury brands and weary of fast-fashion offerings designed for obsolescence, Traska seized the opportunity to establish a legacy. They craft world class wrist watches that combine classic design and contemporary engineering. Their drive; to inspire those with discerning tastes to seek more from the watch on their wrist.
The knot logo symbolizes a seemingly complex problem that actually has a very clear and clean solution. We see the watch industry as hopelessly divided with low-quality fast fashion “articles” on the one hand and pricey luxury “timepieces” on the other. We decided to be different. With each new design, we obsess over every detail and challenge ourselves to break the mold and create something that will last - a watch that transcends the fads without the luxury facade. Our logo speaks to the fact that we aren’t intimidated by complexity. Instead, like Alexander the Great cutting the knot with one swipe of his sword, we’re motivated to keep finding bold yet simple ways to make watches we can be proud of.
Traska, in Swedish, is a verb that means 'to take a stroll', and our Swedish friends say it makes them think of nature. It’s also a reasonably uncommon word, which is good because it means we can really make it our own. Since we're a global community of connoisseurs and adventurers, it's also important that Traska is easy to pronounce, no matter what your native tongue."
Case & Crown
The case of the Summiteer has a diameter of 38.2mm. The lug to lug is 45.7mm and the overall thickness, including the double domed sapphire crystal, I measured in at a very svelte 9.8mm.😲 The entire case, caseback, bezel, crown and bracelet are all 316L stainless steel with Traska’s very own scratch resistant coating. The finish of the watch is mostly brushed but with rather sexy chamfered polished accents that run along the side of the case, over and twist down slightly over the ends of the lugs. I’ve got to say… I absolutely love this, it looks gorgeous and the transition between each finishing is utterly flawless. Another major point to note is just how thin the Summiteer is. Traska certainly know how to maximise the slim Miyota 9039 movement. The Traska Summiteer is by far, the slimmest watch I have ever reviewed.
The Summiteer has a water resistance rating of 100m, which is plenty for this sporty field watch and it’s all thanks to the screw down caseback & crown. The proportions of the watch, in my opinion, are nothing less than perfection for my 6¾″ wrist (I’ve lost weight before you ask), due to the relatively compact dimensions. The Summiteer wears utterly brilliant on wrist and it’s extremely comfortable, with it just melting onto your wrist. It’s as if there isn’t a watch there at all!
The signed crown is superb, not too big or too small. There is absolutely no wobble whatsoever when the crown is in use and you can also feel a very nice wee pop as you unscrew it. You can also see and feel the amount of work that has gone into the crown, making it feel very premium. The caseback has an exhibition display with sapphire crystal that shows off the ultra slim Miyota movement. There are also the usual specs around the edge, as well as a unique serial number.
Strap / Bracelet
Fitted as standard to the Summiteer is probably the best stainless steel bracelet that I’ve ever seen fitted to any microbrand. It still utilises all the bells & whistles that we all love, solid links thoughout, female end-links, screw pins for adjusting/sizing and a double push-button milled clasp. Traska don’t stop there though, as their attention to detail and tolerances are outstanding. Look at the image below for example, see that gorgeous perlage finishing, just stunning!
Traska didn’t have to do that, similarly to the push-button clasp with its excellent brushing with the addition of polished chamfered edges. Oh yeah, before I start drooling all over my keyboard, I should mention the actual measurements. The bracelet is 20mm at the lugs, yet tapers down to 16mm at the thinnest part, then back up to just under 17.5mm at the clasp. Talking of the clasp again, there are a total of 4 micro-adjustment holes to ensure that perfectly snug fit.
The chosen movement for the Traska Summiteer is the 9039, the no date version of the very popular 9015, manufactured by the Japanese company, Miyota. The 9039 is a fantastic slim calibre that is a 28,800vph, 4Hz, smooth sweep, 24 jewel automatic movement with self winding and hacking, yet with a very respectable 42 hour power reserve. Checking the accuracy after running the Summiteer for approximately 14 days, mainly on wrist and occassionally in my watch winder, I was extremely happy with the results, with the Sumiteer showing an average of just +3.8 seconds per day!
Dial & Bezel
The blue version that I have here, sports a cleaner simplified aesthetic, compared to that of the others with no contrasting seconds hand, just a very clean, yet not sterile design. The effect of the dial looks great too with the stepped inner section. There are bold arabics at the 3, 6 & 9 o’clock positions with batons everywhere else, less the triangular marker at 12.
As you can see in the images, the hour and minute hands are very nicely done with their sword style appearance. The seconds hand is great too, with it’s wee lumed arrow section and white paint finish that reaches right out to the minute track when sweeping around the dial. The dial has a fantastic overall design and for once, there’s nothing I’d change.
I always bang on about lume with pretty much every watch that I review, main reason being is that I’m a total lume junkie! Sometimes though, this can be an afterthought or cost cutting exercise by some brands. Well, you guessed it, Traska haven’t disappointed anyone on the lume front. It is brilliant, evenly and rather thickly applied. I just can’t fault it. Oh yeah, I nearly forgot… the actual lume that’s been applied is none other than Swiss Super Luminova® BGW9. 👍
I don’t really know where to start with the conclusion on this one, other than, if you’re a watch nut like me, but don’t want to, or can’t afford to pay thousands of pounds for a Rolex Explorer, then just get yourself a Summiteer from Traska. Someone actually said to me the other day, I can’t remember who, that this is more like an affordable alternative to a Monta Triumph and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve reviewed both, the Monta and this, and trust me, I’d pick the Traska each and every time. The quality is certainly up there, near if not at the same level, but with the Traska having the added bonus of being slightly slimmer, at just under 10mm, albeit with a Miyota movement. (Not a bad thing either).
Oh yeah, for all those fan boys out there that might disagree with me. Have you actually had both of these in hand to compare and scrutinize? I have, and I wholeheartedly stand by my statement. No disrespect to Monta whatsoever either, they do produce totally outstanding watches. All I’m saying is, this is just how good the Traska Summiteer actually is, get one, you most definately would not regret it!
Traska – Excellent job Jon. “The Mutts Nuts” as they say. Take a bow!
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