Your friends probably haven’t heard of TRASKA. Our watches aren’t cheap, but they don't cost thousands of dollars, either. People don’t wear our watches to show off their status, or to imitate a lifestyle to which they aspire. They choose TRASKA simply because they enjoy and appreciate the watches we make, for their own sake...
...For the workmanship. The passion. The care and attention paid to even the tiniest detail. To the right kind of person, these things are evident from the moment you first see a photo of one of our pieces. And when that watch arrives in your mailbox and you slide it onto your wrist, it brings you joy not because of some famous logo, but because of what it is.
We exist only because of our community who helped us bootstrap this company from literally nothing to where we are today. People find us through word of mouth. They tell the story of their TRASKA to others who share their passion for design and craftsmanship. At the same time, they know that most of their friends have never heard of this small independent brand. And they’re just fine with that.
I threw off my shirt, kicked off my flip flops, and leaped into the ocean. It was a beautiful day on a small island off the coast of Vietnam. The sun was shining, the ocean was clear and cool, and I was in the company of friends — life was good!
But then… I froze. A feeling of dread came over me. Something was wrong. I raised my arm out of the water, and all the elation I had been feeling a moment before vanished in an instant. I had forgotten to take off my 1966 Bulova Snorkel, the pride of my vintage watch collection. A closer look, and my worst fears were realized: Salt water had penetrated the crystal, flooding the dial. It was ruined.
Wearing a vintage watch like this while gallivanting around the world was reckless of me, but I’ve always loved my watches too much to leave them languishing in a safe somewhere. Vintage watches are collector’s items. They’re no longer meant to be worn on your wrist while you’re splashing about on the beach or hooning through Southeast Asia on a motorcycle. But what if they were?
An idea began to form in my mind for a watch that honored the timeless aesthetic and function of the vintage sport watches I admired, but in a robust modern package that could handle whatever you decided to throw at it. Back home in the United States, I grabbed a piece of paper and a pencil, and began working on the design for what would one day become the TRASKA Freediver.
Once this idea was planted in my mind, there was no getting rid of it. Watches had always been a passion of mine. Now, they became an obsession. I befriended local watchmakers, bombarding them with questions as I hovered behind them in their workshops. I spent the little savings I had traveling the world, searching for people with the skill and equipment needed to bring my dream to life.
The pieces seemed to be coming together. After a few failures, I finally had a prototype that did justice to my original vision. I built a simple website, and started sharing a few photos on Instagram. Initial noises from the watch community seemed positive. Maybe, just maybe, I was onto something.
I chose to launch our first ever model on Kickstarter — a crowdfunding platform where creators set all or nothing goals, and supporters "pledge" to buy the resulting product if (and only if) the campaign succeeds. Reach your target, and you're in business. Fall even $1 short, and you get nothing. This was my one shot to introduce TRASKA to the world. I was nervous, but also excited. One way or another, our future would be decided.
The result was fast and emphatic: We were fully funded in just a few hours, and ended up raising more than twice as much as our original target. The date was April 17, 2018, and TRASKA was in business!
From that day on, we have continued to grow at a staggering rate. A year and a half later, the Kickstarter campaign for our second model, the Summiteer, raised over $100,000 in just 12 hours.
For the first time, I can now truly say “we” with conviction, because TRASKA is no longer a one man show. There are now three people who wake up every morning committed to helping this company become better than it was the day before. But while our Kickstarter days are now behind us and we are maturing as a brand, I have never forgotten that direct, personal connection which will always be central to who we are.
Everything TRASKA has achieved has been because of this community. There will never be a day when I don’t look forward to picking up the phone and speaking personally to whoever calls our direct-line. So whether you have been with us from the beginning or are just now discovering TRASKA, thank you, and welcome. You are the reason that all of this exists.