The 2023 Collection
An introduction by TRASKA founder, Jon Mack
When I introduced you to last year’s collection, I never thought I’d be sitting here writing this over a year later. Maybe I should have known better as there seems to be a trend here — this isn’t exactly the first time we’ve taken every model of ours back to the drawing board…
But this time, it’s different. Because this time, I am certain that we’ve finally got every model right where it needs to be. The changes, while subtle, were made with one explicit purpose: to make a good thing even better.
Before we get to it, I’d like to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you for being here, for reading, for following our journey — for motivating us to be the best we can be. Without you, none of this would exist.
We’re gonna start this off with the tweaks that have been made collection-wide. After that, we’ll explore each watch in isolation to really dive into what’s been done here.
Those who paid attention to the recently released Venturer GMT will already be familiar with the majority of these collection-wide updates. But for those sitting in the back of the classroom, we’ll break it down one more time.
Perhaps the ‘biggest smallest’ change is the sapphire crystal. Have a look at this technical drawing first and then I’ll explain. This particular drawing is of the Commuter, but this same crystal has found its way onto the Summiteer, Freediver, Venturer GMT and Seafarer.
As you can see, the top portions of both crystals are relatively similar — though the bottom half is a different story.
After a lot of prototyping, we decided to go with a new style of boxed sapphire crystal that requires 50% more material and twice the amount of machining to manufacture compared to the previous version. The result? The crystal now exhibits a certain warmth, a certain mellow subtlety which teases the eye in a way the previous version just could not.
But here’s the best part: This tweak has allowed us to significantly reduce the thickness of the case, trimming the total case thickness (including the crystal) down by 0.65mm. Maybe losing 0.65mm doesn’t sound like much to you — but just look at the bezel, it’s lost a considerable amount of weight!
*That last part about reduced thickness does not apply to the Freediver as the rotating bezel needs its heft to ensure peak operability.
Let’s move on to the cases. The previous dimensions and profiles were good, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t room for a little improvement. So we started by broadening all the lug tips by around 7.5% — just enough to give them a slightly more robust, sportier look that translates to a more assertive stance on the wrist.
Next, we turned our attention to the cases’ profiles. We resculpted their contours and chamfers, revisiting every line of their silhouette. To further maximize the watches’ splendor, we also chose to mirror polish the flanks. This kind of finish really does the cases justice, allowing light to dance off the convex sides in a way that has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated.
You’ll find the final flourishes on the crowns. By making the chamfers on their outer perimeters larger, the new crowns now give off a thinner, more refined appearance than their predecessors. The formerly engraved logos are now embossed and exhibit a combination of polished and media blasted finishes.
To better assimilate the bracelets’ aesthetic with the polished case sides, we applied a mirror-polished finish to their sides. Perhaps easy to miss at first glance, astute observers like yourself will notice the links have also been shortened. This allows for more points of articulation, making it our most comfortable bracelet to date.
Proving that (virtually) nothing has escaped our iterative eye, even the buckles were completely redesigned and now feature a new locking mechanism with two points of contact for enhanced security. The two push buttons used to open it are now fully CNC-machined rather than stamped from sheet metal as before, affording the buckles an enhanced aesthetic as well as a more premium feel when used. Thanks to the addition of a 5th micro-adjust hole, the bracelets can now be lengthened or shortened in increments of 2 mm, which makes achieving the perfect fit easier than ever.
That about does it for the collection-wide tweaks. Now, I’d like you to turn your attention to the individual updates we’ve made to each of our beloved models.
Freediver Gen. 5
Oh how time flies! First introduced in 2018, the Freediver has undergone a total of 5 iterations — and that’s only including “production” iterations. Plenty more have been made behind the scenes during prototyping.
As a result of the Freediver already having gone through a lot of development throughout the years, its overall design now remains largely the same as in the most recent iteration — just a few tiny tweaks to the bezel were made. And these changes can’t even really be appreciated with the naked eye. You’ve got to feel it to believe it!
We made the ridges on the coin-edged bezels significantly sharper than before and changed their finish from polished to brushed. This change allows for superior grip with wet or gloved hands. Then we turned our attention to the 120-click bezel mechanism, completely overhauling its internal design to make it more dependable than ever.
And since we’re diving into the nitty-gritty details, I’d be remiss for not pointing out the final flourish: The tips of the hour and minute hands have been made 7.5% wider to give them an ever so slightly more aggressive look.
It’s the little things!
Summiteer Gen. 4
Our second model harkens back to 2019 and has also been through a number of iterations until now, but the newest version is more noticeably different than previous editions. Because of the new box sapphire crystal design, the case has been slimmed down from 11.2mm to 10.55mm (including crystal!).
Printed markers that once were are now gone. The dial now features block-like applied indices infused with BGW9 Super-LumiNova. A higher-end, modern interpretation of the printed markers commonly found on the vintage pieces we love.
And by popular demand from this community, we will be bringing back the Summiteer in both the original 38mm size and a new 36mm size. The 36mm version was introduced last year as a special edition, and sold out in about 55 seconds, making us think it was only right to give it a permanent spot in the TRASKA lineup.
Commuter Gen. 3
We already went over the new sapphire crystal design, but while I have your attention I’d like to just drive this point home one more time. The new crystal has totally changed the way the Commuter wears — and I sincerely believe it’s all the better for it. The new case sits lower on the wrist than before, making it feel even thinner than the official dimensions would suggest.
Now, have a look at this dial — magnificent, right? At a glance it appears to be the same dial as before. But you’re not here for just a glance. Look closely and you'll notice a variety of visual nuances that set it apart from its predecessor.
Hone in on the applied indices and allow yourself to be delighted by the subtle chamfers adorning their sides. Allowing light to reflect in all the right ways was at the forefront of our ambitions with the vast majority of these updates, and the faceted nature of these indices achieves this in a way that is both opulent and restrained.
We wanted to give the hour and minute hands a bit more contrast against the dial, but we still wanted them to maintain their silver sheen. The solution? Carefully brushing the middle sections so they would stand out from the polished, sloping sides. Now, they’re more legible, and the light simply waltzes around them.
Venturer Gen. 2
* It’s not only the details below that make the Venturer special. This watch launched our newly updated collection into the world with a solo debut in February 2023. Because of this, the Venturer will not be included in the reservation system — more on that at the end!
The same changes differentiating the Gen. 2 from the all-new Gen. 3 Commuter outlined in the section above also apply to the updated Venturer GMT. Chamfered hand-applied indices, brushed hands for superior legibility — all that jazz.
Since we’ve already gone over all those details, let’s focus on the most noteworthy update: The Miyota 9075 GMT movement.
This is no ordinary GMT movement. The introduction of this movement by Miyota has broken the proverbial glass ceiling that had divided the two classes of GMT movements. Until now, GMT movements in the affordable spectrum were really only available with “caller” complications. When changing the time at a new destination, the GMT hand on these caller movements would advance along with the hour and minute hand. This necessitated the extra step of having to adjust the GMT hand back to its previous position after setting your watch to a new time zone.
The Miyota 9075 solves this issue. Now, the GMT hand is no longer dependent on the hour hand, meaning there’s no added step needed when setting the time after landing on the runway — simply adjust the hour hand to reflect the time zone of your newest locale.
Movements like this have existed before, but until now, such “traveler” or “true” GMT complications were only available in the luxury sphere of watchmaking. True, to the uninitiated, harping on this new “feature” in the more affordable segment of watchmaking may seem quite trivial. But for those of us who relish the little details and appreciate the sophistication of these little mechanical marvels, it’s like a really big deal, okay?!
Seafarer Gen. 2
If you’ve been diligently reading chapter by chapter, you’ll remember me talking about how we replaced the printed markers on the Summiteer with “block-like applied indices infused with BGW9 Super-LumiNova.”
Well, we went ahead and did the same for the Seafarer. Why? Because these new indices are incredibly cool. Simple as that. Just like how our boxed sapphire crystal is a modern take on an age-old design, these new indices seamlessly blend vintage charm with the best that modern engineering has to offer.
In pursuit of greater flow and harmony, we also went ahead and redesigned the handset so it merges more intuitively with the other design elements on the dial. The result? We’ve learned a thing or two in our years, and believe we’ve now gotten the Seafarer to where it should be after just two iterations.
Okay, deep breath. That’s the 2023 collection. And maybe, just maybe, that’s the end of the iteration game. I truly believe that these watches now reflect the design vision that has impelled TRASKA from the very beginning. And if you agree, or you like what you see, then claim yours this August!
* The Freediver, Summiteer, Commuter, and Seafarer will all be in stock and ready to ship on August 13 at 11:00 AM Eastern!