Traska made a splash in 2018 when they launched their first watch, the Freediver. While microbrand dive watches are not out of the ordinary, Traska differentiated themselves in a few ways with the watch. Bringing a proprietary coating to the Freediver, Traska was able to make all the exterior surfaces of the watch 6 times more scratch resistant than standard 316L stainless steel; more on that later. They also introduced a mint-colored dial, immediately setting the Freediver apart from other dive watches in the segment.
After a successful launch of the Freediver, Traska was in relative radio silence, quietly launching a gray dial Freediver in early 2019 but with no other news of a new release from the brand. Traska is now ready to launch their next model, more than a year after the Freediver. Keeping with the theme of the Freediver, limited dial options that include green and black are available for the Summiteer. However, the same care has been taken selecting the colorways and each one has its own unique characteristics.
Putting on the Summiteer
Coming in at 38mm wide, 46mm lug-to-lug, and only 10mm high, the Traska Summiteer is a watch sized for the contemporary market. After sizing the bracelet and putting the watch on, it immediately felt comfortable and like it was already a part of my wrist. The gentle curve of the lugs as they slope down hug your wrist perfectly, yet they are not so curved as to make it uncomfortable for wearers with larger wrists.
With the case height being so slim, the Summiteer feels light but never dainty. The case feels solid, as does the bracelet. The bracelet tapers from 20mm at the lugs to 16mm at the clasp. I’ve stated in previous reviews that a 4mm taper adds the most comfort to bracelet design.
The comfort of the Summiteer is further enhanced by the clasp. A dual push-button clasp adorned with the Traska logo is also 16mm wide. It is thin and unobtrusive. All the links of the bracelet are solid and conform well to the shape of the wearer’s wrist.
Traska has employed their proprietary coating on the Summiteer, making the watch more resistant to scratches than a watch with standard 316L stainless steel. Because of this, I never felt worried about whether I would bump the watch into something or put desk diving marks on the clasp, which is also treated.
If you have ever worn a Sinn 556, the Summiteer is going to feel familiar to you. The dimensions and fit of the two watches are similar. If you have not worn the Sinn before, you’re going to be happy with the Summiteer.
One thing I enjoy about watches under 40mm is that you can see more of the bracelet as it wraps around your wrist. It gives a more substantial feel to the watch, despite its smaller size.
Thanks to the dial design and the flat sapphire with AR coating, I had no issues reading this watch. I often felt I could read it at a glance from 10 feet away if necessary.
The dial of the Summiteer is intentionally designed to be simple and readable at a glance. Given that the watch is falling into the category of a field watch, this is imperative to the design. Large 3, 6, and 9 numerals decorate the dial with straight lines at all other positions except for a triangle at the 12 o’clock position. A minute track with hash marks for each minute flanks the numerals.
The dial is two concentric circles. The outer part of the dial contains all of the information necessary for reading the time. The inner part of the dial, which steps down, contains Traska’s logo, Automatic and Summiteer.
While I enjoy the simplicity of the dial and understand it was designed to be legible at a glance, I do wonder if more could have been done with the inner step of the dial. Perhaps a 24-hour track could have been added. With that said, given the size of the dial, I understand the omission of more markings.
The hands are sword-shaped, with the hour hand being broader and shorter than the minute hand. Depending on the dial color you choose, the seconds hand is a contrasting color, with the exception of the blue dial which has a white seconds hand to match the markings.
The markers and hands are all filled with Super-LumiNova BG-W9 which allows you to read the time adequately in the dark. Overall, the makeup of the dial markings and hand selection make the Summiteer one of the most legible watches I have reviewed. Even when the lume wasn’t fully charged, I had no problem reading the time.
Case & Bracelet
With definite field watch-inspired elements, the Summiteer is a tool watch through and through. The case and fixed bezel are almost entirely brushed. A thin polished chamfer runs the length of the case. The bezel also has a polished chamfer where it meets the main body of the case. These polished elements add a touch of dressiness to the watch, allowing the wearer to dress the watch up if necessary.
The transition of the polishing to brushing is all executed well with crisp and clean lines. The endlinks of the bracelet fit the case with tight tolerances and end at the tip of the lugs. Some will be happy to know the first center link on the bracelet is female, meaning it does not extend past the lugs of the watch. Drilled lug holes are present on the Summiteer, a given for a watch in this category.
The screw-in exhibition caseback houses the Miyota 9039 movement powering the Summiteer. The 9039 is a no-date movement so there is no phantom click when pulling out the crown to set the time.
A signed screwdown crown with a coin edge is attached to the Summiteer. The screwdown crown should give the wearer confidence that the 100-meter water resistance rating will hold true.
Traska states that the bracelet and clasp are inspired by Swiss bracelet purveyor Gay Frères. While I am not familiar with Frères, a quick Google search shows Traska has honored the inspiration for their bracelets. Polished chamfers and perlage finishing decorate the clasp.
The Summiteer is undoubtedly a simple watch on the surface, having a conservative case size with a printed dial that contains no more information than necessary. However, the more the wearer gets to know the Summiteer, the more the watch reveals.
The stepped dial adds depth to the dial in the same way applied markers might on other watches. The watch feels light enough on your wrist to blend in, but solid enough to remind you it is a tool watch. As the bracelet tapers down around your wrist, you realize you don’t want to take it off.
Finding ways to execute these elements in a way that doesn’t scream at the wearer shows the care that Traska took when designing the Summiteer. All too often, microbrands follow up a successful dive watch release with another dive watch. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I’m happy to see Traska take a step in another direction and not follow a cookie-cutter recipe for their sophomore release.
If you’re looking for a no-nonsense watch or even a more affordable alternative to some pricier field watches like the Sinn 556, the Summiteer is going to scratch that itch. Adding some nice touches like a contrasting seconds hand and an excellent bracelet, Traska has found a way to separate the Summiteer from the rest of the pack.
Looking for more field watch recommendations? Check out more field watch reviews from The Watch Clicker
Check out the Traska website
|Lug-to-lug Height||46mm||Lug Width||20mm|
|Water Resistance||100 meters||Lume||Super-LumiNova® BGW9|
More Images of the Traska Summiteer