I first reviewed the Traska Freediver way back in 2020 (review here). At the time, it was one of my favorite microbrand dive watches. It had great looks, solid proportions, and was affordable. Three years later and the Freediver is in its 5th iteration. All the things I loved about the watch are still true, and as with the rest of Traska’s iterative lineup, the Freediver has become even better.
On the Wrist
The Freediver has always been a great-fitting watch. The case design will not likely win any awards at GPHG, but that isn’t the point. The only distinction the Freediver is trying to win is a spot on your wrist. This version of the Freediver is nearly a 1:1 match to the originals regarding dimensions, except in one crucial category: thickness. The Freediver comes in at 40.5mm wide, 48mm lug-to-lug, and 10.5mm thick. This is almost 2mm thinner than the Seiko NH-powered Freedivers. This fat-cutting measure by Traska brings it down to nearly 9mm wrist-to-crystal, which is just bonkers good.
The 48mm lug-to-lug might give some people a start. However, I broke out the calipers because I didn’t believe it was still 48mm. I consider 47mm the perfect size for my 6.75″ (17cm) wrist and thought the Freediver was even less than that. The calipers didn’t lie and are indeed 48mm, but the lug design negates the extra length on paper.
One thing that Traska does better than almost any other brand in its price bracket is competing for a one-watch collection. Any of their watches could make someone happy for the rest of their lives. The Freediver is the pinnacle of that statement as it is the most complete of the lineup. It has all the tool/sports watch function you could want and easily dresses up if you remove the bracelet and put it on leather (*gasp* a dive watch on leather *end gasp*). That’s right, we live in a world where you can wear a dive watch with your suit, and no one gives a crap…because why should they? Wear what you want; this isn’t North Korea.
Traska Freediver V3 Specs
Refinement is the name of the game when it comes to Traska’s iterative releases. Traska hits its stride with the 2nd release of its watches and achieves perfection after that. The Freediver’s dial is cohesive, simple, and effective minimalism.
The markers, which are tapered, perfectly mirror the handset. At the top of the hour, the hour hand blends perfectly with the marker it is pointing to, and the minute hand intersects with the markers in a highly satisfying way.
As with all of Traska’s watches, dial text is minimal. Branding is located at 12 o’clock, and AUTOMATIC and the water resistance rating of 200 meters is located at 6 o’clock. That’s all we need. The dial is balanced and symmetrical and doesn’t appear too spartan.
You’ll notice in the lume shot below that the lume appears a little uneven, but that is only because this specific watch is a prototype. Every production Traska watch I’ve handled has had perfectly applied lume and plenty of it. The Freediver packs lume on the hands, markers, and a fully lumed bezel. Light up the night, baby!
Case & Bracelet
The case of the Freediver is sleek and elegant. While the inner lug bevels of earlier Freediver models are gone, they’ve been replaced with tight tolerances and classic looks. The lugs taper in gently as they approach the bracelet and curve down to achieve that 9mm wrist-to-crystal I mentioned.
Traska’s finishing has always been outstanding. The top of the lugs are brushed with a very fine polished chamfer running the length of the case. The sides of the case are polished, and there are no crown guards here. Operating the crown is effortless, and thanks to the no-date Miyota 9039, there is no ghost date position (unless you opt for the date version of the Freediver).
The bracelet is your standard oyster-style affair but with fully articulating links and the always striking perlage finishing on the inside of the clasp. I’d still like to see Traska implement a toolless micro-adjust system in the clasp, especially as no half-links are provided with the bracelet.
For the uninitiated with the Traska’s watches, they apply a proprietary hardness coating to the case and bracelet that is one of the best in the business. Our podcast co-host, Andrew, owns a Traska Commuter and has tried to intentionally scratch the bracelet to no avail. It’s that good. I’m never the first to see their prototypes for review, but they always look brand new. It’s insane how well the coating keeps scratches at bay.
While it’s a bummer that you can’t get a $400 Freediver anymore, as you could three years ago, they’re still a relative bargain at $635. The upgrades and refinements made to the Freedivers 100% justify the increase in price over the years, and the days of good $400 dive watches are disappearing as it is.
I’ve had countless dive watches come across my desk for review and/or photos, and the Freediver is one I keep coming back to as a recommendation for anyone looking for a dive watch. Its style will be universally liked by just about anyone, and those hunting in the sub-$1000 price segment will have a few coins leftover for some straps…which is something you’ll definitely want to try with your Freediver. The Freediver was one of my favorite microbrand dive watches, and it still is.
Check out more Traska reviews at The Watch Clicker here
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