At WWR, we’re no stranger to Raven watches. We covered the Raven Vintage, and Raven Vintage 42. Both of those models were strong homages to very early gilt dial Submariners from a well-known company whose name begins with ‘R’. Here, the new Trekker 40 is a move away from faithful homage watches. How so? Well…
First, this new watch is in pre-order stage. There will be 150 made, so if by the end of this post you think you’ll want one, you should probably act on that impulse. What you’re getting is a 40mm, classically proportioned diver, with a coin edge bezel, big crown, no crown guards case. It will be water-resistant to 300m, and bear the high beat Miyota 9015 movement as its engine. These are all good things. Here’s where it all goes a bit different.
As said, this is not a straight homage, recalling one specific model from history. This is a combination of a number of different watch traits, mostly from the same manufacturer’s catalogue, put together in a unique and tasteful way. The crown feels a lot like the crown of the modern Tudor Black Bay series, with it’s fine knurl that matches the Black Bay-esque fine coin edge bezel, and the smooth ring of the crown tube between case and knurl, a ring usually anodized on the Black Bay.
For those keeping score, that’s two elements from a modern watch that is meant to recall models from history. Then we have the no-guards case with a big crown, which echoes the 6538 Rolex big crown watches, which were very popular to make homages of just a few years ago, ala the Raven Vintage 40. The dial is a 3-6-9-12 affair, which is similar to early ‘Explorer’ dialed Submariners (1950s 6200 model), with a 12 instead of the inverted triangle, and a modern font for the numerals.
So that’s a third trait. The handset is a very well proportioned set of stick hands, which lack the points a Rolex might have used, but stick hands were used on a 6204 Submariner. The fifth element would be the Jubilee style bracelet. Many of the Rolex diver’s style watches shipped with the Oyster bracelet. The Jubilee is a more comfortable bracelet for many, both being a little lighter weight than a solid Oyster, and just more flexible. I once sat next to a pilot riding as a passenger on a flight, and he wore a 1969 GMT Master. When I asked him about it, he said, the first things he had done were to change the pepsi bezel to a coke bezel (black and red) and to change the bracelet to a Jubilee style for comfort, that he’d always worn it this way. Even though Rolex didn’t ship divers with the Jubilee bracelet, this change was a decision people made back in the day.
What you’re getting if you order a Trekker 40 is a watch with a lot of historic, beautiful design elements in their own right, combined to make a very good looking watch. The crystal is mildly rounded at the edges, it’s sapphire and AR coated. The lume is BGW9 which glows a lovely blue. The bezel is lumed, fergoshsakes. This is really Raven’s attempt at making the best watch they know how. The bracelet links are solid, with solid end links. For every part, it looks like the stopped to ask themselves, ‘what if we made this the best specced part we could?’ The case will be available in a few different finishes, brushed, blasted, or DLC. There are also a few dial variants, with one of them having a yellow second hand and minute track.
It’s an interesting time in micro brand watchmaking right now. If you want a high quality, small production, vintage inspired watch, you’re in luck. You have the NTH line from Janis Trading Co., the Raven Trekker 40, and if you didn’t miss out on it, the Iconik2 from Manchester Watch Works, among others. The Raven Trekker 40 is available for pre-order now, and pre-orders are discounted $100 off the retail price. ravenwatches.com
Note from the editor: John did cover this watch last week, but we also wanted to highlight Victor’s take on it from the historical models it’s built off of.
- Brand & Model: Raven Watches Trekker 40
- Price: Earlybird pricing starts at $650
- Who we think it might be for: You like vintage inspired watches, but aren’t comfortable with a faithful homage that reproduces a specific model.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Yes, it’s a well-made watch, and I like the choices made.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I feel like I’d like to replace the yellow with orange. But that’s me.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The vintage take on modern quality choices.
Tech Specs from Raven
- Case size: 40mm
- Lug width: 20mm
- Case material: steel (brushed, rose gold, or black finishes available)
- Crystal: flat, mineral
- Strap: Jubilee-Style stainless bracelet, solid links, solid end links, leather and silicone optional, pin buckle clasp
- Movement: Miyota 9015