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This American Tool Watch Borrows a Feature from EDC Pocket Knives

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The TrailTrekker is a collab between two U.S. microbrands.

Nodus x Raven

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The past decade has made American watchmaking exciting for the first time in forever, with a number of new U.S.-based microbrands popping up. And while most aren’t doing any real manufacturing stateside, they’re still designing their watches in-house, and often assembling and regulating them, too.

One of my favorites are Nodus, a design-forward maker of sports watches that’s based in Los Angeles and offers a ton of value for money (along with interesting designs that look like nothing else out there). Another favorite is Kansas-based Raven, which makes high-quality tool watches with classic styling reminscent of Rolex/Tudor and Seiko. Now, those two brands have teamed up to create what might just be the ultimate American microbrand tool watch in the Nodus x Raven TrailTrekker — and to do it, they borrowed a feature from EDC pocket knives.

Nodus x Raven

Nodus x Raven TrailTrekker

A collab between two American microbrands, the TrailTrekker features a mix of DLC and Cerakote coatings for added durability and is powered by an automatic traveler-style GMT movment.


Case Size



Miyota 9075 automatic GMT

Water Resistance



A fun collab between two great brands

The use of Cerakote on the bezel feels innovative


No lume on the bezel

A Cerakote finish on a watch?

If you’re deep into the world of EDC knives, then you’re probably familiar with a coating called Cerakote. If you aren’t familiar, Cerakote is a thin polymer-ceramic coating that adds hardness, scratch resistance and corrosion resistance to a material. It’s sometimes used on knife blades for added resilience and is also employed frequently in the military and aerospace industries.

For the TrailTrekker, Nodus and Raven have applied Cerakote coating to the 24-hour bezel and, interestingly. the dial. The coating should keep both looking fresh as a daisy for years to come. (Just to be clear, I’m talking about a tough, rugged daisy that doesn’t take crap from anyone.)

The bezel of the TrailTrekker is coated with a tough Cerakote finish.Nodus x Raven

The rest of the TrailTrekker is equally impressive

Beyond the Cerakote finish, there’s a lot going on with the TrailTrekker, and all of it sounds pretty great. The 39.5mm watch is in stainless steel on an Oyster-style bracelet, and everything (except the Cerakote bezel) is covered in gunmetal DLC coating for added toughness. The bracelet is fitted with Nodus’s own proprietary NodeX clasp that offers on-the-fly micro-adjustment. The clasp is so good that Nodus also licenses it out to other microbrands (like Raven) for use in their watches.

The TrailTrekker was inspired by the pioneers who ventured west from Kansas to California back in the day, and while they obviously weren’t wearing GMTs, the complication makes sense for a modern-day explorers watch that’s traversing time zones. The brands went with the en vogue Miyota 9075 automatic GMT movement, which offers independent adjustability of the hour hand, making it ideal for travel.

The rest of the specs are impressive and are what we’ve grown to expect from these two brands: An AR-coated sapphire crystal, 200m water resistance and a screw-down crown and a blinding amount of BGW9 Grade A Super-LumiNova on all hands and indices.

There is no shortage of lume on the TrailTrekker.Nodus x Raven

In addition to the bracelet, the watch includes an additional ballistic nylon strap.Nodus x Raven

One other thing about both Nodus and Raven is all of their watches are affordable, with most coming in below $1,000. The TrailTrekker is no exception, and it comes in at a very reasonable $875. If you want to pick one up, you can do so on Nodus’s website beginning March 15.

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