TRASER sheds new light on its long-term strategy and collection of functional watches for smart people

October 2017

TRASER sheds new light on its long-term strategy and collection of functional watches for smart people

The inventor of trigalight®, the self-powered illumination technology, has established a significant yet understated presence in the functional and outdoor watches segment over the past three decades. Time now to step into the limelight with new challenges and a substantial collection makeover.


he train ride that separates traser swiss H3 watches’ headquarters in Niederwangen from Switzerland’s capital city, Bern, barely lasts seven minutes. It is remarkable how quickly one can leave the official government buildings behind to dive into the heart of a typical Swiss watchmaking landscape: a rather ordinary industrial building, surrounded by cows and expanses of meadows. This is where visitors to traser are welcomed into the cosy offices with Swiss German softened by the friendly tones of the Bernese accent. The location is home to traser swiss H3 watches, to its parent company mb-microtec and to trigalight®, the brand name under which the selfpowered illumination technology is manufactured.


First marketed in the late 60s, trigalight® is a perfect example of Swiss excellence in micro-technology. Unique, safe, maintenance-free and long-lasting (a minimum of 10 years): trigalight® sealed glass tubes are fully implemented in all of traser’s watches as they provide the optimal self-powered solution for perfect readability of the dial even in adverse lighting conditions. trigalight® basically is the reason why a traser watch can be clearly read in the middle of the night – even if you are still half asleep and your vision is blurry. Over the years trigalight® has become the leading technology to fulfil this purpose, also inspiring other watch brands. Additional fields in which trigalight® and mb-microtec’s know-how have been implemented include the tactical and medical industries.

TRASER sheds new light on its long-term strategy and collection of functional watches for smart people


traser has marked and inspired the watch world with timepieces that represent the brand’s know-how in micro-technology as well as the essence of Swiss Made watchmaking whilst maintaining a strong focus on a functional yet timeless design. Having successfully added active lifestyle lovers and adventurous people to their customer and fan base, traser watches are now seen more and more even in offices, formal venues and on feminine wrists.
With nearly 30 years of history, now seemed like the perfect time for traser to undergo a makeover session, embrace new challenges and face-lift its collection. To achieve this ambition, traser secured the longstanding experience of the charismatic Michele Starvaggi, the brand’s Global Head of Marketing and Sales.

TRASER sheds new light on its long-term strategy and collection of functional watches for smart people

Michele Starvaggi shares his vision and the path traser is following to reach those goals.

You have been at the head of traser for the past 2 years. What did you find appealing about this assignment?

Watch brands emphasise their distinctive features to stand out from a crowded scene and attract customers. Some are successful at it. Some less so. traser had obviously overslept and missed that boat in the past, keeping its untold story dormant for too many years.
Some 50 years ago mb-microtec, traser’s parent company, invented and patented a unique self-powered illumination technology: trigalight®. The trigalight® inserts illuminate a timepiece 24/7 (with a virtually unchanged intensity for at least 10 years). In 1989, mb-microtec implemented trigalight® in a watch for the first time: the brand traser was born. Over the past two years we set out to reappraise and tell our story. We are the inventor of the original self-powered illumination technology. We will always be the first ones to implement new enhancements – such as the recently introduced hairlight technology – in watches.
Anyone seeking an authentic product combined with an assertive design and robustness will choose traser. We rejuvenated the brand, injected a new dynamic, credibly and congruently restructured our communication and updated our product range. We are ready. For the present and for the future.

Which other watch brands are supplied with trigalight®?

For confidentiality reasons, I cannot mention any names but I can tell you this much: any brand that offers watches with self-powered illumination technology is most likely in trigalight®’s customer database.

Which target groups does traser want to address?

Today traser is primarily appreciated in the tactical sector because of its reliability and robustness. Special units worldwide depend on traser when carrying out their missions. 24/7. We have identified two additional but related core target groups: outdoor adventure and active lifestyle. People who measure themselves against nature and whose daily life is always on the go. Not those who count every step and track every beat of their heart. Rather the ones who know their body and its limits - who understand and listen to their body. As our own claim says it: “functional watches for smart people”.

What are traser’s distinguishing characteristics?

Without a doubt, trigalight® - the self-powered illumination technology - is the main feature that makes our watches exceptional. To become fully aware of how extraordinary this unique attribute is, one must experience it. In the middle of the night, when one wakes up in a pitch-dark room and wants to know how early it is: that’s when traser will show its full self, delivering perfect readability of the time. It goes without saying that our products are robust. Indeed, some of our watches are also Mil-G compliant: they undergo an extremely comprehensive and rigorous series of tests prescribed by the US-Army. We are probably the only brand to have successfully withstood the Mil-G tests.
Lastly, our design. Our timepieces stand out by their individual and strong character. traser is definitely not a mainstream brand. We address people whose self-confidence allows them to wear a product that makes them unique.
The recently launched traser P68 Pathfinder Automatic is the perfect example of how we see our future. A watch that can be read in any situation and is furthermore equipped with a compass that enables one to orientate oneself in the great outdoors.

What can a small, independent brand such as traser offer to its trading partners?

Like a nimble speed boat, we are quicker and more flexible than the others sailing the vast seas of the watchmaking industry. We don’t merely react to our partners’ needs and wishes, we anticipate them and take action straight away. We engage in a competent person-to-person dialogue with our partners. traser offers a sizeable collection of six families and delivers all the tools for a successful sales activity.
We keep our promises. And we never promise what we cannot deliver. Last but not least, we don’t just talk the talk but also operate according to the motto “underpromise and overdeliver”.

Click on the image to enlarge - PDF
Click on the image to enlarge - PDF

Source: Europa Star TIME.BUSINESS/TIME.KEEPER Chapter 5/2017