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What’s on the horizon for Draken Watches

We have a number of designs planned for the future, so I thought I would share a bit about the future models, and get some early feedback on the direction we are taking. Draken would not exist without our backers and supporters, so we really want to make sure that we are aligned with the hopes and aspirations of our customers. Also, it’s going to take a long time to develop these new models – we plan to launch max 2 new models a year. While this is considered fast by Swiss standards, we do want to minimise the risk of launching something that our customers don’t want, so it is really important that we get your feedback.

To start off, Draken will fundamentally always be a watch company for outdoors enthusiasts and adventurers. The outdoors lifestyle has always been a passion of mine, and it makes sense to stick to this theme for Draken. One of the focuses is to continuously improve and develop our watches to have better capabilities in harsh conditions. Last year we partnered with the New Zealand Alpine Team, and they took a couple Tugelas to Nepal for stress testing. We’ll be gathering their feedback to see what they loved or loathed about the watch. We know the Tugela has its faults, and we’ll be working to improve on these issues with future models, while also thinking about the next expedition that our watches can get even more field experience. What capabilities would you like to see going forward?

Some people have asked if we ever see ourselves making dress watches. I don’t want to say no – it is possible that we expand the collection to include a dress watch, but that is really far down the line. I am interested in exploring Bauhaus inspired design, or even an ultra thin casual minimalist watch one day (I can see some of you are already rolling your eyes).

I do also see a place for quartz watches in the collection – I wold love to design an ultra tough tool watch, much like the Victorinox INOX – a watch that you could drive over with a tank! Quartz movements also open the possibilities of doing some really interesting retrograde movements – things that would cost in the tens of thousands for the equivalent automatic watch.

Before all that though, we are going to focus on the following models over the next few years which will all likely be automatic, bar the chronographs.

1. Pilot watch – Peregrine – mid level – 2017

Due for delivery in May/June 2018. Featuring the discreet power reserve indicator. If you missed out on the Kicksarter, there are still a few pre-order slots open on our website. Visit the shop now.

2. Military 12h GMT  – Kalahari – mid level – 2018

Launching mid 2018. Featuring a brand new movement from Seiko – the NE57 – the same movement in the new Seiko Cocktail Time. This watch is especially unique for the way in which we have laid out the dial, using disks instead of hands to create 3 layered sandwiched effect. The dial colour is inspired by the sands of the Kalahari desert. For more details, click here.

3. Dive watch – ??? – mid level – 2019

A completely new case design, and completely new dial and handset. We have been working on the dial design for this one and its looking amazing! We will likely launch it with a rubber strap, and canvas strap options. What other features would you like to see here? Whats your ideal size? Any ideas for names?

4. Chronograph – Kruger – entry level (potentially a high level automatic version) – 2019

Named after the famous game reserve in South Africa. We have been working on the designs for this and it’s looking good. We cant give away too much, but we can say is that it will have the same case as the Peregrine and Kalahari. It will only come in bead-blasted, and it will be the first of our watches to come with a bead-blasted bracelet. By using the thicker case from the Peregrine, we should be able to achieve 200m WR without a sweat.

5. Field watch – ??? – entry level

Many people have expressed interest in a smaller size watch. We would likely be looking at the 40mm size range for this one, and try and keep it as thin as possible. Our trademark curved bezel and crystal will still be a feature. This may be the first watch we experiment with brushed or polished finishes.

6. Chronograph dive watch – ??? – mid level

This one may follow the design rules created by the Tugela, or possibly the new dive watch mentioned above.

7. Dress watch – ??? – entry level

Our first foray into the dress style category.

*The level of the watch indicates the price point. Entry level will be about $300, mid level about $500-$600 and high level will be about $1000.

Please give us your feedback on what you would rather see: another dive watch, or a chronograph? Smaller watches, or perhaps thinner?

15 comments

  1. Philip O Sullivan

    Draken watches are starting to look all alike abit like seiko
    Stop before it gets worse please!

    1. Hey Philip. I fail to see how any of our designs are like Seiko. Care to elaborate?

      1. Know this was ages ago, but just saw this comment while browsing your site.

        I think what Philip meant was Seiko watches all have a similar look to them (within the Seiko range), and Draken watches are all starting to look similar amongst themselves. Whilst he does have a point I am not sure why this is a negative? In fact you are building a very strong brand identity as far as I can tell. There is a consistency within the design language (I’m a graphic designer). I must admit I don’t like every single watch in your arsenal, but the ones I do like the look of I absolutely love, keep doing what you are doing Mike, it’s working as far as I can tell.

        I am trying to get hold of a Super Blue Tugela and have been trying for the last few months on eBay without luck. I wish you would bring it back Mike! Give me hope!

        1. Hey Charlie. Thanks for your message and appreciate your note on our design language. This is something we try really hard to maintain so that our watches will stand out in a line-up with all the other micros out there.

          Regards the Tugela Super Blue, against my better judgement, this was launched as a limited edition. If I had known it would be so popular, I would have never declared it to be an LE. Hindsight is 20/20 right. I have been thinking about doing a GMT version of the Tugela with the Super Blue colours to avoid any bad blood. No word on when that will be available yet, unfortunately.

  2. For the mid-level dive watch, I’d like to see an option with a true GMT function. While a 12h second timezone is good, a true 24hr GMT will make it easier to determine the home time when traveling e.g. from North America to Asia.

    1. Thanks Michael. I am keen to do a 24h GMT, but the automatic movements are very expensive. Would you consider a quartz if it had a bunch of other cool features?

  3. dinglewade

    3. Dive watch – ??? – mid level – 2019- looks like another watch to keep an eye out for, sized similarly to the Tugela with a more refined bezel maybe a coin edge, ceramic lumed bezel insert. Sticking with the S.A. themed names, Aliwal (Shoal), Protea Banks, there are also shark names you could use… Wish you all the best with the other designs.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Wade. I was thinking about Ushaka which is Shark in Zulu. What do you think?

      1. dinglewade

        Hi Mike, “Ushaka” is a great name and also the name of the marine/sea life centre on Durban beach front. The only other thing that you might consider is a thicker lume on the indicators and a recessed insert pip if you can’t do a lumed ceramic bezel insert. Have been wearing the Tugela instead of my Seiko’s and loving it! Ngiyabonga

  4. Christopher Condon

    Really excited for the next divers and field watch. Love the blue and red of the past Tugela so it’d be cool if they were considered for your next iterations. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks Christopher. We have an idea of how to bring in the blue and red colours we used on the Tugela. It’s going to be pretty awesome!

  5. Tracy Lewis

    I’m a big fan of dive watches. I’d skip the day, date routine. Nobody considers that a necessity anymore. Also, pick a cool design for the rear screw down hatch. Dolphins, Sharks, sail fish if rendered deeply carved in the metal look great.
    I’d add a red second hand for contrast.
    2836-2 engine
    If you really want to get some press, put the bezel on the inside, with a second crown to adjust. I’ll anxiously await your design.

    1. Thanks Tracy. Great feedback. You are the second person to suggest an internal rotating bezel. We could actually do this using the same case as the Kalahari. Will definitely consider it.

  6. DANIEL kINI

    I absolutely love my Tugela blue bezel, would be nice to be able to change it out on occasions to a red, but very happy with it the way it is,
    Looking forward to the chronograph model as well as the Military 12h GMT – Kalahari. As far as size 40-44mm, anything bigger would cumbersome and get caught on everything. Keep up the good work that Y’all do, looking forward to future purchases.
    Daniel Kini

  7. Would love to have the kalahari in a green dial version. Maybe as a stretch goal?

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