For the past 6 months we’ve been working on the design of a new dive watch. With the success of the Tugela, we wanted to give fans something that was in the same realm but with slightly different objectives. The Benguela builds on the design language from our previous watches, but adds a few unique features, some that have rarely been seen in watch design.

For starters, and most noticeably, there’s the hooded lugs. This feature gives the watch a solid wrist presence, maximising the in-your-face steel body of the watch. We’ve taken the same lug construction of the Tugela, but filled it in so that access to the lugs and springbars is only from the back of the watch. This also eliminates the need for fitted end links on the bracelet. We’ve opted for flat end links with quick-release pins which will make swapping the bracelet out an absolute breeze!

Next is the dial. Possibly the first time we’ve ever seen a design like this – the dial will be a mixture of sandwich construction, and overlapping applied indices. The lume coming through on the sandwich will be vintage style X1-C3 to maximise the brightness but keep that creamy tan colour. The applied indices will be bead-blasted, with a what we call a pebble shape – rounded corners with a rounded top surface. The inner dial will be slightly recessed to create further depth in the dial. The date wheel will me luminous again, but this time luminous background and black text! We cant wait to see how this looks! The rehaut withe the minute track will have cutout shapes for the hour indices, similar to the Tudor Pelagos.

The other big feature is the HEV (helium escape valve). This is something often seen on extreme deep dive watches, and since we wanted this watch to be rated for at least 500m, we had to have one! To balance the crown at 4h, we positioned it at 2h, and added a hint of colour with a red aluminium ring.

The case will feature the engraved DRAKEN logo on the left side, a feature seen since the Kalahari, and a moulded case back (still to be designed). The case will be 316L stainless steel and our hallmark bead-blasted finish. The bezel will be a solid stainless construction (no insert) with engraved and painted markings and a luminous triangle at 12h.

Movement-wise we’ve opted for the NH35A again, for its workhorse reliability and affordability. We want the Benguela to be your go-to watch for all outdoor missions, and we don’t want you to be afraid to push it to the limits.

Strap options will include leather, bracelet and rubber, with the latter hopefully being standard with all watches. The bracelet will be the same style as the one on the Tugela, but we’re going to upgrade it with a ratcheting clasp.

The specs so far:

  • 43mm diameter, 14mm thick 316L bead-blasted stainless steel case.
  • HEV for 500m+ water resistance.
  • Sapphire crystal with inner AR Coating
  • 120-click unidirectional stainless engraved bezel
  • Seiko NH35A automatic movement
  • Sandwich dial with vintage X1-C3 lume and applied steel indices
  • Luminous date ring
  • Screw down crown with luminous logo
  • Screw case back with moulded design (to be designed)
  • NBR (hopefully) rubber strap to match the dial colours. Included with every watch.
  • Leather strap, possibly included too.
  • Bracelet with ratcheting clasp is optional extra.

I would love to hear your feedback, so please leave any comments below. Also, if you have any ideas for the caseback design, let us know as this is one part of the watch we have not locked down.

Cheers
Mike

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