To give you the freedom to customise your Benguela for different styles and activities, we’re going to include at least two different band options with your new watch.
The bead-blasted bracelet on the Tugela 2.0 was popular, so we’ll be using the same 22mm untapered style, but with flat end links to fit the hooded lugs. The bracelet feels solid on the wrist, and looks masculine. Thanks to the bead-blasted finish, it’s also not as blingy as other dive watches. When time is of the essence, nothing about this watch will slow you down. There will be quick release pins, so changing straps is simple. And the bracelet’s ratcheting clasp means you can adjust the fit for wearing with a wetsuit just by pressing a button. (Update: After user testing the factory ratcheting clasp, I noticed that the length of the clasp made was very uncomfortable in day-to-day wear. The decision was made to go with a shorter fold-over clasp).
We’ll also be including a natural rubber strap with every order, in addition to the bracelet. Being a serious dive watch, we wanted to offer a strap that would be super comfortable to wear over a wetsuit, or on the skin. So, what is ‘natural rubber’? The cheapest rubber strap out there is silicone, but it tends to get sticky after a few months of wear, picking up lint and fluff. Natural rubber (and nitrile butadiene rubber, which is in this category) can be vulcanised (hardened), making it more durable. The word vulcanisation actually comes from the Roman god of fire and forge—Vulcan.
The rubber strap is based on a tried-and-tested design from dive straps of the ’60s. It will feature ventilation holes, a wide prong on the buckle to reduce wear, and quick release pins. At this stage, we’ll be offering the rubber strap in orange, matching highlights on the watch.
For a relaxed, vintage look, we really like a simple overlap and single stitch leather strap. This style really suits tool watches. Our leather straps are 22mm untapered and feature our classic chunky DRAKEN bead-blasted buckle. The earthy brown and orange stitch combo looks great with all of the dial colours. You’ll be able to add this optional third strap to your order for $25.
We’re thinking about adding other colours of the rubber and leather straps as stretch goals, but we want to hear from you. Tell us what you would like to see on the Benguela!