Over the past couple of weeks, I have been working hard on the design of the Kruger pilot chronograph. Design is a part of this job I absolutely love, so it wasn’t that hard to find the motivation to work till 12AM most nights. 

Chronograph design is particularly challenging. Getting all the elements to fit on the dial and work in harmony is not easy. I did look for inspiration from other brands, but often you have to make decisions based on your gut feel. 

So this is what I have come up with, so far. Note that it’s not final.

Kruger pilot chronograph 

This design is based on the Seiko/SII VK63 Mechaquartz movement.  A few things to note about the movement:

  • The sub-dial at 3h is a 24-hour dial, separate in the chronograph function.
  • The sub-dial at 9h is a 60-minute counter for the chronograph 
  • The sub-dial at 6h is the running seconds, separate from the chronograph 

Initially, I didn’t include the second hand in the design, but figured that the ticking second hand is useful in a tool watch application. For example,  if you had both hands occupied, you could still check that the watch is working, without having to engaging the chronograph function. 

Automatic option: We could offer it in fully automatic (ETA 2894-2), but it would be expensive, and the sub-dial layout is different from the above. 

Case design: has not been started, but it will likely follow the same principles as our other cases: tapered sides,  a domed crystal that flows seamlessly into the bezel, and the angular lugs. 

Regards titanium: I asked about grade 5 vs grade 2 titanium, and it is apparently 3x more expensive. Grade 5 is what Tudor used for the Pelagos FYI. 

I was thinking though if we used a really affordable movement (like the VK63), and paired it with a high-end case and a killer design, it could be an incredible watch. Keen to hear your thoughts.

Agulhas dive chronograph

I did a little more work on the dive chrono to give you a better idea of how it will look in the case:

I also finalised the sub-dial markers and adjusted the layout to align with the VK64 movement (previously it was laid out to a Sellita SW510). I have not done the work to see how this will work with the fully automatic movement, but I have checked the price on a possible candidate (ETA 2894-2) and it is not cheap! As above, the sub-dial layout is:

  • The sub-dial at 3h is a 24-hour dial, separate in the chronograph function.
  • The sub-dial at 9h is a 60-minute counter for the chronograph 

If we used the ETA 2894-2, it would be:

  • The sub-dial at 3h is running second hand.
  • The sub-dial at 9h is a 30-minute counter for the chronograph 

Case design would be the same as the Benguela, so 316L stainless steel

The Tugela GMT

Without further ado,  here it is…

I still need to check on the availability of GMT movements with one of my suppliers. I want to try a different bracelet too which will take me some time to model.  

Case: same as the Tugela – 316L stainless steel

Personally, I’m most excited about the chronograph designs. Doing something completely fresh is always exciting to me. I love the Agulhas design, but I know the hooded lugs are very divisive and not for everyone.  As for the Tugela GMT, it’s sure to be a winner but might not interest those who’ve just bought a Tugela.

Also, if you going to do titanium I feel like it has to be grade 5 in my opinion.  If we go with the mechaquartz from Seiko, my guess is the watch retail price will be around US$500. With the ETA 2894-2 it will likely be around $1100 which will probably be out of reach for most of you. I’m just pulling numbers out of the air here; it might be very different when the quotes come back, but price is an important deciding factor.

Anyways, keen to get your impressions. Leave a comment below!

Over and out.

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