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Introducing the Kruger chronograph

When I started Draken 5 years ago, I set out to create a brand of watches that would be durable, reliable and unique. Our first watch – the Tugela – drew inspiration from the rugged terrain of the Drakensberg mountains of South Africa. Since then the brand has continuously pushed the envelope with unique designs and features, most recently with the Benguela and it’s hooded lugs and multi-layered dial. 

In 2021 I wanted to push our design abilities further, with a new chronograph design that would align with the rest of the Draken line-up, but also stand out as a unique timepiece.

Taking inspiration from the case design of the Tugela, the Kruger will have the same tapered style, but this time in titanium. Titanium is super lightweight and durable, ensuring the 44mm case and bracelet will be comfortable on your wrist. The case will feature a screw-down case back and crown, to achieve a 200m water resistance.

The handset and dial are inspired by aviation, but with distinct modern styling. X1-C3 Superluminova paint will light up the dial, for super bright night-time viewing. 

The 120-click bezel will feature a matte black ceramic bezel with a 60-minute timing layout. Ceramic is also highly scratch-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about that accidental contact with doorways and benchtops.

At the core will be the SII VK63 mechaquartz movement. A couple of reasons we’ve chosen this movement. For starters, it’s really affordable. We looked at automatic chronograph movements and starting price is around $550 for one in this layout. We would have also had to tool two different cases, which isn’t feasible given the MOQs of our case factories.
Manual-wind movements were out too – having the time stop while flying a plane, or diving underwater seemed like a bad idea. 

The VK63 still gives you the smooth chronograph ticking found in automatic movements and also features a date complication, which looks great in the symmetrical window position at 6h. 

Sapphire crystal is standard with all our watches, and we’ll use a double domed piece here for minimal distortion. Anti-reflective coating will help reduce glare.

The specs at a glance:

  • 44mm tapered titanium case, 22mm lugs, 14mm thick
  • Matte dial with X1-C3 Superliminova® luminous markers
  • 120-click bezel with ceramic insert
  • SII VK63 mechaquartz movement with small seconds and date
  • Sapphire crystal with inner AR coating
  • 200m water resistance
  • Viton® gasket on screw-down case back

The next step is to finalise the technical drawings and some of the finer details such as the case back design. I’ll also be working on a few more renders of the other variants. I’m considering a full-lume white dial, panda dial, and reverse panda.

I’m super excited to have locked in this design for our next model. I’d love to hear your feedback, so please leave a comment below.

Take care.

Mike

41 comments

  1. Charles Louis Dirienzo

    Really like the look of this watch. What kind of price point ar you looking at?

    1. Thanks Charles. I’m hoping around the US$350-400 mark, but still waiting for the quote to come in so may change.

  2. Brad Herndon

    Amazing addition to the Draken line! I love the blend of dive and aviation style…and the great sized dial of this watch. Looking forward to the release!

    1. Cheers Brad. Yep you said it – a merging of those two tool watch requirements into one watch.

  3. Stephen Krawitz

    What is the price point of this watch?

    1. I’m hoping around the US$350-400 mark, but still waiting for the quote to come in so may change.

  4. Stewart Matthews

    Love the design.what about having second hand and subdial hands in blue to match chronograph secondhand.Can’t wait to see design for caseback

    1. Yeah, I thought about this. I would prefer to have luminous paint on all the subdial hands for better night visibility. In fact, the chrono second hand should possibly be white too, but I wanted this design to align with the style of the Peregrine, the previous pilot style watch we did.

      1. stewart matthews

        Have got a request when the kruger goes to production could i secure watch 50 as it’s my 50 th birthday next year. If thats possible.

        1. Please ask me again when we’re closer to production. I can’t promise anything, but I will try.

  5. Thanasis

    A definite yes from me!!!!
    😍😍😍

    1. Woohoo! Thanks Thanasis

  6. Dennis Jang

    love the symmetry and balanc.e 6 oclock date window is key. More watches would benefit from this feature imho

    1. Cheers Dennis. Yeah, agree with you. A lot of chronos I have seen in this layout put the date at the 4h position. It really irks me.

  7. PASCAL EVESQUE

    Love the Kruger. Prefer automatic model even ar 550$
    I’m in !

    1. Hey Pascal. Thanks for the feedback. Just to clarify, it costs US$550 for the movement alone. The whole watch would cost about US$1200.

      1. PASCAL EVESQUE

        1200 usd sounds a bit expensive (kickstarter price ?).

        With mechaquartz movement you speak about 350 or 400 usd… if automatic movement is about 550 usd (alone or maybe 550 usd more than mechaquartz) whole price should be logically fairly 900 or 950 usd.

        Very nice by the way, I hope you will find a good price for your fans 🙂

        1. Thanks Pascal. For a more expensive watch, I would add a proportionate amount of margin. It just makes business sense. We will be offering a pre-order discount though.

  8. Gorgeous watch, well done! Will you consider an automatic option in the future? I would pay $550 for that……if the quality is on par with my Tugela’s that would be a no brainer

    1. Thanks Nick! Just to clarify, the movement alone is $550, so the watch will likely cost over US$1200. I might put out a survey to see how many people would actually be willing to pay that. There is also another auto chrono movement from Seiko (NE88) that could work, but I have heard reports that they are not very reliable, so a bit weary to go there. It is a lot cheaper though US$280 I think.

      1. Fredrik Lindholm

        Oh, this goes right on my shopping list. I’d just prefer the Tugela bezel over the Benguela style, offers much more grip. Or maybe a ratchet style design, something like this https://usa.crystaltimes.net/shop/brands/seiko-mod-parts/ct244-skx007-0020-case-type-bezel-ratchet/

      2. Jean-Pierre Diaz

        The rendering is perfect. Will the ceramic bezel have a matt or polished finish? Also, will the date window be black?

        I read a comment about the NE88 auto chrono movement being not very reliable…I heard it’s a great column wheel chrono. If you the opportunity and demand for it, I would buy both versions.

        1. The bezel will be matte finish. I’m open to the ne88, but I think the wait time is a year for that movement. I need to double check.

    2. Mike Petrizzo

      I’m with you, Nick!

  9. Desmond OBrien

    Look forward to buying one

    1. Cheers Desmond. Thanks for the support.

  10. Thr other draken designs just didn’t speak to me but I’ve been following the email updates over the years. This one is really good looking and I think in in for one. Like the modern pilot watch category. Ceramic bezel w sapphire is a must. I don’t like worrying about scratching the watch face. I wouldn’t mind it in steel. Maybe 42mm case to reduce the weight of steel. If its TI I would prefer it to have a thick bracelet and overall robust tool watch look. One of the Ti benefits is you can make a thick robust tool watch that still weighs 150 g or less. Also if its Ti I would recommend a scratch resistant coating. Really seems to make a difference on another Ti watch I have.

    1. Hey John. Appreciate the feedback! I’m looking forward to doing ceramic. We’ve never done ceramic on a watch before!

      Yes, I’m looking into the coating option on the Ti. Also noted on the bracelet. Will keep you posted.

  11. Hi Mike, love the design and the estimated price point isn’t bad at all. I’m curious to know will there be a second strap option with it like the nato straps or maybe a rubber option or just the steel bracelet?

    1. Hey Nick. I was having a play the other day with rendering it on a leather strap. It looked really good! Will try do a render of it on a nato too. Not sure if the second strap will be included. We might want to keep the price down and as such offer it with only the bracelet.

  12. Scott Dunn

    Hey mike,

    Very Cool Piece! I’d be interested for sure.
    Stay in touch

    _Scott in North Carolina, USA

    1. Awesome Scott! Thanks for the feedback.

  13. 1st, this watch looks great. I think the aesthetics are spot on and I like that you’ve combined a diver’s bezel with a chronograph because you can line the pip up with the hour hand when you start the stopwatch to keep track of hours.

    But here’s the problem; the VK63 movement stops timing after one hour. At least the one I had did and when I talked to another watchmaker about an upcoming model he was making he specced the VK movement and I asked him if his also stopped after an hour and he confirmed he did.

    So tell me I’m wrong, I hope I’m wrong, can you time things for longer than an hour with this watch? So many things are timed over an hour; boat racing, bike racing, running, hiking, roasting a turkey, parking on the street at a meter.

    But everything else I like. The titanium is a good choice for keeping the weight of a chunkier sized watch down. Colours are great. I might like the classic red second hand over the blue but I like the blue as well. I like the font you’ve picked, the bezel markings, the hand shapes. It’s a beauty of a watch. I might pass on the 24 hour dial but it’s not a deal breaker for me. Having a stop watch that’s limited to an hour is though. If you tell me it can time up to at least 6 hours I’ll get in line now, especially at your estimated retail price. Otherwise the hunt for the perfect chronograph watch will continue.

  14. David Nestor

    This watch is very striking, I like the specs of it and the target price point. Are you thinking of offering it in only this colorway or multiple?

    1. Thanks for the feedback David. We are looking at some variations, but at this stage, only in monochrome (black and white).

  15. Marinus Snijder

    I would love to see this case and bracelet on the Agulhas
    Great work

    1. Thanks Marinus. The Agulhas will be going into the Benguela case. Bracelet wise, I was thinking of a similar style, but slightly more detailed, like the super engineer II bracelet. I’ll work on the renders for it some time in the next week.

  16. Greg Bunce

    I have just discovered Draken watches and I have to say I am blown away with the look and specs. And the new chronograph is an awesome looking watch.

  17. Mike Petrizzo

    Beautiful looking watch!!! So is there absolutely no chance for a automatic movement?

  18. So I just saw a Draken watch in the background of a youtube video (the reviewer happened to be reviewing a completely different watch) & thanks to the Draken name stamped on the chunky TI band I was able to locate & do some research on the internet.
    For some reason I cant own anything but a chronograph & the Kruger doesnt disasppoint! If I can somehow justify (aka afford) getting one I assume no problem shipping to USA?
    Also will there be more stock once these become available in July? THNAKS!

    1. Hey! Thanks for the message! That’s funny. Please can you share the YT vid – I would like to see that. There will be more stock, but it will only be available from our US retail partner watchgauge.com, and it’s extremely limited. which version are you after?

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