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September ’22 Update

Hey Team Draken,

This is going to be a bit of an update on what’s happening at Draken. It has been a busy couple months with the Kruger production landing, the Kruger SE being announced, and now the Tugela GMT shipping imminently.

Tugela GMT

On that last point, we are experiencing a slight delay due to the custom date wheels being misprinted. At this stage I want to say delivery will be in early October. While you wait, here is a sneak peek of the patch that will be on the front of the MOLLE pouch for the Tugela GMT:

Website currency changing

In the past 12 months, the New Zealand Dollar has lost 15% of its value to the USD. When we first set the price of of the Kruger for example, $679 NZD was worth $449 USD. Now it’s only worth $401 USD. Shipping costs have also increased significantly due to fuel price increases – thanks Putin! To this end, we are planning to switch the currency on our website to USD. 

What does this mean? If you are US based and have had your eye on one of our watches, then now is the time to buy while the exchange rate is good.

On a personal note…

…life has never been more hectic. My wife and I are expecting our second child, AND we are building a new house on some land we bought in Waipu, 2 hours north of Auckland. This will become the new headquarters for Draken which I am super excited about! It’s expected to be complete in March, which will also be when I start working full-time on Draken (for the last 7 years I have been doing this part-time). 

The move will free me up to be more in touch with the Draken community, and I’m looking forward to hearing what you’d like to see next from Draken. I also want to do more field testing of our watches in different environments, so you should see some interesting content coming out from Q1 next year.

What’s coming next?

Our next model is the Aoraki field watch. This will be a 39mm with small seconds (think Dirty Dozen military watches) and no date. There are a couple firsts for Draken with this watch. It will be the first brushed finished watch we’ve done. It will be our first watch with an antimagnetic Faraday cage (20,000A/m), and it will be our first watch assembled in New Zealand (hence the name Aoraki).

Aoraki (aka Mt. Cook) is the highest mountain in New Zealand and the training ground for Edmund Hillary, who first climbed Everest. Unlike most brands, instead of having colour variants for a model, we’ll have completely different dial/hand combinations for the four variants, all with black dials. 

As always, the lume will be spectacular, and the case will have a similar style to our other watches but this time we going flat crystal.

These are the four variations. I’ll talk a bit more about each one in a later post. No price set yet, for now all you need to know it’s going to be affordable (as all field watches should be). Prototypes are due in Dec and launch will be early 2023.

I’m getting a lot of requests for our other models – the Tugela and Kalahari. We will be doing another run of the Tugela, possibly at the same time as the Aoraki, but still TBD.

As for the Kalahari, I am reluctant to do another run of these due to the high number of QC issues we faced with the last run. One way to reduce the number of QC issues would be to reduce the number of SKUs. There were 4 variants of the Kalahari when we launched it. Might have to consider doing only two.

I also have a design for a sister watch to the Benguela called the Agulhas. This would be another chrono diver, and potentially the first watch we do with an auto chrono movement. I’ll reveal more about this one a bit later on.

Events

Draken will be exhibiting at the Sika Hunting and Outdoors Show at Mystery Creek, New Zealand on the 29th and 30th of October. We’ll have the Kruger, Benguela and Tugela GMT for sale at discount prices, and we might have a few giveaways! If you are on the North Island of New Zealand, please come in and say hi!

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