Dotting the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains are some very tough yet beautiful bushes – the Protea. The national flower of South Africa, these flowering plants not only can survive a bushfire, but they prosper from it.
The hot and dry landscape that it finds itself is prone to regular bushfires. Also known as a sugar bush, it has a tough stalk that extends deep underground. These stems have dormant buds that will produce new growth after a fire. The intense heat of a bushfire also causes the flowers to release it’s seeds.
If you look closely you’ll notice the case of the Tugela dive watch mimics the shape of the protea. The case has a tapered shape, with edges cut into the bezel to resemble the petals of the Protea flower. This tapered shape reduces the watches footprint on wrist, while giving you and excellent tactile experience on the bezel. The upper surface of the Tugela is domed, the bezel flowing seamlessly into the crystal. This tapered case shape has now become a part of the Draken design language, present on all our models.
For the dial of the Tugela, we wanted to do something a bit more unique than the typical batons and circles configuration commonly seen on dive watches. We looked to the beadwork of various Africa tribes for inspiration, notably the Zulu and South Sotho. The triangle plays an important role, symbolising ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ depending on its orientation. When laid out in a pattern, these shapes symbolise the marriage of a Zulu couple and even show how many cattle was paid for the bride (lebola).
On the original Tugela we painted these triangles on the dial with a white surround. Our GMT model has applied bead-blasted steel indices filled with C3(X1) Super-LumiNova for an excellent nighttime display.
As you’ll see, triangles have become a common theme in our designs, featuring on most of our models.