The Draken Kalahari is the 3rd watch from Draken, continuing our quest to create the ultimate tool watches. Our first watch set the foundation for our brand with inspiration from the Protea flower and Zulu beadwork. With the Kalahari we looked to the colours of the South African desert for inspiration. The dial comes in two variations, with luminous paint in the colour of the Kalahari sand. Like the formidable desert, the Kalahari watch is tough and resilient featuring sapphire crystal and a bead-blasted 316L stainless steel case.
The Kalahari houses a new movement from Seiko called the NE57. This is not your typical 3 hander. The NE57 has 2 unique features – the central axis power reserve indicator, and a sub-dial date complication. What makes the Kalahari special though, is how we used the movement. Instead of hands, we opted for using disks for both the date and power reserve. The result is a functional and aggressive looking dial with excellent legibility. We also went the extra mile and lumed the logo on the crown, and added a little surprise to the case back.
Like the Peregrine, the Kalahari features a really unique power reserve indicator. We wanted to separate the power reserve indicator so that it displayed as a unique element on the dial, instead of another hand. The inspiration for the loading bar effect came from vintage aviation dials, specifically the altimeter.
The custom-made skeletonised hands were designed to enhance the legibility of the dial. Red highlights are used sparingly on critical parts of the face, including the second hand, low power marker, and date arrow.
The design process for the power reserve indicator led us to rotate the movement 30deg. This opened up the door for a second crown, and the internal GMT bezel. This crown is also screw down for improved water resistance.
The canvas strap perfectly complements the sand coloured lume of the dial, and features quick release pics for easy swapping out. We used the same chunky buckle used on our previous models which have shown to be extremely comfortable and ergonomic. All Kalahari straps will feature quick release pins for quick and painless strap changing.
Other specs are as follows:
- Case: 316L stainless steel, 44mm, 51.5mm lug to lug, 15.1mm thick
- Water resistance: 100m
- Movement: Seiko NE57, 40h power reserve, 29 jewels.
- Crystal: Sapphire with inner AR coating
The Kalahari will be launching on Kickstarter in July. We’ll advise on a more definite date over the next month. It will be a very limited production run (390 units), so make sure you are first in line to get yours when the campaign goes live.Sign up to the newsletter at drakenwatches.com to be notified of the finalised launch date and any other details. Production will be complete in December.
Pricing-wise, the Kalahari will start at about $450 for the earlybird pledge on Kickstarter. Retail price will be $699. Pre-orders will continue on our website after the launch, but for best prices make sure you catch the Kickstarter.