Draken is back with a new model release that is aiming high. After the success of the Tugela dive watch, fellow South African turned Kiwi Michael Blythe designed the Peregrine pilot watch. The tool watch sensibility returns and delivers an elegant understated design with a clever design element, the colour changing logo.

The Peregrine has already had one shot at crowdfunding where it gained over 40k NZD (nearly 30k USD) in pledges in its 9 day run so you’ve probably seen it around. It’s due for a second attempt in mid-November which has been a busy period for crowdfunded projects in the past. Draken has gained a respectable following online since the Tugela release so hopefully this second time will be successful. It’s a good example of the current Kickstarter environment where projects with larger goals have struggled a bit to get the momentum necessary to reach their goal. With a few tweaks, additional marketing and possibly a lower goal, it should make a solid comeback.

The Tugela was widely praised for its quality construction and attention to detail and those qualities have returned in the Peregrine. The biggest technical challenge in the watch is the colour changing logo and this meant teaming up with a new watch making team that has the technical expertise to pull it off. That logo is probably the defining feature of this watch, indicating power reserve with a white/orange dial under the logo. This is possibly the first example of the complication being presented in this way. I couldn’t find any other brands that have built a power reserve into their logo but if you know of one, let me know in the comments.

There’s some clever engineering going on here since to make this work, the dial has to be sandwiched between the hands and the power reserve indicator. The dial usually sits below the power reserve dial or hand so to let it work beneath the dial so working space is needed and this makes the stack of movement, hands and dial taller.  To accommodate this taller stack in the case, the crown is offset in the side profile sitting a bit lower than the middle of the case. It’s not noticeable when wearing and the total thickness of 15.25 mm is still comfortable and well proportioned to the 44 mm diameter case.

The movement powering this magic is the Miyota 9130, a Japanese automatic mechanical movement that is the power reserve variant of the ever popular Miyota 9015. The 9130 has 40 hours of power reserve, 26 jewels, 28,800bph and hacking (the second hand stops while setting the time). The movement also has a date function but this is not used on the Peregrine. I used to be a fan of the date window on watches but after wearing mechanical watches for some time, I’m starting to drift into the no-date camp. It is a lot less hassle to just set the time on a flat watch and not worry about the date.

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Another standout feature is the use of lume on the watch. Not only are the hands and indices (or whole dial in this model) lumed, the power reserve dial, crown logo and rotor logo are also lumed! This prototype model doesn’t have the brightest lume on the dial but that’s often the case with prototypes. The BGW9 lume, which I’m personally a fan of, will be a bit thicker or may be changed to C3 in production to get a brighter effect.

While you might not see the lumed rotor 90% of the time, it is a nice detail especially for those for whom this is their first mechanical watch. It’s always a pleasure to watch a movement ticking away and the customised rotor adds a little extra pizzazz to an otherwise plain movement. The prototype has blued screws securing the rotor but this will be dropped in production as they are dyed rather than flame blued and the effect is not the best. It would have been a nice touch but I think the choice to have plain screws over cheaply blued screws is the right one.

The Peregrine will come on your choice of an olive green canvas strap or a light brown leather strap. For an extra $41 NZD ($30 USD) you can get a sailcloth strap like the one I’ve had on the review piece. This strap is provided in partnership with iwantastrap.com at a discounted price. I really liked this strap, it is really good quality and very comfortable. It was a little on the short side for my 7 inch wrist, I didn’t have a lot left to tuck away after buckling on the second to last hole. I didn’t have any issues with it slipping out of the keepers though. It really complements the black DLC case and is worth considering if you have a similar sized or smaller wrist.

Draken will be relaunching the Peregrine on Kickstarter in mid November. Super Early Bird backers can pick it up for $420 NZD ($290 USD) which is an absolute steal. Make sure you subscribe to the Draken mailing list if you don’t want to miss out on those. You’ll be the first to know when the project launches.

Specification Summary

  • Movement: Miyota 9130 automatic
  • Case diameter: 44 mm
  • Case height: 15.25 mm
  • Lug width: 22 mm
  • Case finish: bead blasted or black DLC
  • Dial options: black hands on white full lumed dial or white hands on black dial.
  • Strap: olive green canvas or light brown leather. Black sailcloth strap optional extra.

Giveaway Time!

Michael has kindly provided a Draken Tugela to giveaway for our readers. If you missed our review of this fantastic watch please check it out! To enter all you have to do is subscribe to the MBWW and Draken mailing lists on the form below. Entries close 7pm 15 November 2017 NZT

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