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A unique automatic watch with a focus on rugged utility, staying true to the 'form follows function' principle.
A unique automatic watch with a focus on rugged utility, staying true to the 'form follows function' principle.
126 backers pledged NZ$ 81,234 to help bring this project to life.

About

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The Draken Kalahari automatic military watch

NZ$ 81,234

126

What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

E360ce840313dfa3528947e82b14e5f6 original.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

Pure functionality. Precision mechanical movement.

At Draken we don’t make watches to be conversation starters - we’re focused on designing the best tool watches. Whether you’re heading into the mountains or chasing the perfect wave, the Kalahari has your back.  We make them to be used hard, wherever your outdoor adventures may take you.

As seen on:

 

The story 

The Draken Kalahari is the third watch from Draken, continuing our quest to create the ultimate tool watches. Our first watch which was successfully delivered in July 2017, set the foundation for our brand with inspiration from the Protea flower and Zulu beadwork. Our second watch, delivered to backers in early July 2018, has received overwhelmingly positive feedback.

This model takes its colour inspiration from the sandy tones of the Kalahari desert in Southern Africa. 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 movement 

We are really excited to be one of the first brands to use the new Seiko NE57 automatic movement. Like other automatic movements, the NE57 winds itself with the movement of your body - it will never require a battery. 

Seiko NE57 specs:

  • 29 jewels
  • 41 hours power reserve
  • 21,600bhp
  • Manual winding function
  • Hacking (second hand stops to set the time)

The design 

Continuing the trend from the Peregrine, the Kalahari takes inspiration from military aviation. The power reserve indicator is inspired by the altimeter in vintage aviation dials. The hands are also aviation inspired with bold skeletonised shapes. 

The colour tones we have selected really set the Kalahari apart. We used a sand coloured luminous paint to give it a modern desert military look, and the layering of the sandwich dial, disk and internal rotating bezel creates incredible depth in the dial. 

Steel case, black dial, sand strap
Steel case, black dial, sand strap
DLC case, sand dial, sand strap
DLC case, sand dial, sand strap
Steel case, sand dial, sand strap
Steel case, sand dial, sand strap
DLC case, black dial, black strap
DLC case, black dial, black strap
Steel case, black dial, green strap
Steel case, black dial, green strap
Steel case, sand dial, black strap
Steel case, sand dial, black strap
Steel case, sand dial, tan strap
Steel case, sand dial, tan strap
Steel case, black dial, black strap
Steel case, black dial, black strap
DLC case, sand dial, tan strap
DLC case, sand dial, tan strap
DLC case, black dial, tan strap
DLC case, black dial, tan strap

The options

The power reserve indicator 

One of the issues with automatics is that it is often hard to tell how much power is left in reserve. If you take the watch off during the day or are not very active, you may find that it has run out of power when you wake up the next day. The power reserve indicator solves this, and how we have done it is very different from the norm. Most watches use a hand, similar to the second hand to indicate the power reserve on the dial. We tried something different, using a disk with a negative shape cutout to appear like a loading bar. As the bar increases in colour, the more power your Kalahari will have, until it reaches full 40 hours of power reserve. 

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Specs 

  • Case: 316L Stainless steel bead blasted finish or DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coated. Moulded case back design with Draken logo.
  • Crystal: Sapphire with AR (Anti-reflective) coating inside. 
  • Dial: Sandwich (the dial has 2 layers - the top layer is cut out to show the layer below) featuring Swiss Superluminova C3 luminous paint. 
  • Hands: custom made with power reserve indicator disk. 
  • Movement: Seiko NE57 automatic movement with power reserve indicator and date dial complication at 5h. 40h power reserve. 
  • 100m Water resistance - good for swimming and skin diving, but not scuba diving. 
  • Strap options:
       Full genuine leather, black
       Full genuine leather, tan
       Canvas with genuine leather lining, sand
       Canvas with genuine leather lining, khaki green
  • Dimensions: 44mm diameter, 15.1mm thick, 22mm lugs, 51.2mm lug to lug.

The case 

The custom-crafted case is really solid to ensure the Kalahari can live up to your active lifestyle. At 105g (excluding straps) the Kalahari is built to last. Some aim to make the thinnest watch to slide under a cuff. We say - if you wearing a shirt with cuffs, you doing it wrong. 

Made with solid 316L stainless steel, it comes in two finishes - bead blasted, and DLC coated. The latter adding an extra level of scratch resistance to an already robust matt surface. 

The case has a tapered shape that gives the upper surface of the watch great wrist presence. The knurled bezel further reinforces the military theme. 

The straps 

The Kalahari will have two different strap options in two different colours. We’ve gone with straight 22mm straps for both kinds and brought back the chunky buckle that was a huge hit on the Tugela. The leather straps come in tan and black and sport red stitching to highlight the red details on the dial. The canvas straps come in sand to match the dial or khaki green for the original military look.

All straps have quick release pins to make strap changing a breeze. No tools required!

The crystal 

Protecting the dial is a double domed sapphire crystal. This means that the outer surface is domed (convex), and the inner surface is also domed (concave), therefore there is less distortion when reading the dial, and with the anti-reflective coating on the inner surface, you’ll sometimes think it’s not there at all!

The dial and hands 

The dial is made up of a number of layers. Starting at the bottom is the first layer of the sandwich dial. Next, is the top layer with a hole cut out for the date disk. The date disk is then attached to the post where you would normally find a hand. On top of that is the power reserve disk. The cut-out chevron shapes on this disk help to show how much power is remaining on the watch by revealing the bar below. Lastly, is the inner rotating bezel with its 12h GMT markings. 

We made sure to use the absolute best luminous paint. We blended Swiss Superluminova C3 with a sand coloured tint so you get the brightest night visibility and a really great sand colour that matches the straps perfectly.

The hands feature the same luminous paint and with a skeletonised (cutout) shape that helps to maximise legibility of the power reserve indicator below.

The second crown

So what does that second crown do? Turning the second crown rotates the internal bezel. This allows you to keep track of a second timezone. For example - if I am in Auckland where the time is 8 o’clock and I want to keep track of the time in Singapore, I would set the internal bezel so that 4 aligns with the 8h marker. This way I can get a quick reference check of the time in Singapore at any time.

You can also use it as a timing tool by setting the arrow to the current minute hand position. The bezel will indicate the elapsed time - perfect for boiling an egg, or timing that alpine descent.

The case back

The Draken logo is proudly embossed on the case back and filled with luminous paint. We know it’s not often this would see the light of day, but we figured it would be a fun detail especially when you’re sitting around the campfire with a torch. Surrounding the logo is a pattern of triangles, paying heritage to the beadwork of the Zulu of the Drakensberg region. 

The case back will also include a serial number from 1 to 390, so you know you are getting an extremely limited edition timepiece. Before you ask, number 1 is always for my Dad, so not available... sorry!

The travel case

Each watch will come with a PU leather travel case, ideal for storing a second watch when packing for that epic mission. There's also a space for spare straps and the instruction booklet.

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The warranty

Like all Draken watches, the Kalahari will come with a 2-year limited warranty. This will cover you from any defects or malfunction which in our opinion, may have occurred in manufacture or assembly. This is a return to base warranty, whereby the watch will be assessed by us unless prior arrangements have been made with us for an alternate course of action. We will work hard to make sure that we meet your expectations so that you are completely happy with your Draken watch.

Any applicable duties and taxes are the responsibility of the buyer. These will vary depending on the country the watch is being delivered to and should be investigated by the buyer. We are producing these watches as the best possible price so that we can stay in business, and you can get an affordable, well crafted timepiece. We do not have the resources to offer a tax inclusive option.

Risks and challenges

Creating and manufacturing a product can be a complicated process, sometimes leading to unexpected delays. We have however taken great care to make sure that we meet our goals and in the event that there is a setback, we will make sure to keep you informed and updated. Any changes to the product will be communicated to you via the Kickstarter comments and updates.

This is our 3rd watch launch, with the first two already having been delivered. We are determined to keep bringing you top quality and unique timepieces at a fantastic price.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 1 or more About $0.69

    Just feeling generous

    If you love the project and just want to help make it succeed any small donation will be appreciated!

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  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge NZ$ 575 or more About $396

    1x Kalahari Super Early Bird

    Recieve 1x Kalahari automatic watch and a travel case.

    Approx. $389 / €332 / £294
    (You save approx. 35% on Retail Price)

    We will contact you at the end of the Kickstarter to finalise your choice of case finish, strap colour, and dial colour.

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    Reward no longer available 44 backers
    NZ$
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 634 or more About $437

    1x Kalahari

    Recieve 1x Kalahari automatic watch and a travel case.

    Approx. $429 / €366 / £324
    (You save approx. 28% on Retail Price)

    We will contact you at the end of the Kickstarter to finalise your choice of case finish, strap colour, and dial colour.

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    34 backers
    NZ$
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 664 or more About $457

    1x Kalahari with extra strap

    Recieve 1x Kalahari automatic watch with a travel case PLUS an extra strap of your choice.

    Approx. $449 / €383 / £339
    (You save approx. 28% on Retail Price)

    We will contact you at the end of the Kickstarter to finalise your choice of case finish, strap colour, and dial colour.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    31 backers
    NZ$
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 1,180 or more About $813

    2x Kalahari

    Recieve 2x Kalahari automatic watches. Each watch will come with a travel case.

    Approx. $798 / €682 / £603
    (You save approx. 33% on Retail Price)

    We will contact you at the end of the Kickstarter to finalise your choice of case finish, strap colour, and dial colour.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    NZ$
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 1,228 or more About $846

    2x Kalahari with 2 extra straps

    Recieve 2x Kalahari automatic watches PLUS 2 extra straps of your choice. Each watch comes with a travel case.

    Approx. $840 / €714 / £632
    (You save approx. 33% on Retail Price)

    We will contact you at the end of the Kickstarter to finalise your choice of case finish, strap colour, and dial colour.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
    NZ$
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 1,754 or more About $1,208

    3x Kalahari

    Recieve 3x Kalahari automatic watches. Each watch comes with a travel case.

    Approx. $1200 / €1020 / £903
    (You save approx. 33% on Retail Price)

    We will contact you at the end of the Kickstarter to finalise your choice of case finish, strap colour, and dial colour.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 1,842 or more About $1,268

    3x Kalahari with 3 extra straps

    Recieve 3x Kalahari automatic watches PLUS 3 extra straps of your choice. Each watch comes with a travel case.

    Approx. $1260 / €1071 / £948
    (You save approx. 33% on Retail Price)

    We will contact you at the end of the Kickstarter to finalise your choice of case finish, strap colour, and dial colour.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    NZ$
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Funding period

- (30 days)