After having been passed around from one watch blogger to another, finally, the two travelling Draken Kalahari prototypes found their way to my door. Usually, I would spend at least two-three weeks with a watch before doing a review, but since we are in the final days of its Kickstarter campaign, I thought it would be good to have this review poster as soon as possible. You won’t find here an in-depth review of a production watch, just a quick preview, “first impressions” of a couple of prototypes.
After opening the parcel, I had to deal with a rather challenging problem, which one should I wear first? The stainless steel Kalahari with black dial or the black DLC version with sand-coloured dial? They both looked amazing and finally, after winding both and enjoying the fun power reserve indicator on the dial, I decided to strap on the stainless steel version and let the DLC version wait till the evening arrives, the best time to enjoy its full lume dial.
Things I like about the Draken Kalahari
1. Overall design
Overall this is a wonderfully designed watch. The proportions, the details and the colours work together perfectly to create a cool military-themed watch.
2. The comfort of wearing
With a diameter of 44mm, the Kalahari is not a small watch, yet it sits nicely on the wrist. The fact the there is no crown at 3, makes it very comfortable to wear, I could imagine the Kalahari as an everyday beater.
3. The power reserve and date indicators
Winding this watch and then observing it as it will unwind is pure joy. A very clever way to use the power reserve feature of the new Seiko NE57 movement.
4. Lume, lots of lume!
You can choose between black dial or full-lume dial, they both use C3 SuperLuminova and it’s Christmas every night. The cool factor is bumped up by the lume inserts in the crowns and the caseback.
5. The internal rotating bezel
The 12-hour marking is my favourite bezel marking, especially when I’m travelling.
6. No logo on the dial
Good wines need no bush and good looking watches with an original design need no logo and other pointless inscriptions on the dial. Thank you, Draken for keeping the dial functional!
Might need more love
A couple of minor things that might need more attention. Keep in mind that these are prototypes and the production versions are always better.
1. AR coating
I find that the AR coating on the crystal is not working as it should. This bothered me mainly when I was taking pictures, but in everyday use, this is not a major issue.
2. Knurling of the bezel
The radially-knurled bezel is a wonderful choice for this watch and I wish that it would be less shy, with its lines going deeper in the metal. On the DLC the knurling is hardly visible…
I love the Draken Kalahari, it’s a great watch and I’m glad to see that the Kickstarter campaign reached its goal. This watch had to become a reality! For all the technical specs and to see what colour combinations are available, visit the Draken Kalahari Kickstarter page. If you like it, pull the trigger now, you will be rewarded for your patience with a 28% discount over the retail price. For a few more days, you can reserve yours for US$429!