Draken Peregrine

The folks from Draken Watches sent me a Peregrine prototype to play with for a short while when their Kickstarter was underway. From the looks of things today, the campaign is doing great, as they have blown past their fundraising goal and still have 12 days remaining. After wearing the watch for a couple of days, I completely understand the secret to their success. The Peregrine is a solid tool watch that is brimming with the kind of details that watch nerds will love.

By its specs, it’s clear the Draken is a serious tool watch: 100m water resistance, anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal, chunky screw-down crown, and a burly case. At first glance, it would appear to be a relatively conventional pilot, but upon closer inspection, you start to notice the really fun stuff. And let me tell you, there is a lot of it. 
The Peregrine has a 44mm stainless steel case that tapers ever so slightly at the case back, creating a flared shape they liken to that of the Protea flower. It measures 52mm long and about 15.5mm thick from the display case back to the top of the domed crystal. The angular lugs are spaced 22mm apart. You could wear it with a button cuff shirt, but I can't imagine why you would want to. It just isn't that kind of watch. 
The standout feature of the case, both literally and figuratively, is the crown. This heavy, knurled cylinder is over 5mm tall and 7mm wide. It stands proudly at 3 o'clock with no guards to temper its size. I know some people problems wearing with crowns that large, but I am not one of them. Perhaps it is just the way a watch sits on my wrist, but I have never had a crown hit the back of my hand and this was no exception. I just liked the way it looked and operated. OH, did I mention that is signed and lumed? I guess glowing crowns is now officially a thing and I'm digging it.
Draken chose a Miyota 9130 for this watch. The 26 jewel, 28.8k bph automatic hacks, hand winds, and runs a good 40+ hours off your wrist. If you think it sounds a lot like a 9015, you are right, but for those two extra jewels and a power reserve. More on that later. The unit is nearly finished if not exactly lavishly decorated. In fact, I'd say there is not much to justify the exhibition back except that Draken PVD coated the rotor, signed it, and lumed the logo. Yes, that's right. It has lume on the inside and back. Is it pointless? Utterly. But it is cool to look at? Hells yes. 

You may order a Peregrine in either a bead blasted or DLC black case and a black or full lume dial. I received a black/lume version. The dial is white in daylight, showing just a bit of surface tooth and a hint of pearlescence, providing a high contrast to the black sword hands and a bright blue second hand. Like many pilot’s watches, this one has an Explorer-style 3/6/9 layout. I was pleased to see that the bar markers and navigation triangle are applied and polished for a bit of eye-catching dimension. On the lume dial, they are all filled black. Obviously, that is reversed on the black dials. I really liked the use of blue as an accent, not just on the second hand but also the model name and the tiny darts that pop from the minute track at the three numbers. When the lights go down, X1 C3 SuperLuminova lights up (note that the prototype is blue but it will be green in production). It is an attractive face, and I haven’t even told you about the best part.
Let’s zoom in on that logo, shall we? The shield and dragon are cleanly cut from a polished frame, revealing an orange layer below. That changes as you wind it, the orange giving way to white. This is your power reserve. Leave the Peregrine off your wrist and the logo creeps back to orange as the movement winds down. It is a small thing, but man is it sweet. And it is lumed, because once you have lit up the dial, crown, and rotor, why wouldn't you lume the power reserve?
After all that, you might be disappointed to read about the strap. You have a choice between green canvas or brown calf leather with buckle matched to the case and signed. Mine arrived on the leather, which is perfectly nice. Maybe too nice. It is lightly padded and too tailored for the rugged Peregrine. I'd opt for the military canvas. 
The Draken Peregrine is a fun watch, and as of this moment, mighty affordable. Rewards are still available for a low as $337, a 30% discount off expected retail. For more information or to place an order, see the Draken Peregrine Kickstarter page. The campaign runs through December 16, 2017. ⬩

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