The new Draken Peregrine shows how far microbrands have come in 6 years The new Draken Peregrine shows how far microbrands have come in 6 years

The new Draken Peregrine shows how far microbrands have come in 6 years

Buffy Acacia

As of March 30th, Time+Tide will have been publishing our Micro Mondays column for four years. Microbrands have been around for a lot longer than that, but it’s amazing to think of how far they’ve come even in this short slice of time. Taking a look at the re-release of the Draken Peregrine, we can see a perfect example of how much their capabilities have improved. The design, the quality, and the value for money have all been taken up a notch.

The case

Draken Peregrine V2 Version B Bracelet

The original Draken Peregrine was released by the New Zealand company in 2018, and although it was well-received on Kickstarter at the time, it clearly hadn’t found its footing in hindsight. The 44mm case was fairly bulky at 15.25mm thick. The bezel was fairly bland and the lugs disappeared into nothing, but the option to have a stainless steel or black DLC-coated case was pretty nice. The new case is leagues ahead. The 42mm diameter is still powerfully present but more comfortable to wear at 12.75mm thick. The lugs are angled a bit more acutely, and the bezel is nicely chamfered for greater visual depth. The lug-to-lug distance has also come down from 52mm to 49mm.

Draken Peregrine V2 Version A Strap

The other major change for the case was moving the crown from the right side to the left side. On an aesthetic, level it gives the watch a little bit of quirky charm, but on a practical level it prevents the crown from digging into your wrist if you wear it on your left arm. It’s a thick and bulky crown with deep knurling, designed to give you lots of grip, but it could be something of an obstacle on the right side of the case. The water resistance is still a swimmable 100 metres, with a screw-down crown for peace of mind. Considering there’s been no loss of water resistance and there’s still an exhibition caseback, clearly the height reduction of 2.5mm has come purely from technical refinement.

The dial

Draken Peregrine V2 Version A Lume Strap

These watches have always been purposefully made as pilot’s watches, but it’s only now that Draken have expanded the dial choices to include a more traditional look. The original Version A layout with numerals at the quarters has still been majorly updated, but the new Version B obviously references the classical German flieger vibe, complete with triangle and dots at 12 o’clock. The colour choices have also remained the same, with a standard white-on-black model and a white dial that’s completely luminous.

Draken Peregrine V2 Version B Bracelet 2

Back in 2018, the Draken shield logo was placed at 12 o’clock to incorporate a hidden complication. The dragon silhouette was cut into the dial, revealing a white and red gauge to act as a power reserve indicator. That’s really cool in theory, but in practice it was a little hard to read, and the contrasting colours made the logo difficult to appreciate. The logo is now sensibly printed on the dial below 12, and the power reserve indicator has moved to 6 o’clock with a little needle and gauge. This way, it’s much more functional and is actually one of the better tool watch applications of a power reserve I’ve seen. The way Draken have balanced the blue highlights on these dials feels much more thought-out on the new models as well, feeling cleaner, and frankly more expensive.

The movement

draken peregrine movement caseback

The calibre 9130 from Miyota is used by both the older models and the new ones, because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Belonging to Miyota’s premium series of movements, it features a smooth beat rate of 4Hz, a power reserve of 40 hours, an accuracy of -10/+30 seconds per day, and of course the power reserve and date complications. The 9000 series generally have great reputations as an affordable alternative to Swiss movements with reliable performance and plenty of good specifications. The Draken Peregrine shows it off with a sapphire display caseback.

The bracelet and strap

Draken are offering the new Peregrine either on a stainless steel three-link bracelet or a sailcloth strap with leather backing. The bracelet is gorgeous, with the links sitting somewhere between an all-out vintage flat link style and a modern day Oyster shape. The sailcloth strap imparts a much more casual and field-watch attitude, as well as a pop of khaki colour. A nylon single-pass strap is included with either choice. Of course, with the 22mm lug width you’ll have a huge selection of aftermarket options as well.

The verdict

Draken Peregrine V2 Version B Bracelet Close Up

Looking at photos of the 2018 Peregrine versus the 2024 Peregrine, there’s a stark difference. I don’t want to be mean to the old model, but this new version is superior in almost every way, and it’s only because of small refinements to each aspect. This is what 6 years of development looks like when a company listens to its audience feedback, and it’s representative of the growing quality of microbrands at large. The best part of all is that Draken haven’t needed to hike the price up with inflation, and the RRP of USD$599 is actually cheaper than the 2018 RRP of USD$700.

The Draken Peregrine pricing and availability

The new Draken Peregrine is now available for pre-order from the Draken website, with delivery estimated in July. Price: USD$439 (strap, pre-order), USD$479 (bracelet, pre-order), USD$549 (strap, RRP), USD$599 (bracelet, RRP).

Brand Draken
Model Peregrine
Case Dimensions 42mm (D) x 12.75mm (T) x 49mm (LTL)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 100 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Dial Black or fully lumed white
Bracelet Stainless steel bracelet or sailcloth strap
Additional nylon single-pass strap
Movement Miyota 9130, automatic
Power Reserve 40 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve, date
Availability Available for pre-order, with delivery estimated in July
Price USD$439 (strap, pre-order)
USD$479 (bracelet, pre-order)
USD$549 (strap, RRP)
USD$599 (bracelet, RRP)