FAMILY-OWNED KUKI CELEBRATES ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY
The KUKI company from Slovenia has been manufacturing high-quality leather watch straps since 1963. The family tradition dating back fifty years was started by Franc Drolc and his wife Alenka. Sadly, Franc passed away in 2010, leaving the company in the hands of brothers Matjaž and Gregor. The company now exports to more than 20 different countries in Europe and beyond. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, KUKI presents a new alligator leather strap using the company’s Strong&Flex technology, which is an amalgamation of two methods of strap construction that have been patented by the company. KUKI Strong&Flex watch straps offer flexibility, softness and durability all in one and provide excellent reliability and resistance to deformation.
The first patent, filed in 1994, covers the ArmStrong construction, in which Aramid and 18-carat gold-plated stoppers were first used to reinforce the leather strap; the second, filed in 2003, is for the KUKI-FLEX system, which introduced rubber as an intermediate layer to strengthen the leather strap, offering flexibility and softness.
STRONG & FLEX
The new alligator leather strap uses KUKI’s Strong&Flex technology, in which a layer of the high-performance fibre Aramid is inserted beneath the leather where the strap is attached to the watch and the buckle. The remaining length of the strap is reinforced by rubber inserts. The strap’s most vulnerable areas are not only reinforced by Aramid and rubber but by ultra-slim stainless-steel plates with gold-plated stoppers.
A FAMILY COMPANY WITH AN INNOVATIVE TRADITION
Today, KUKI’s reputation as a family company with an innovative tradition continues to grow. Respect for tradition is the company’s long-term goal, and the reason why KUKI today forms one of the prize stones in the watchmaking mosaic. Of exceptional importance is the company’s innovativeness – a continuous confirmation of KUKI’s place in the watchmaking world.
- Baselworld 2008 (Gregor Drolc, Alenka Drolc, Franc Drolc, Matjaž Drolc)
When speaking of the exclusiveness of KUKI leather watch straps, one cannot overlooks the personal mark instilled in these watch straps by the Drolc family, thanks to a long family tradition originating in the far-off year of 1963. KUKI leather watch straps reflect the philosophy of the Drolc family, which for years has remained faithful to the logo: THE FUTURE HAS SOUL. KUKI leather watch straps based on KUKI Strong&Flex and KUKI-Flex lines reflect the leather watch straps made with the soul, which are incomparable and having a character all their own. KUKI leather watch straps are simply unique and sophisticated.
ABOUT THE KUKI COMPANY
- THE KUKI COMPANY WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1963 AND THE KUKI BRAND WAS STARTED IN YEAR 1967 BY FRANC AND ALENKA DROLC. THE KUKI COMPANY IS OWNED BY THE DROLC FAMILY FROM LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA.
- IN YEAR 1991, THE KUKI COMPANY WAS THE FIRST COMPANY FROM SLOVENIA AND EASTERN EUROPE EXHIBITED ITS PRODUCTS AT THE WATCH AND JEWELLERY FAIR IN BASEL.
- SINCE 1991, THE KUKI COMPANY EXHIBITED ITS PRODUCTS AT THE BASEL FAIR FOR THE TWENTY-SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR. BECAUSE OF ITS PARTICULAR SITUATION IN THE EUROPEAN UNION, WHERE A SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THE KUKI COMPANY AND ITS DIRECTORS IS POLITICALLY ALLOWED BY THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION, SLOVENIA AND AUSTRIA, THE KUKI COMPANY DOES NOT EXHIBITE AT THE BASEL FAIR IN YEAR 2013.
- THE KUKI COMPANY MADE AN IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO SLOVENIA’S ADOPTION OF THE CITES CONVENTION.
- THE KUKI COMPANY IS ONE OF THE LEADING WORLD PRODUCERS OF EXCLUSIVE LEATHER WATCH STRAPS.
- THE KUKI COMPANY IS THE HOLDER OF TWO PATENTS (ARMSTRONG AND KUKI-FLEX) WITH THE HIGHEST LABORATORY ASSESSMENTS FOR THE QUALITY OF LEATHER WATCH STRAPS (TESTED IN SWITZERLAND).
- AT MORE THAN TEN RESOUNDING “SLOVENIAN DAYS” (PRESS CONFERENCES) IN BASEL AND NEW YORK, THE KUKI COMPANY PRESENTED ITS CONTRIBUTION TO THE WATCHMAKING WORLD AND PROMOTED THE YOUNG STATE OF SLOVENIA.
- IN 2012 THE KUKI COMPANY CONDUCTED BUSINESS ACTIVITIES IN MORE THAN 20 COUNTRIES WITHIN AND OUTSIDE EUROPE.
- IN 2013, THE KUKI COMPANY CREATED JUBILEE KUKI STRONG&FLEX ALLIGATOR WATCH STRAP DEDICATED TO ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY.
JUBILEE KUKI STRONG&FLEX ALLIGATOR WATCH STRAP
The KUKI company created special designed KUKI Strong&Flex Alligator watch strap dedicated to its 50th anniversary. This Jubilee KUKI Strong&Flex Alligator is a masterpiece in the world’s leather watch strap production. It is created using the KUKI Strong&Flex construction where its links have an additional aramid layer and a stopper. As technically most complex leather watch strap, the Jubilee KUKI Strong&Flex Alligator impressively stresses the unique character of the sophisticated KUKI Strong&Flex watch straps: a complex technical achievement that offers exceptional flexibility, softness and durability all in one. The Jubilee KUKI Strong&Flex Alligator exceeds the influence of varying thicknesses, ensuring excellent flexibility, enhancing its softness and durability and keeping its stable design.
By creation of Jubilee KUKI Strong&Flex Alligator, the KUKI company once again presented itself as A Family Company with an Innovative Tradition, which in spite of its exceptional innovative character, the KUKI company remains devoted to tradition. Furthermore, the KUKI company is once again opening new paths in the production of top-quality leather watch straps.
In year 2011, the KUKI company presented the KUKI Strong&Flex – A masterpiece in the world’s leather watch strap production. This sophisticated KUKI Strong&Flex Alligator is not only created using the KUKI Strong&Flex construction, but its links have an additional aramid layer and a stopper. As technically most complex watch strap, the new KUKI Strong&Flex Alligator is the flagship of the KUKI Strong&Flex line. In the words of the Drolc brothers, “the KUKI Strong&Flex line is a sophisticated creation of unique leather watch straps. It presents a contribution to the world of diversity«.
Franc Drolc, founder of the KUKI company, at the age of 77, following a short and serious illness, passed away in 2010. Franc Drolc was able to admire the values of honesty, sincerity and human dignity, which led to the growth of many genuine private and even business friendships. His almost 50-years contribution to the watchmaking world remains ineffaceable.
After development of many patents and innovations, in year 2009 the KUKI company launched its new innovation under the name of »KUKI Strong&Flex« that is the fruit of the company’s innovativeness, complex technical developments based on modern technology and, at the same time, its tradition and craftsmanship. Due to their unique construction, the KUKI Strong&Flex watch straps offer flexibility, softness and durability all in one, specially developed to protect exquisite watches. The KUKI Strong&Flex watch straps provide excellent reliability and resistance to deformation. Their unique character is evident in the ultra-slim, stainless steel, gold-plated “stoppers”, with a marking appearing on the back of the strap. The KUKI Strong&Flex watch straps are based on the unique construction and special production concept.
For several years (now), the KUKI company has been a responsible participant in the creation of trends in the watchmaking world. The KUKI Metallic and the KUKI Patent leather watch straps represented a contribution to KUKI’s striving for excellence in top-quality watch straps.
In year 2003, the company launched its second patent under the name of “KUKI-FLEX”. This unique product is tailored to meet the demands of those watch strap consumers seeking such qualities as flexibility, softness and durability. A significant advantage of KUKI-FLEX watch strap is the creation of numerous designs of watch straps made to perfection. The exceptional qualities of the KUKI-FLEX watch strap are the result of its unique, yet simple structure – a layer of rubber inserted between a top and bottom layer of leather.
- KUKI-FLEX leather watch strap
Slovenian patent No. SI 21070 A (2003)
The watch strap comprises three layers: a basic core material made of rubber, a synthetic material that forms the intermediate layer, and leather for the cover and bottom layers. The basic material determines the design of the watch strap.
In year 2003, the Drolc brothers (Matjaž Drolc, Gregor Drolc) performed their own song dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the KUKI company, which was presented live at their press conference on the occasion of the KUKI company’s 40th anniversary in Basel.
At the turn of the century - in 2000, the KUKI Company dedicated a specially designed leather watch strap to the Millennium. The Drolc brothers (Matjaž Drolc, Gregor Drolc) performed their own song »Basel 2000« dedicated to Basel fair, which was presented live at their Press Conference in Basel.
The company joined forces with Yngvar Petlund, a Norwegian watchmaker, to market a wolfish watch strap as a “Souvenir from Norway”.
A specially designed ArmStrong watch strap “The complicated leather watch strap, for complicated watches” was presented. At that time, the complicated leather watch straps were produced by the KUKI company.
The ArmStrong aramid watch strap was developed as the most exclusive and durable leather watch strap at that time. A series of tests was performed in Swiss and Slovene specialized laboratories and marketing studies were evaluated.
European patent No. EP 0 677 256 B1 (1994)
The construction of ArmStrong watch straps is distinguished by a remarkable solution:
the outer layers of fine leather conceal strips of aramid, making the strap totally reliable and resistant to deformation. The contact with both layers of leather is specially reinforced with 18 carat gold-plated stoppers welded to an ultra-slim sheet of stainless steel. Through a series of tests performed at Swiss and Slovenia specialized laboratories, ArmStrong watch straps were evaluated as the most exclusive and durable aramid leather watch straps available today.
A reputed Swiss laboratory assessed KUKI watch straps as being of comparable quality to the finest watch straps in the world.
In year 1992 and in years after, the KUKI company made an important contribution to Slovenia’s adoption of the CITES Convention.
At the time they established the company, Franc and Alenka Drolc decided to pursue a company development strategy oriented towards high-quality products.
In year 1967, the KUKI brand was presented for the first time. Leather straps have been offered in a specially designed package.
In 1963, Franc Drolc and his wife Alenka Drolc began to produce leather watch straps.
Source: Europa Star Magazine - April / May Issue 2013