Defakto is a boutique German watchmaker that creates the cases for brands with more recognition and history, but which focuses on classic, modern designs for its own imprint. The case shapes themselves are largely traditional and without flourish, with smaller diameter faces that look good on most wrist sizes. Defakto’s watch faces are exercises in minimalism, but with enough detail put into the smaller indices that they still manage to convey the vibe of finely tuned avionics instrumentation. The new Detail Struktur from Defakto represents the brand’s design tradition well, but also adds in a small second hand for a little more mathematical complexity on the still simple front face.
The Detail Struktur is one of Defakto’s newer explorations of quartz watches, after watchmaker Raphael Ickler began his brand with the automatic Eins one-handed watch, and followed up that stunning debut with the Akkord, a two-handed affair that still had mechanical guts. The use of a quartz movement means the Detail line (which include an original one-hand watch and this new three-hand version) is less costly than the rest (€255.00 or $320 U.S.) and has a much thinner case. The case has a 40mm diameter, too, making it ideal for even slim wrists, but true watch fans might be left wishing it came in a version with a Swiss ETA automatic movement like either the Eins or the Akkord.
The Detail Struktur is a clear winner when it comes to looks, however. The watch is available in a number of different color combinations, with contrasting in-set small second hands in either black or white, and with silver and PVD-coated black case options. All combinations look excellent, in my opinion, though the review unit’s white-on-white with black case and band is a definite favourite. The black indicator hands and simple, unnumbered hour and minute indices are both functionally effective and wonderfully stark, and Defakto’s tasteful, small brand indicator actually adds to the overall appeal of the face, thanks to its lovely typeface.
Defakto’s leather calfskin band is also equally attractive, and despite its basic design it manages to also retain small signature elements that mean you’ll know it’s a Defakto band when you see it up close. The clasp features a matte silver finish, and the brand imprint once again, and it’s perfect compliment to the watch itself, meaning this isn’t a case where you’ll get the watch and want to ditch the band for something aftermarket right away.
While the brand built its early success on classic, relatively affordable automatic pieces, the Struktur Detail takes everything good about Defakto’s watches and puts those in a package and at a price suitable for a much broader audience of watch buyer, which extends beyond the collector to those who simply appreciate good design, and who might otherwise look at something from Uniform Wares, or Braun’s resuscitated watch lineup. The small second hand also should appeal to those looking for more accuracy than that found in just the one- or two-handed previous designs Defakto offers. All told, it’s a beautiful watch, and one that will get plenty of attention without having to scream for it.