Introducing the Defakto Transit Standard

Defakto is a German brand that focuses on producing watches with a minimalist design aesthetic and high quality case manufacturing, with a little bit of user customization thrown in for good measure. Founded by Raphael Ickler in 2009, the brand certainly has bona fides in case production (the Ickler family has been producing renowned watch cases in Germany since 1924), and with Defakto, a member of this important watchmaking family has taken a step toward a much more modern design language. Let’s take a closer look at the new Defakto Transit Standard. 

Defakto Transit Standard

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Matte black
  • Dimensions: 40mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire 
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Crown: Push/pull
  • Movement: ETA 2824-2
  • Strap/bracelet: Leather 
  • Price: ~$1,018 
  • Expected Release: Available to order

The Germans definitely have a way with minimalist designs. From brands as diverse as Nomos, Sinn, and Damasko, a thread that ties them all together is a lack of ostentatious bling. Even the ultra high end A. Lange & Sohne tends to save the theatrics for their famously elaborate movement decoration. Regardless of whether we’re looking at a pilot’s watch, a traditional dress watch, or something in between and more suited to the everyday, the designs coming out of Germany tend to be sober and reserved, and Defakto is no exception. 


The Transit Standard features a traditionally designed 40mm case with brushed finishing all around. The high contrast dial uses a matte black base and stark white indices — large ones every five minutes, and shorter in between. The pop of color provided by the red seconds hand is well-executed, and it gives the watch just the right amount of modern flair. If the seconds hand had been white, matching the hour and minute hands, the Transit Standard would likely have registered as yet another simple aviation inspired design. This one design decision has a fairly dramatic impact on how the watch ultimately comes across. It doesn’t forsake any of its German DNA, and pushes forward just enough to exist in a slightly contrarian space. 

Defakto’s case (made in-house) comes in at just under 10mm, which should make this one wear really well, nice and close to the wrist. Although the brand has taken pains to ensure readability in low light (each of those 60 indices circling the dial is coated in Super-LumiNova), the Transit Standard would seem to fall into the “sleek everyday” category as opposed to the “pure tool watch” camp that many of our favorite German brands specialize in. 

One of the more charming aspects of the Defakto brand is the ability to customize your watch to a certain degree. Not only can you request caseback engraving at the point of sale, but Defakto will mount the crown left of the case by request. Destro watches are a collecting category all their own, and, speaking as a southpaw, it’s nice to see a relatively affordable lefty option that can be produced on demand.

The Defakto Transit Standard is available now direct though the Defakto website. Defakto

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.