Defakto Struktur Hands-On

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Defakto Uhren is one of the few brands we’ve been talking about since we started worn&wound near 5 years ago. Made in Germany by the Ickler family, of which the brand’s founder is a part, Defakto does its own thing. They have a consistent aesthetic, one that relies on an attention to detail and proportions, that all but ignores the world around them. They don’t follow trends, they just make the watches they want to make.

We recently reviewed their newest automatic, the Kinetik, which definitely lives by the code above. Today, we’ll be taking a look at their most recent quartz release, the Struktur, which is a three-hand follow up to their one-handed Detail Mono from a few years back. With the Struktur, Defakto has created a more palatable entry point to the brand, with a design that is familiar, but tuned to feel distinctly Defakto. Featuring a sapphire crystal, Ronda 715 movement and a price tag ranging from about $270 – $320, the Struktur is a great way to get into German-made watches, and a smart alternative to similarly priced quartz fashion watches.

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$270

Defakto Struktur Hands-On

Case
Matte Steel
Movement
Ronda 715
Dial
Matte Black
Lume
N/A
Lens
Sapphire
Strap
Black Calfskin
Water Resistance
50m
Dimensions
40 x 47mm
Thickness
6.6mm
Lug Width
20mm
Crown
5 x 3mm Pull-Out
Warranty
2 Years
Price
$270

Case

The theme of all of Defakto’s watches is modern simplicity, and the Struktur is no different. At 40 x 47 x 6.6mm it’s a casual size with a very slim profile, making it a comfortable all-day watch. From above, the case has classic lines with a broad bezel and lugs that taper away from the case.  Slab sides and an even satin-matte finish give the case an industrial feel that is present in other Defakto timepieces.

The most impressive angle is from the side, where you can see just how flat this watch is. At 6.6mm it’s one of the thinner watches I’ve worn. What I like about this is that is makes use of one of the better properties of quartz movements, giving the use of quartz purpose beyond a lighter price point.

On the right side you’ll find a 5 x 3mm pull-out crown, also matte, with coining for grip. The outside surface is left blank, unsigned, which is also enigmatic of the brand… On one hand, I get the strive for simplicity, giving the watches a stern, sterile look… On the other, a signed crown makes it feel less like a generic part. While I know these are manufactured by Ickler/Defakto in Pforzheim, something to confirm would be nice.

Flipping the watch over, you have a nearly flat surface with a slightly raised area that is used to create tool grips. On the surface you have details of the watch laser etched in, in a single line with no spaces. Perhaps the most important details are the sapphire crystal, great at this price point, and that the watch is made in Germany for the same reason.

Dial

Like the case, the dial is simple and effective, with an emphasis on cleanliness and legibility. On the model reviewed, the surface is matte black with white indexes. The primary index consists of long lines for the hour/5-minute interval and small white lines for the individual minutes. It’s minimal, attractive and easy to read at a glance. Just below 12 is a small Defakto logo, the only writing on the dial.

The centerpiece of the dial is the sub-seconds at 6, which is equally as subdued as the surface around it. The sub-dial is stamped into the main surface, sitting a small but noticeable distance below it. This creates a nice break in the otherwise flat area, and provides a clean separating line for the sub-seconds. The index consists of small white lines every five seconds.

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The hour and minute hands are thin white sticks with rounded tips. The hour is shorter, naturally, and ever so slightly thicker. They suit the dial and are easy to read. The sub-seconds hand is a small white stick with an oversized connection to the pinion that drives it.

And that’s that for the dial. There isn’t a lot of detail to get into, but the overall look and design are attractive and effective. It sticks to Defakto’s aesthetic, which isn’t for everyone, but those of us who like restrained, graphic designs they are very appealing. The Struktur is in some ways a more classic design for the brand, especially compared to the newer Kinetik, with a fairly standard arrangement of markers, and three hands.

Straps and Wearability

The Struktur comes on a 20mm black calfskin strap. It’s straight cut with no stitching or adornment of any kind, carrying the uncomplicated aesthetic of the watch through the strap. It’s nice quality with soft lining leather, folded edges and a pleasantly thin build. Finishing the strap is a signed thumbnail buckle with a brushed top surface and matte sides. Seeing the mix of finishes here actually makes me wonder what the case would have looked like with a brushed bezel.

On the wrist, the Struktur is a pleasure to wear. It fits very well as it’s medium sized watch with a fairly short lug-to-lug and, as mentioned, a very thin profile. It’s also remarkably light thanks to the quartz movement, making it the kind of watch you put on and forget you’re wearing.

The 40mm diameter works well here too. It gives the dial enough real estate to make a bit of a statement on the wrist, but not feel oversized. The proportions on the Struktur, and all Defakto watches for that matter, are very well considered and an increase or decrease in size would affect them negatively. It’s the little relationships here that matter. The size of the sub-dial as it relates to the length of the hour lines, the negative space below the logo, the width of the bezel to the diameter of the bezel… it all just fits.

The size also makes the watch just a bit masculine, which works well with the stripped down aesthetic. It’s a bit harsh and architectural, which I think makes sense on a men’s watch. For day-to-day wear, the Struktur looks great with casual/office wear. It’s a versatile watch that would look as good with jeans and sneakers as khakis and oxfords.

Conclusion

The Defakto Struktur is a very smart watch for the brand to release. While they’ve always been value conscious, the Struktur adds a smart entry point into the brand as well as German-made watches. Sure, so did their Detail Mono, but one-handed watches can be a tough sell, while a simple, well-designed and made three-hander is an easy pill to swallow. For $270, the Struktur is just a nice and versatile watch.

DEFAKTO_STRUKTUR_DIAL_2

If the black dial with steel case is too plain for you, Defakto does have some interesting two-tone options that have more personality. There are both white with black sub-dial (Panda) and the inverse. There’s also a PVD case option (for $320). In fact, if I were to purchase one for myself, I’d likely go with PVD case, white dial with black sub-dial variant. While it’s a more in-your-face design, it’s also more unique and a striking look.

For those who wish to see these watches in person, Defakto is participating in a world-tour of German-made goods. It’s international, so check out when it plans on stopping by you: handmade-worldtour

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Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
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