Review: Defakto Detail

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When we found out a few weeks ago that Defakto had released a new watch, we got very excited. They are one of the few brands out there right now that truly follows the beat of their own drum.  Their first watch was an ETA 2824-2 powered automatic one-hander called the Eins, which we reviewed a variation of here.  Their second watch was also an automatic, but a 2-hander, called the Akkord. Aesthetically, the watches are bold, but restrained, with large high contrast markers and hands, yet the good sense to hold back ever so slightly and focus on proportions. They speak both to contemporary graphic design and classical schools of design. The outcome was two very distinct watches, available in several versions that go for about $500 – $600. For their third watch, Defakto went back to the one hand concept, stayed true the graphic roots of the brand, but did everything differently, creating a very unique and interesting watch.


The Detail brings a few things to the Defakto line up. One, it’s their smallest watch measuring 40 mm by a remarkably thin 6.6mm, making it easily unisex and easier to wear for those with a smaller wrist. Two, it’s a quartz watch, running off of a Ronda 715 movement. This allowed for the incredible thinness, but also allows for a lower price and lower weight. Not to mention that the Ronda 715 has a claimed battery life of 70 months, nearly 6 years, making this a watch you can rely on for quite sometime. And third, it’s their most inexpensive at 280 Euros or about $345. But for that price, you are still getting a genuine German made watch, built by the Ickler family manufactory in Pforzheim, as well as a sapphire crystal with AR coating. So, if one-handed watches are your thing, or if you have been tempted by them, but have yet to pull the trigger, the Detail might very well be a watch you will find very appealing.
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$345

Review: Defakto Detail

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
$345

Case

The matte stainless steel case of the Defakto Detail is simple and elegant. Measuring a svelte 40 x 46.75 x 6.6mm, the case is wide and flat and lacking in superfluous detail. The central body of the case is cylindrical with flat sides and nearly straight lugs that angle ever so slightly away from the strap as they meet the case. The bezel, which measures only a few millimeters thick, has a slight chamfer as it meets the anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal that caps off the case. Looking at the case from the top, there is a strong resemblance to watches of Bauhaus descent, which is of no surprise given the design forward approach of the brand. At 3 is a small but appropriately proportioned push-pull crown. Since this is a quartz one-hander with no date, there isn’t much reason to use the crown once the watch is set, yet the quality here is good, which is reassuring. The case back of the watch is solid steel and screw down. This is the most remarkably flat case back I have ever come across, protruding 1mm at max from the central case. Screened on the back in black is a stream of details in German with no spaces between words, an amusing and graphic detail unto itself.

Dial

Staying true to the design DNA of the Defakto brand, the dial of the detail is stark and graphic, yet somehow understated. The design is in essence quite simple, there are no numerals, no extraneous information, and no sudden changes, just a series of lines of precise lengths that tell you all you need to know. Well, all you need to know to a precision of 5 minutes. The smallest lines on the dial represent 5-minute intervals, the medium length lines (which are approximately twice the length of the smaller lines) mark 15 minutes and the longest lines are the hours. All of the lines are white, standing out sharply from the matte black dial, and have the same line thickness. Nevertheless, the dial is very legible, and once you get a bit used to reading the single hand, accuracy to within 2 and a half minutes is reachable.

The hand itself takes a more subtle approach than that of the Defakto Eins, which has a very chunky design. Instead, the hand is more of a slender needle shape, tapering ever so slightly towards the tip. This aids in reading the watch, as there is little ambiguity as to where the needle is pointing. In terms of length, the tip of the needle ends about .5mm from the 5-minute markers. The dial is lacking in any writing save the Defakto logo at 12, which is presented in a relatively small font and does not detract from the dial.

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Strap and Wearability

The Detail comes mounted on black 20mm Calf leather strap with black stitching. The strap has a classic cut that tapers from 20mm at the lugs to 17mm at the buckle, and simply looks sharp on the watch. The leather is very high quality, with a nice supple texture and softness out of the box. The leather is full-grain, so the top surface has a decent texture to it that adds a drop of ruggedness, and breaks up the natural shine.

The watch is extremely comfortable on the wrist. The thin and flat profile hugs the wrist, but the very lightweight (46g by our measure) makes the watch almost unnoticeable. The thinness also allows the watch to slip under a shirtsleeve effortlessly, and does away with any concern about bumping into ones surroundings. Comfort aside, the watch has a very sharp and sophisticated look.  Though very graphic, the lack of any particularly bold elements speaks to refinement, making this watch appropriate in settings both formal and casual.

Conclusion

The Defakto Detail is a very exciting new offering from the relatively young brand. Its mix of precise design, restrained details, quality components and a modest price make it a very strong offering in the under $400 category. When you add up that it’s a genuine German made watch with a sapphire crystal and a Swiss quartz movement for about $345, the value is very clear. Throw in that it’s quite unique and you have a winner. One-handed watches are not the most common things in the world, and they take some getting used to. They make the movement of time nearly imperceptible, and telling time to the exact moment impossible…they aren’t for everyone. But for those who are interested, but not willing to commit several hundred dollars or more, the Detail makes for a great intro to the genre. And given its components and build quality, potentially the only one you’d ever need. So, if it suits your fancy, head over to Defakto and pick one up, they are also available with a white dial and black markings.

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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.
wornandwound zsw

5 responses to “Review: Defakto Detail”

  1. david says:

    Everything except for the buckle is great. Its a shame they used the buckle that you see on every cheap watch at markets. I am picky though 😉

  2. Roger says:

    Agree with david. Why is it a polished buckle when the case is matte? It’s the details.

    • w&w says:

      the picture is deceptive. The buckle is matte steel to match the case. And though it is not a completely unique shape, the buckle suits the watch just fine, and the leather, which is more important to me, is very nice.

  3. Alex says:

    I purchased the Defakto Automatic, white dial, stainless still, beautiful watch! The crown is not screw down. I am surprised that the quartz model has screw dawn crown.

  4. Alex says:

    ….stainless steel….