The Defakto Watch Manufaktur

The Defakto Watch Manufaktur was founded by Raphael Ickler in 2009 and stands for high-quality German-made watches with a focus on minimalist design. The watch brand Defakto offers puristic, hand-crafted watches from its own workshop, direct communication with the customer, and an excellent price-to-performance ratio by focusing on direct sales through this website. After graduating from the Master's program in Digital Media Art at the Art University of Bremen, the 33-year-old designer and founder Raphael Ickler founded the independent watch brand Defakto in Berlin. The high-quality watches offered by Defakto are the result of a long family experience in the watchmaking industry. This tradition goes back to 1924, when Karl Ickler founded the now internationally-renowned Ickler GmbH in Pforzheim, Germany, a city famous for the production of fine watches and jewelry. To this day, a fourth generation of Ickler family members manufacture high-quality watches and watch cases at the foot of the Black Forest. In 2017, the Defakto Design and Development Office moved to Karlsruhe.

Defakto is a member of the "Deutscher Werkbund" – an institution founded in 1907 by Peter Behrens – the "Wiener Werkstätten", as well as other collectives of craftsmen and professionals. The Deutscher Werkbund is an "association of artists, architects, entrepreneurs and experts" with a long history of innovation that gave rise to the Bauhaus movement. It remains a key initiator in the fields of modern architecture and industrial design to this day. In addition to the stand-alone watch design and the high-quality in-house production, Defakto’s one-man company structure is a further unique feature. All aspects of the company, from the idea, the concept, the final design and development of a Defakto wristwatch, many parts of production, surface treatment, the engraving and watchmaking processes, the complete assembly, logistics and customer communication, all product photography and web design come from a single source. This self-sufficient, sustainable development and care process leads to honest, stringent products and direct communication with the person responsible for every aspect of the products – a level of engagement that is unmatched in the watchmaking world.

Adress and Contact Information


Raphael Ickler 
Designer, Founder, Manager

VAT-IdNr: DE 2937 94831
Studio: Defakto Uhren, Karl-Wilhelm-Str 12, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany 
Manufactory: Defakto Uhren, Ickler GmbH, Hirsauerstr 214, 75180 Pforzheim, Germany
Email: info_at_defakto-uhren.de
Telephone: +49 (0) 721 78168812        
Social Media: TwitterInstagramFacebook



Design and Manufacture of a Defakto Watch

The diversity of manufacturing and craftsmanship in Germany is an integral characteristic of Defakto. Very few watch brands can offer such high in-house added value. On the design level, all watches of the Defakto collection are products of Bauhaus-inspired contemporary minimalist design. This mindset is built upon the function-driven, high-quality Ickler Manufactory watch cases, the pure aesthetic of a balanced interplay between hands and dial, and the reliability of precise Swiss and Japanese movements. Defakto watches offer advanced design concepts in terms of function and time perception. As an example, the Defakto Kinetik’s design is based on the visual emphasis of geometrical constellations generated by the interaction of the skeleton-esque hands and the dial components. For the Eins and Mono one-hand watches, fifteen- or five-minute indexes convey a more relaxed experience of time.

The Defakto watch cases are manufactured in-house from 316L stainless steel or CuSn8 bronze. The black coating used on some watchcase surfaces consists of PVD, a highly durable material originally used to harden industrial milling tools. The watches’ high-quality movements are Swiss-made (ETA 2824, Ronda 712, Ronda 6004.D) or made in Japan (Miyota 9015) and are known for their precision and durability in everyday life. All Defakto watches are available with black or white dials, with a range of material or surface variations, and can be further customized upon customer request. Biodegradable Swiss-made Superluminova from the company Tritec is used in watches with luminous components. Almost all Defakto wristwatch models are also available without the Defakto logo as the so-called Inkognito versions. These models can even be built as right- or left-handed watches.

Production of a Defakto Watch

Development process of a Defakto watch dial


Production of a Defakto watchcase

Working on a watchcase blank with the turning lathe

CNC-milling a Defakto watchcase out of the blank

Leftover metal turnings before entering recycling process

Detail of a finished bronze Defakto watch case

Preparation for the watchmaking process

Essential watchmaker tools

Quality check of components to be installed

Placing watch hands, adjusting hand status

Preparation of assembly

Assembly of automatic movement into watchcase

Preparation of additional parts


Quality check of top ring, watch back and clasp

Laser engraving of watch back

Example of surface treatment (brushing)


Detail of a finished Defakto watchcase after brushing, polishing and engraving processes

Example of raw, sand-blasted surface on a Defakto Akkord

Almost-finished Defakto Vektor watches

Placing and pressing a sapphire crystal into a Defakto watchcase

Checking water resistance

Checking the horological accuracy of an assembled automatic Defakto watch

Attachment of watch strap components to the watch 

Final visual check of a finished Defakto watch

Final Defakto Dialog PVD that has passed all manufacturing and quality-control processes

Ready for shipment - Defakto Kinetik in its accompanying handmade Defakto cardboard packaging