Hello, this is your captain speaking, time is ten past ten, and we are experiencing some clear-air turbulenz, so please fasten your seatbelt and sit back and relax. That’s the first thing which popped into my head when Dekla came out with the Turbulenz flieger.
To give background on Dekla, in 2018 Mike Stuffler of Watchuseek team came across the new flieger brand named Dekla on Instagram. Mike and I contacted the company and purchased their flieger watch to learn bit more about the watch and company. As I dug deeper into the background of the company, I discovered that the owner of Dekla is also the owner of Dievas Uhren Technik E.K. Dievas is a divers watch brand created in 2006 by Mr. Ander Tan of Singapore. He has a partnership with Dievas Uhren Technik E.K for the manufacturing of watches in Pforzheim, Germany. You could say that there is some relationship between Dievas and Dekla brands. There is a deeper connection between the two brands – the origin of their name. Dievas is a Latvian deity known as The Supreme God, and Dekla is a Latvian Goddess of Fortune and Destiny.
When I received the watch in 2018, Dekla surprised me with the in-house case, dial, hands, with Swiss ETA movement, all for under 400 Euros. Two years later the brand has keep the pricing around 400 Euros (excluding VAT), and is still manufacturing most of the parts in the Pforzheim workshop. This is still very shocking given that pilot watches in this price range are usually made in Asia, or are made from imported Asian parts. On the other hand, if Dekla can make a profit at such an affordable price, then you can guess the margins of other brands. Of course, one factor which differentiates pricing is the fit and finish of the watch, even though they may all look alike.
Dekla recently offered Turbulenz watch on its website, so Mike ordered it to see if the quality is consistent two years later. We can report that the fit and finish of the bead-blasted 316L stainless steel case is still good. Dekla offers an interesting option in Pro version (for additional 180 Euros) where the brand upgrades the case to “6 Steel” with their proprietary hardening process. The process results in steel which is 6 times stronger at 1300 Hv on the Vickers scale. The hardened steel case is then put through a vacuum chamber for plasma coating to improve the corrosion resistance.
The Turbulenz has three dial variations – Old Radium and White dial have a similar layout as now retired Sinn 656 except for the number 12, date, and the font type. To be fair, this dial configuration is used by several brands including Bell & Ross. Dekla has a triangle at the 12 o’clock position and no date. In the third dial variation known as the “White Facelift”, the double bark hour markers make the dial design more interesting. All dial variations are very easy to read, especially with the use of flat sapphire crystal. Hour and minute hands are white, the seconds hand is red and matches the red color of the Turbulenz imprint on the dial. Depending on the lighting, the red Turbulenz imprint sometimes disappears from the human eye.
Dekla flieger is powered by ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, and it comes with a 22mm soft brown leather strap with white stitching, and a solid pin buckle with “Dekla” engraving. Turbulenz is a cheesy and unfortunate choice for name of a flieger watch, but it does give you a big bang for the buck at 415 Euros (without VAT).