As a brand, Delma might be flying under the radar a bit, but from time to time, it impresses us with solidly built, competent tool watches at reasonable prices. Whether we’re talking about dive watches, field watches, or pilot’s watches, there’s always something about them that just clicks. Today Delma is expanding the Commander collection, all built for aviation, with three new models: the Delma Commander 3-Hand, Commander Big Date, and Commander Chronograph.
The history of Delma dates back to 1924 when Adolf and Albert Gilomen founded A. & A. Gilomen S.A. in Lengnau, Switzerland. The name Delma first appeared on a chronograph watch from 1946 and was eventually chosen as the new name for the brand following a takeover by Ulrich Wüthrich & Partner in 1966. A few years later, the first automatic dive watch (the Delma Periscope) was launched, which was the start of the brand’s foray into dive watches like the Shell Star Decompression Timer or the Blue Shark III Azores 4,000m Dive Watch.
Nowadays, Delma has a large range of watches on offer, one of which is dedicated to aviation. The Delma Commander collection is inspired by dashboard instruments in classic and modern aeroplanes and is now expanded with new 3-Hand, Big Date and Chronograph models. While nothing revolutionary, the robust Commander collection is perfectly suited for a life of action and adventure, and in classic Delma style, is offered at an accessible price.
The Delma Commander 3-Hand
First up is the simplest of the three, the Delma Commander 3-Hand. Along with the Commander Big Date this is perhaps the purest interpretation of a pilot’s watch. The 45mm wide stainless steel case allows for a rather large and highly legible dial. While already part of Delma’s collection for a while now, the brand introduces sunray-brushed Ocean Blue and Forest Green dials to add a bit of flash to the otherwise tactile Commander.
The dials come with luminescent indices and large Arabic numerals. Time is indicated with classic sword-shaped hands with large sections of luminous material. The seconds hand is finished in red, matching the date pointer on the dial. Not only today’s date but also the one from yesterday and tomorrow is visible through the large aperture at 3 o’clock.
Powering the Delma Commander 3-Hand is a Sellita SW 200-1 automatic movement. Again, nothing revolutionary or spectacular, but a good, reliable engine that keeps the prices reasonable. It also means the Delma Commander 3-Hand is easily serviced and replacement parts are readily available if needed.
Delma presents the Commander 3-Hand on a 3-link stainless steel bracelet, with brushed and polished finishing. There’s also a black leather strap with folding clasp as an alternative. The Delma Commander 3-Hand retails for EUR 1,040.
Quick facts – 45mm diameter x 10.5mm height – stainless steel case – sapphire crystal – 50m water-resistance – sunray-brushed Ocean Blue or Forest Green dial – luminous indices and numerals – large date aperture showing three dates – sword-shaped luminous hour and minute hands, red seconds hand – Sellita SW200 automatic movement – Delma signed rotor – 26 jewels – 28,800vph – 38h power reserve – stainless steel bracelet or black leather strap with folding buckle – EUR 1,040
Delma Commander Big Date
Second in line is the Delma Commander Big Date. While the 3-Hand model above also showed the date (and a bit more actually), the Commander Big Date moves it to the top and enlarges it.
Again, it comes in a 45mm wide stainless steel case, with the same attention to detail. It is available in non-coated steel or with a black PVD coating. The Delma Commander Big Date has a large, matte black dial with the same luminous indices and Arabic numerals, and the same set of hands as the Commander 3-Hand.
The biggest difference is, of course, the Big Date indication. Now positioned at twelve, the date is indicated by two discs underneath a double-digit aperture. Powering the Delma Commander Big Date is an ETA 2892-A2 with a Jaquet 3512 Big Date module on top. This automatic movement has a Delma signed rotor, runs at 28,800vph, and provides 50 hours of power reserve.
The stainless steel Commander Big Date comes on a steel bracelet while the black PVD version is paired with a black leather strap with red stitching and a folding buckle. The Delma Commander Big Date retails for EUR 2,190 and is limited to 150 pieces each.
Quick facts – 45mm diameter x 10.9mm height – stainless steel or black PVD-coated case – sapphire crystal – 50m water-resistance – matte black dial – luminous indices and numerals – big date indication at 12 – sword-shaped luminous hour and minute hand, red seconds hand – ETA 2892-A2 with Jaquet 3512 Big Date module – automatic winding – Delma signed rotor – 21 jewels – 28,800vph – 50h power reserve – stainless steel bracelet or leather strap with folding buckle – limited edition of 150 pieces each – EUR 2,190
Delma Commander Chronograph
Last but not least is the Delma Commander Chronograph. The brushed and polished steel case again measures 45mm across but is a bit thicker at 14.7mm. The crown is a different shape compared to the previous two new Commanders and is flanked by a pair of chronograph pushers. The start/stop pusher at 2 o’clock has a bright red ring for an extra bit of flair. The sapphire crystal top, AR-coated of course, protects the dial and hands.
Similar to the Commander 3-Hand, the new Commander Chronograph has a sunray-brushed dial in either Ocean Blue or Forest Green. Legibility is still very good, with large indices and numerals. It shares the same hands for the hours, minutes and now chronograph seconds as the others. The chronograph is displayed in the classical 6/9/12 layout, with a day/date display on the right-hand side of the dial.
As the chronograph display clearly reveals, the Delma Commander Chronograph comes with a Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement. This workhorse of a movement uses 25 jewels and has a 4Hz frequency. The power reserve is an acceptable 48 hours. A sapphire crystal caseback reveals the Delma signed rotor that drives the movement.
In line with the Delma Commander 3-Hand, the Commander Chronograph comes on either a stainless steel bracelet or a black leather strap with a folding buckle. The price is set at EUR 2,670.
Quick facts – 45mm diameter x 14.7mm height – stainless steel case – sapphire crystal – 50m water-resistance – sunray-brushed Ocean Blue or Forest Green dial – luminous indices and numerals – sword-shaped luminous hour and minute hands, red chronograph seconds hand – Valjoux 7750, automatic chronograph movement – Delma signed rotor – 25 jewels – 28,800vph – 48h power reserve – stainless steel bracelet or black leather strap with folding buckle – EUR 2,670
For more information, please visit Delma.ch.