A new limited edition to celebrate 95 years of watchmaking...
Laco is based in the Black Forest and has a notable chronological history which can be traced back to the 1920s. The company is best known for the creation of large military observation watches which were worn by German aviators in the 1940s. Original models of these are much sought after by collectors, to such an extent that Laco recently released a stunning “weathered” version of their classic Pilot watch under the title of the Kempten Erbstück which WatchGecko reviewed back in October.
Today, the company has an impressive portfolio still covering the traditional designs but also now including a Naval range, a wider Pilot range (honouring both vintage and modern GMT style aviation), a distinctly Sport/Operational range and minimalistic dress watches. However, they have moved far away from the mass production associated with military use and focus now on traditional handcrafted time pieces, many of which are made in limited quantities.
In five years Laco will celebrate its 100th anniversary. To commemorate this, they have announced a long-term marketing plan called Mission 2025. Spanning the next five years, it will involve the annual release of a special edition representing their technical history.
With the Edition 95 Laco presents the 2020 element of a remarkable series which will journey through 100 years of company history. As the name suggests it is limited to 95 pieces and will be followed by further annual editions titled 96, 97, 98 and 99.
Since the 1940s, Laco has been committed to the production of precise naval watches, designed to reflect nautical style and the technical demands of the high seas. Water resistant to 100 metres, the Edition 95 has a laterally knurled stainless-steel case with a diameter of 42.5 millimetres and a large, dark blue dial with fine grain. For intuitive legibility, the Arabic numerals and hands are coated with blue Superluminova. There is a small second sub-dial at the 6 hour marker. The mechanical hand wound Laco 98 movement, is based on the competent ETA 6498.1 which provides 53 hours of power reserve. The sapphire crystal in the screw back allows you to admire the embellished Elaboré movement.
Case: Brushed and polished stainless steel
Dimensions: 42.5 mm diameter, lug width 22 mm, height 10.7 mm
Crystal: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating inside, screw back with sapphire crystal
Movement: Hand wound Laco 98, basic movement ETA 6498.1 (Elaboré), blued screws, 17 jewels, small second at 6 h, limited edition number on ratchet
Dial: Dark blue with fine grain structure, Arabic numerals, numerals with luminous material Superluminova C1 Blue Line, small second at 6 h
Hands: Thermally blued, filled with luminous material Superluminova C1 Blue Line
Strap: Dark brown leather, brown stitching, width 22 mm, course to 20 mm
Presentation: Blue gift box with matching cardboard box, including limited pin and certificate of authenticity
Price: €1,290 or $1,560
Delivery: End of 2020
The Edition 95 is from the same family as the existing white Cuxhaven and black Bremerhaven Naval watches which took inspiration from the models worn in 1935 by the U1 submarine crew. The softer blue tone of the new 95 gives this special edition much more of a yachting feel which is utilised in Laco’s marketing material. There is a stark functionality and art deco look to the previous models but this 2020 special, although superficially similar, is more sophisticated. It will look fine during every day wear and even better on the deck of a luxury 172ft schooner.