The German WWII pilot watches are known as “Beobachtungsuhren” or “B-Uhren” (observation watches). The B-Uhren watches were used as a navigation instrument during the flight. The navigators on board could determine the precise position of the aircraft in combination with an octant (angle). Only five companies manufactured the original B-Uhren watches for the Luftwaffe: A. Lange & Söhne, Laco (Lacher & Co), Stowa (Walter Storz), Wempe (Chronometerwerke Hamburg), and IWC.
Laco used the famous and large pocket watch movement Durowe D5. The movement has a very large (22 mm) balance and a simple regulator.The Durowe D5 was manufactured until 1945.
A flieger still has a special aura apart from its characteristics such as readability, robustness, tool-ish look. This aura makes flieger watches somehow immortal and desirable.The modern flieger have embraced practical design for the ease of daily wrist wear.They have a similarity to Type A and Type B dial layouts; some have the added date complication; and finally, they have shrunk the case size, hence they use smaller movements like ETA, Sellita, and Miyota calibers.
IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)
Laco has expanded its entry-level collection, what they refer to as their “Basic pilot watches”, with two military-inspired olive green color dial variations of the Baumuster Type A (Augsburg) and Type B (Aachen) fliegers.
In 2019, Laco had introduced the same two fliegers in Taupe color. However, with this limited edition, Laco has made an interesting change – the 42mm stainless steel case in diameter has a bronze colored PVD coating. As my good friend and German flieger expert, Mike Stuffler, contemporary flieger watches still breathe the “kerosene tainted air of former times”. This flieger exemplifies his statement with the vintage bronze color case that looks like it survived the battlefield and was stowed away in a box in the attic.
At the rear, the sapphire crystal caseback offers a clear view of the movement. All Laco Basic Pilot watches are powered by reliable Miyota 821A automatic movement. However, unlike the standard version, the movement will be equipped with a second stop function (hacking) for these two models. The case back also has the engraved serial number for the limited edition of 250 for each type of dial. The watches are offered with a double riveted olive green calf leather watch strap, which enhances vintage appeal of this modern flieger.
Case: 42mm x 12 mm, stainless steel with bronze PVD coating
Dial: Matte olive green, numbers and indexes with figures and indexes with SuperLuminova Old Radium color
Movement: Miyota 821A with second stop function
Strap: Pilot style in olive green calf leather with bronze colored rivets
Availability: Limited Edition of 250 for each reference, available in March 2021
Price: USD 540