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Re: 2011 Laco Special Edition Project - GENERAL DISCUSSION

I get the feeling that the B-Uhrs are the more popular Laco, but I'd really like to see this special edition WUS watch go in the direction of a no-date Navy watch, with 42mm case diameter.

Additionally, Laco's current lineup seems to have a broader selection of Pilot watches in general and far fewer Navy watches from which to choose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Probably the best place to start this project will be deciding a theme for the watch. Let's not get into specifics yet; there will be plenty of opportunity for that later.

What TYPE of watch should this Special Edition be? A B-Uhr? A Navy? Should it be something modern or historic? Or an interpretation of something historic? What about something completely different from Laco's history like an updated version of the Laco Sport?

Keep in mind that we have to work with an existing case from one of those two collections. Once we've nailed down the theme it will make it easier to discuss specific design elements of the watch.
 

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Hello Uwe, saw your thread in Public, and being a masochist . . .

I am not that familiar with the Laco brand, and regard it as basically quite utilitarian. Having taken a look at the current line up, it is mostly very traditional, with many varieties of the perenial pilot's watch, and several fairly straight forward Navy watches. The only ones which are really of any interest from a design point of view are the more modern Navy watches like the Navy 44 Black. One might be able to spot that such a watch was a Laco from a distance. With the pilots you can forget it, they just look like every other pilot you can get.

A limited edition can and should be much more than a slight variation on a current model. If you work on it enough and get sufficient input you can arrive at something very distinctive and appealing. It should be something which Laco would likely never introduce as a variation in the future, because if so there would be little point in putting in the effort.

So, identify what Laco already does well, and move away from that. Well, more precisely "grow" away from it in an irregular direction. This way the project generates its own unique flavour.

The movement and case restrictions limit the project quite a bit from a features point of view. No GMT, chorno, bezels, alarms, day dates etc etc. Therefore, the juiciest part will be the theme and the face design.

We are talking in this thread about the theme. So, what themes does Laco already use? Obviously it is entirely military, with Pilot, Navy and Squad sub-brands. I suggest the SE moves away from the military theme, but maintains some kind of root connection to the core brand. The obvious and rather cliched horological themes peripheral to the military areas are the professional ones like diver, commercial pilot, explorer and so on. I would rather avoid these because they are so derrivative and have been done to death.

How about moving in a slightly different direction towards celebrating some pioneering engineering achivement, which might in itself not be directly linked to military themes, but can trace some kind of connection. For example, a watch based on early ballooing, early air-ships, internal combustion engines, steam engines, racing cars, racing planes etc etc.

Air ships intreague me, and would have a German connection. Although, one can buy Zeppelin watches already I believe, so the SE would have to steer clear of that. Germany can also claim to have invented the internal combustion engine and the first car.

German produced the first functional helicopter, the FW 61. Focke-Wulf Fw 61 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia How about a watch design inspired by that?
 

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Re: 2011 Laco Special Edition Project - GENERAL DISCUSSION

I think the case should definetely be 45mm with the large onion crown. I'd prefer type b dial over type a. Basically, a smaller version of Ref: 861707 which is the most historically accurate flieger available today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good, well thought out points Rev; thanks. I agree that there are many intriguing options. I hadn't tought about either the Zeppelin or helicopter direction, but it does sound interesting. However, I think you'll find that many will clamour toward a B-Uhr theme; it does appear to be what is most popular here. But that's why we need to discuss this first.

I also like LH2's suggestion about exploring the Navy line. It was my first thought when this project started. A historically accurate B-Uhr has been worked on before, but not a Navy timepiece.

One other item worth considering is the Durowe movement that will be used. Was it originally used in other Laco watches? If so, why not a re-issue of those designs?
 

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Re: 2011 Laco Special Edition Project - GENERAL DISCUSSION

I think the case should definetely be 45mm with the large onion crown. I'd prefer type b dial over type a. Basically, a smaller version of Ref: 861707 which is the most historically accurate flieger available today.
Common' fella! This is an opportunity to design and create a totally unique piece, to get involved in the production of something truely original and ground breaking.

A tiny variation on what is a totally bland existing watch is surely not the way to go. You guys have a wonderful opportunity here to have something really cool made up. Dont' squander it on simply having your personal choice of existing Laco produced in a tiny run.

Don't get me wrong, Laco's pilot watches are very cool, very hisotrically accurate and obviously very satisfying to some. But they are just black and white pilot wathes which look identical to all the millions of other pilot watches out there, give or take a few minuscule details.

As far as the theme of a WUS Laco SE goes, simply making ANOTHER pilot watch would be seriously lame.

Come on Gens! What interests you? What themes excite you? What colours do you like? What historical events / figures inspire you? What watch face designs have you always liked - "12, 3, 6, 9" "1, 2 / 4, 5 /7, 8 / 10, 11" "V - I -"? What watch hands would you like to see in your perfect watch?

There is so much you can play around with here and have fun with.
 

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Re: 2011 Laco Special Edition Project - GENERAL DISCUSSION

Just look at this thing



This was designed from a blank piece of paper as a WUS Steinhart SE. This watch looks completely unique and has sold out immediately. Everyone loves it, because it is new and fresh.

Does this not inspire you Gens?
 

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Re: 2011 Laco Special Edition Project - GENERAL DISCUSSION

The problem is that this is a 50 unit run and and the project leader stated that we have to make do with the existing cases.
Nothing fancy, maybe some detailing here and there.
As much as we like to let our creative juices fly... we just can't.
 

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Re: 2011 Laco Special Edition Project - GENERAL DISCUSSION

Basically, it is only the dial we will design.
Thank God for that, as it would take forever designing every part of the watch.
 

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The movement, is it a center second, or does it have a seconds sub dial?

The case, bezel and caseback, can they be had polished?

I feel that the B-uhr theme has been overdone, be it A-dial or B-dial.

The only B-uhr dial I would contemplate, is the W-SS special.
Submarine units had a different dial too.
If you have a look on Knirim's site, there are some exciting dials there.

The question is, which era should we go for?
Pre- WW1, WW1, interwar era, or WW2?

Some examples. I hope it is OK to show the W-SS lettering?






all pics borrowed from Knirim.

Name? Yes, why not?
If we select a Navy theme, I suggest a name of a ship of that era.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: 2011 Laco Special Edition Project - GENERAL DISCUSSION

The problem is that this is a 50 unit run and and the project leader stated that we have to make do with the existing cases.
Nothing fancy, maybe some detailing here and there. As much as we like to let our creative juices fly... we just can't.
I wouldn't call designing a dial and hands from scratch "minor detailing"! There is plenty of room to make this a very unique watch.

Basically, it is only the dial we will design.
Thank God for that, as it would take forever designing every part of the watch.
Actually, we also have to design the hands because none of the existing hands from the Laco collection will fit the Durowe movement. I think both of you might be underestimating the possibilities of custom engraving of the case and case back.

However, I do agree that it's a good thing that we're not designing the entire watch; what Rev Fred didn't mention about the Proteus project is that it took a year and a half from the very first discussions to the watches being shipped. That was a very, very long time and a lot of very difficult work. The scope of this project in my mind combines enough creative latitude with a friendlier project duration.
 

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Re: 2011 Laco Special Edition Project - GENERAL DISCUSSION

Designing hands too - excellent.

I have not even started thinking about any engraving...
Still in the very early stage of thinking which watches / clocks were cool looking!
 

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Re: 2011 Laco Special Edition Project - GENERAL DISCUSSION

Sorry if I sound that I underestimated the dial and case engraving.... I actually don't.
I am actually very excited about this project and I really hope we won't be seeing the watch in 2 years time.
Being a 50 unit run, taking into consideration of cost... the best we can do is dig up an old dial design and try to stay as close to the original as possible.
The W-SS dial posted by Janne is looking interesting... I haven't seen one of those around.
I think as much as we would like to design a project watch frm the ground up... I think it's not feasible...
And to move away frm the Laco history and heritage would be an insult to the brand... this is purely my humble opinion.
As much as I respect the Steinhart Proteus project, I would not recommend the same for this Laco project.
Steinhart is known mostly as a quality homage maker... they can do a fresh project based on any input that they like as long as it sells.
We must remember Laco's roots and not stray too far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The movement, is it a center second, or does it have a seconds sub dial?
I'm waiting on photos and a few more specs of the movement from Laco. But, you're absolutly right that the location of the second hand can have a very important bearing on the choice of theme.

Here are a few things that I do know about the Durowe 7425 base movement: it's handwinding with a sweep second hand and a quickset date wheel. It's size is 11.5''' (25.6 mm) and has a 4.15 mm height. It uses 17 jewels, has a decent frequency of 21,600 A/h and a 40 hour power reserve.
 

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Thanks for the Opportunity Uwe. |>

i'm in for something SPECIAL. so long the Case Diameter is 46 or 47mm. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: 2011 Laco Special Edition Project - GENERAL DISCUSSION

The case, bezel and caseback, can they be had polished?
I will find out.

I feel that the B-uhr theme has been overdone, be it A-dial or B-dial. The only B-uhr dial I would contemplate, is the W-SS special.
Submarine units had a different dial too.
I fully agree. However, I've always been excited by the earlier B-Uhr variants that have rarely been reproduced. The W-SS artillery B-Uhr has always intrigued me; the original was very, very rare. It was also 65 mm in size! I have a reproduction of it by Aeromatic 1912 (cheap Chinese watch) and I know Aristo make a version too. However, neither are technically brilliant, and we certainly could do a much better version here - especially with a Laco 45 mm case.

the best we can do is dig up an old dial design and try to stay as close to the original as possible. And to move away frm the Laco history and heritage would be an insult to the brand... this is purely my humble opinion. We must remember Laco's roots and not stray too far.
Absolutely! And well said.

Once we've decided on a theme it will narrow things down considerably - but we should draw on a model from Laco's history.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the Opportunity Uwe. |> i'm in for something SPECIAL. so long the Case Diameter is 46 or 47mm. ;-)
Fantastic to see you here Tony!

We have to use an existing Laco case to keep costs to a realistic level. This means that we'll need to use either a 42 or 45 mm size (unless of course there's a bizarre demand for a 36 or 55 mm version). There will be a thread set up for the case once we've established a theme (and possible a name for our project watch), so we can always debate which case in more detail later on.
 

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i like that Dial very Much. :-! it's Different and we don't see it too often... the Secs i'd like to see:

Hand Wind Decorated Movement. (maybe a Valgrange A07.111).
see through back
46 or 47mm Case Diameter. PLEASE.!!
Brushed or Bead Blasted Case.
 
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