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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was fortunate enough to spend about a month with two beautiful blue watches (Laco Augsburg and Laco Münster) from the Laco catalog. My plan was to make a detailed comparison between the Original Series ($1190 - more historically accurate flieger designs, with better movements) and the Basic Series ($400 - modernized fliegers, entry level movements and more affordable). Here are some of my thoughts:

Comparison Video:

Detailed Write-up:

A quick summary:

1. Basic vs Original:

The original series has retained a lot of the original flieger design specifications - lugs, caseback, dial layout. The basic series have taken more creative liberties and added a bit more flare to the watches with curved lugs, a brand logo and an exhibition caseback.

2. Case:


The quality of finishing on both cases are surprisingly identical. The materials are media blasted with different media (according to Laco), but I couldn't really tell the difference. The Münster feels a bit heavier, but I'm not sure how much of that is due to the case. The case designs are quite different, with curved lugs on the Augsburg instead of straight lugs on the Münster. There's also an exhibition caseback on the Augsburg, whereas the Münster has the flieger 'certificate' engraved on the back, along with the flieger serial number engraved on the sides. The quality of the crystal on the Münster appears to be of a better quality than the Augsburg. The crowns are different too, and I prefer the conical crown on the Münster. It's larger, and feels a bit more authentic.

3. Dial:




The base dial, hour markers and finishing are almost identical. This caught me by surprise because I was expecting the Augsburg to be a little more unrefined up close. But the dial on the Augsburg is gorgeous, and excellently finished. The hands on the Augsburg are not thermally blued like on the Münster, but that's not a surprise considering the price difference. They're both Type A dials, but the Augsburg has a logo and 'Made in Germany' at the 6 o'clock, which makes it less of an 'authentic flieger'.

4. Lume:

The Augsburg (left) and Münster (right) are nearly identical, but the Augsburg might actually win this round by a tiny margin. It seems to be just a little brighter.

5. Movement:

Things obviously part ways here, with the Münster's ETA2892-2 elabore averaging at roughly +2 spd, and the Augsburg's Miyota 821A at roughly -18 spd.

6. Wrist Shots:
On my 6.25" wrist, the 39mm Augsburg might look just a little more well proportioned compared to the 42mm Münster, but I enjoyed wearing the Münster a bit more than I did the Augsburg.



Thanks for reading/watching. I'm happy to discuss these watches further here.

:coffee:
 

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Beautiful photos! I will have to add this to my want list of "field type" watches when I decide which one I want.
 

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Great shots and review!

It's about price class to me when it comes to these.

$400 for the Augsburg is fantastic value, as it's by far the cheapest mechanical flieger from one of the true original makers (IWC, Lange&Söhne, Stowa, Laco). And of course it's also very well-made, albeit nothing glamorous about the specs.

The Münster is clearly a significant upgrade, and not a bad deal. But as you say, $1200 is out of the 'affordables' zone, which puts it in very competitive territory, so I don't know. I might actually lean towards a Stowa at $1200. But either way, if you want a higher-end flieger, you can't really go wrong.


FYI: if you ask Laco, they can supply the blue Augsburg with their leather strap in stead of NATO, which I 100% would do. Their customer support is great
 

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Very nicely done. While it would appear the Münster is the nicer watch, the Augsburg is the better value and truer to the original's design characteristics. The 2892-2 is an excellent movement, but there are also a lot of excellent choices at that price point.


Sent from my LG-H932 using Tapatalk
 

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Who wouldn't want a watch with "Basic" in its name? Their marketing department is clearly some sort of brain trust.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Beautiful photos! I will have to add this to my want list of "field type" watches when I decide which one I want.
Thanks! It's hard to go wrong with one of these pieces.

Great shots and review!

It's about price class to me when it comes to these.

$400 for the Augsburg is fantastic value, as it's by far the cheapest mechanical flieger from one of the true original makers (IWC, Lange&Söhne, Stowa, Laco). And of course it's also very well-made, albeit nothing glamorous about the specs.

The Münster is clearly a significant upgrade, and not a bad deal. But as you say, $1200 is out of the 'affordables' zone, which puts it in very competitive territory, so I don't know. I might actually lean towards a Stowa at $1200. But either way, if you want a higher-end flieger, you can't really go wrong.


FYI: if you ask Laco, they can supply the blue Augsburg with their leather strap in stead of NATO, which I 100% would do. Their customer support is great
Absolutely, the value at $400 is just out-standing. And as with most German watches, you can also find them pre-owned for absolute steal-deals.

Oh, I didn't know that! I would definitely get it on a leather strap instead of the NATO if I were to purchase the Augsburg.

Very nicely done. While it would appear the Münster is the nicer watch, the Augsburg is the better value and truer to the original's design characteristics. The 2892-2 is an excellent movement, but there are also a lot of excellent choices at that price point.


Sent from my LG-H932 using Tapatalk
Thank you very much. The Augsburg is actually less true to the original Laco design (which had flat lugs and a conical crown) though. I agree with you regarding the Münster - if you're after a high quality flieger, it is a great option. But if you're just after a $1200 watch, there's definitely plenty of other watches to look at too.

Who wouldn't want a watch with "Basic" in its name? Their marketing department is clearly some sort of brain trust.
:LOL: I wouldn't hold that against them. There's a lot that gets lost in translation from German to English. I've seen similar naming conventions used on entry level car variants too.
 

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Thanks! It's hard to go wrong with one of these pieces.



Absolutely, the value at $400 is just out-standing. And as with most German watches, you can also find them pre-owned for absolute steal-deals.

Oh, I didn't know that! I would definitely get it on a leather strap instead of the NATO if I were to purchase the Augsburg.



Thank you very much. The Augsburg is actually less true to the original Laco design (which had flat lugs and a conical crown) though. I agree with you regarding the Münster - if you're after a high quality flieger, it is a great option. But if you're just after a $1200 watch, there's definitely plenty of other watches to look at too.



:LOL: I wouldn't hold that against them. There's a lot that gets lost in translation from German to English. I've seen similar naming conventions used on entry level car variants too.
Thanks! It's hard to go wrong with one of these pieces.



Absolutely, the value at $400 is just out-standing. And as with most German watches, you can also find them pre-owned for absolute steal-deals.

Oh, I didn't know that! I would definitely get it on a leather strap instead of the NATO if I were to purchase the Augsburg.



Thank you very much. The Augsburg is actually less true to the original Laco design (which had flat lugs and a conical crown) though. I agree with you regarding the Münster - if you're after a high quality flieger, it is a great option. But if you're just after a $1200 watch, there's definitely plenty of other watches to look at too.



:LOL: I wouldn't hold that against them. There's a lot that gets lost in translation from German to English. I've seen similar naming conventions used on entry level car variants too.
 

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I appreciated your video. It gave a good, easy to follow comparison. I'll have to look into that Augsburg.

Video feedback: I'm not sure if it's my computer, but your audio was really low. I had my volume on max and could barely make out what you were saying.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I appreciated your video. It gave a good, easy to follow comparison. I'll have to look into that Augsburg.

Video feedback: I'm not sure if it's my computer, but your audio was really low. I had my volume on max and could barely make out what you were saying.
Thanks for the kind words & feedback. I've heard this from a few people and made a note in the description. It seems to work fine on some devices (tablets, cellphones), and then almost inaudible on others (desktops, laptops). Since making this video I think I've fixed it, so hopefully if you stumble across another video of mine in the future, it'll be better!
 

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I’ve had both. Recently I picked up a new, unworn 42 mm Laco Paderborn on eBay for $730 and similar deals have appeared since then. It’s a large leap from Laco’s basic to the original series but the original is a much nicer watch if you can deal with the straight lugs.
‘However if anyone is considering a flieger, take a good look at Dekla, a relatively newer German company that is producing some really nice watches at very attractive prices. For not much more than the cost of Laco’s basic watch you can get a flieger from Dekla with a much better movement and have your choice of several options to have it made the way you want.
 

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:LOL: I wouldn't hold that against them. There's a lot that gets lost in translation from German to English. I've seen similar naming conventions used on entry level car variants too.
True but they have a US based distributor who - I believe - has some level of control over North American marketing. In most cases like these, "basic" is morphed into something like "classic" to make purchasers feel less like they're buying a bottom of the barrel product.
 
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...if anyone is considering a flieger, take a good look at Dekla, a relatively newer German company that is producing some really nice watches at very attractive prices. For not much more than the cost of Laco’s basic watch you can get a flieger from Dekla with a much better movement and have your choice of several options to have it made the way you want.
I've been drawn to Dekla recently. I love the fact that, aside from movements and presumably crystals, they make nearly everything in-house including cases, dials and hands. They also offer hardened steel for an upcharge. Crazy value for money, at least as far as the spec sheets go. Would love to handle one in the metal.
 

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I do love that Old Radium lume Dekla has. And for €500, they are very good value. Slightly better value than the Lacos. Plus, at €500 they have a nice 'in-between' sweetspot with an ETA movement without the €1000 premium from Laco or Stowa.

Still, Dekla are a bit more like a microbrand afaik. And I still think €340 for the Augsburg is fantastic value, if you want a true flieger with heritage on a budget.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I agree, there's a lot of buzz around Dekla right now because of the very appealing prices. I'm trying to get hold of a watch to review. The fact that their cases, dials and hands are made in-house is very cool too.

Archimede & Limes don't get enough credit for their exceptional in-house case work (via Ickler) too! Some Archimede watches can be got pre-owned for under $450 even.
 

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Pretty impressive line up for their "basic" range - Pilot Watches Basic especially considering they're not overly expensive in regards to features and I certainly wouldn't be calling them basic as it seems a disservice to the apparent quality

Some very nice shots of the watches, I'm curious if you'd be willing to share some tips for how you achieved the lighting as I'm just getting more serious into photography and would love to achieve some looks like this in my shots
 

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I think it's also a cultural thing. Here in the Netherlands, and also Germany, we tend to just call a spade a spade. I don't see an issue with putting their entry-range under a 'basic' label.

I actually found it annoying, living in the USA for almost a year, how so much is marketing bs and you have to do research on everything. Even trivial things like bread. In Europe if you get a brown loaf with seeds and such, it's going to be pretty healthy. In the USA, their laws with what they put in bread are rather loose, and you have to learn to read ingredients if you want a healthy loaf, and you'll find out that some 'healthy seed' brown bread is actually just wonderbread in disguise.
But I digress.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Pretty impressive line up for their "basic" range - Pilot Watches Basic especially considering they're not overly expensive in regards to features and I certainly wouldn't be calling them basic as it seems a disservice to the apparent quality

Some very nice shots of the watches, I'm curious if you'd be willing to share some tips for how you achieved the lighting as I'm just getting more serious into photography and would love to achieve some looks like this in my shots
Thanks, that's kind of you to say. I don't really have a fixed recipe. I only recently bought some lights on amazon and started using those. Most of my pictures are a combination of natural light and a studio light. Feel free to PM me with particular pictures and I'll try remember how I did it :ROFLMAO: You can clearly see that I'm not a professional here.

Great review OP! Not sure if there's anyone with me on this, but I really hope they have a date version available too.
Thank you! I'm team #NoDate, so I will not be supporting your cause :LOL:
 
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