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Hello all. I thought I would write a few thoughts about a couple of recent Laco purchases. I have been after a Flieger, (type A face) for some time and so undertook the usual research of reviews and opinions. I easily discounted some makes and models, but pretty much ended up with my eye on a Stowa and Laco Memmingen (42mm hand winding). Both are quite different, the Stowa dare I say it, being somewhat 'dressy' and the Laco far more 'industrial' in its aesthetic, which accords more to the original fliegers. I have to say that the well rehearsed Stowa vs Laco debate did not in really help me much. There was an evident preference for people recommending Stowa, which is probably based on their experience of a Stowa as opposed to their ownership experience of a Laco Original. There was also some rather unfair comments about the Laco that I came across, almost certainly by people who had never had sight of one. The one that stays most in mind was: "It looks like a 10 dollar watch from Walmart". Anyway, I got the chance to look at a Laco Munster (the same as the Memmingen but automatic movement) from an authorised dealer in Berlin and was very pleased with what I saw. Pictures do not do the watch justice, and you really do have to hold one to appreciate the quality of its construction. The grey blasted finish looks industrial, but is beautifully smooth to the touch, which sits wonderfully alongside the double domed saphire crystal. The numerals are wonderfully crisp with a lovely long second hand sweeping across the thermally blued hands. I was worried that 42mm may be too large given my small wrists, but it sits just fine. People often shy away from the straight lugs, but they sit well and look just lovely against the dial. Again better 'in the flesh' than photos. The ETA 2804-2 winds smoothly and keeps a constant 1.5 seconds a day fast. I am pretty impressed so far. I cannot speak quite so highly of the strap, and swapped it for a vintage look strap which I think goes quite well.

A few days later I ended up also buying a Laco cockpit watch, known as the Spirit of St Louis. This is one watch of a series that commemorates significant moments in aviation history. In this case, its named after the plane that Charles Lindbergh flew for the first Atlantic crossing. It is a close copy of the cockpit clock that resided (and still resides)in the plane. I have attached a couple of photos to show the comparison between the clock and watch faces. Laco have pretty much been faithful to the cockpit clock.

The Spirit of St Louis has a black mat sandblasted PVD coating, which works reasonably well, although the case is somewhat unrefined. Having said that, it does 'fit' with the style of the watch, and the offset crown really provides an interesting visual. The engraving on the back is a nice addition. The watch has a somewhat basic Miyota 8218 movement which is non hacking. I have to admit that I struggle a bit with a watch that cost about £500 and does not hack, particularly a pilots watch. At least this particular movement does not suffer the 'stutter' that some of the other basic Miyota movements suffer from. Whilst the movement is simply OK for the price, the strap is downright (IMHO) awful. The colour is really nice, but 'stiff as a board' does not come close. It was literally so stiff, I struggled to wrap it around my slim wrist. The strap was quickly switched for a premium black Blue Shark nato with black pvd coating. Although I have been a bit picky about some aspects of the watch, it's actually one of my favourite watches and probably gets more use than most of my others. Where to go now? I would love one of Laco's bronze fliegers, but at 45mm they are simply too big for my wrist and for some reason (which I cannot figure out), I cannot get myself excited for the bronze Archimede Pilot 39. Maybe a Laco Erbstuck????

 

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