Pilot watches with pedigree
Laco Atacama ‘military’ model, RRP €930
The Editor has a weakness for nice watches, and German manufacturer Laco’s display attracted his eye at Aero Friedrichshafen earlier this year. Based in the Black Forest town of Pforzheim, the company has a history that stretches back to 1925. Laco earned its fame in manufacturing for the Luftwaffe the legendary 55mm sized ‘observation watch’, being one of only five firms licensed to produce it in the 1940s. Peaking with more than 1,200 employees in the 1960s, Laco was counted as one of Germany’s largest watch manufacturers. Today, a small team continues making watches with the motto that it is ‘quality that counts in production, not quantity’. Less well known in the UK, today’s products range from pilot and navy watches, through to chronographs and the purist Classic Line.
New for this autumn is the Atacama, originally developed for the German Army and special units. This new edition is aimed at ‘emergency forces, police, military and those who love outdoor activities,’ according to Laco. It certainly has some features that suit it to a hard life. The crown – generally an object all too easily snagged on clothing and sharp edges - has been integrated into the watch strap at the twelve o´clock position, enclosed within a niche in the ‘double joint’ between the case and strap.
The rotating bezel has a countdown numbering. ‘This is particularly useful when coordinating joint deployments, claims Laco. Handy for any rocket launch one might be involved in too…
The Atacama uses a self-winding Laco 24 automatic movement, based on the Swiss calibre ETA 2824.2. Sapphire crystals, front and reverse, protect the face and movement (and it’s always nice to be able to see the works of a mechanical watch). The screw-down crown ensures water resistance of up to 50 ATM, which ensures it will keep working in typical (well, maybe not this autumn) British weather conditions.