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Tradition meets progress
The Pilot Watch Magazine
13 March 2024

Authentic Pilot Watches Made in Germany

Laco is a German watch manufacturer based in Pforzheim, Baden-Württemberg. The company is founded in 1925 by Frieda Lacher and Ludwig Hummel under the name Lacher & Co. – later Laco Watch Manufacture. The young watchmaker got off to a successful start, but after just a few years the two founders went their separate ways. Ludwig Hummel remains loyal to the company, while Frieda Lacher leaves Laco and enters the production of precision parts for wristwatches.

Nevertheless, the watch manufactory continues to grow steadily. Even during the war, Laco manufactures precision movements and timepieces for the German Air Force. Laco’s pilot watches are in great demand. But during an air raid by the Allies in February 1945, Pforzheim is largely reduced to rubble and almost all of its factories are destroyed. Was this to be the end of Laco? No. After the war, reconstruction proceeds surprisingly quickly. Laco resumes operations as early as 1949. In particular, the automatic models produced since 1952 are the reason for the company’s strong upswing in the post-war years.

A Laco is a masterpiece with an unmistakable character.


On the road to success through turbulence

Like many manufacturers of classic watches, Laco goes into a tailspin due to the so-called quartz crisis – the flooding of the market with inexpensive quartz watches from the Far East during the 1970s and 80s. At the end of the 1980s, however, the brand was successfully revived under new management. Contemporary collections were introduced, modern mechanical movements from Swiss and Japanese manufacturers were installed, and legendary pilot watches from the 1940s were reissued. After further economic turbulence in 2009, the company regained its composure, returned to its original art of watchmaking, and has continued on this successful course ever since.

Quality and reliability

Laco’s pilot watches are authentic and passionate. The claim of the traditional watchmaker for high-quality processed products with optimal functionality and contemporary design has always existed. The watches from Pforzheim are therefore characterized in particular by high quality and great reliability. Always important: the perfect interplay of contemporary design and technology Made in Germany. By the way, Laco offers free engraving for a large number of its timepieces. This makes every pilot’s watch unique and a statement of individuality – on the ground and in the air.

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