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Ulm / Laco

Laco pilot watch “Ulm” – reissue of a classic

Authentic timepiece meets modern elegance
The Pilot Watch Magazine
01 April 2024

Laco presents the new edition of its pilot’s watch “Ulm” in two dimensions

At the end of March 2024, Laco launched a reissue of its well-known pilot’s watch “Ulm”. The company history of the traditional German brand based in Pforzheim, Baden-Württemberg, dates back to 1925. Pforzheim, known as the city of gold, has been home to the manufactory from its beginnings to the present day. The long-established company achieved its fame back in the 1940s with the construction of the legendary observation watches.

Laco is one of only five licensed manufacturers of this special category of pilot’s watch with a diameter of 55 millimeters. Observation watches are timepieces that are subject to very high standards of quality and accuracy and are worn by navigators in particular during their missions with a double-riveted fastening strap over the pilot’s uniform. Incidentally, the classic observation watches did not have a manufacturer’s name on the dial.

Watches from Laco are characterized by the highest quality, outstanding design and functionality in use.

In the 1960s, Laco was one of the largest German manufacturers of wristwatches with over 1,200 employees. Then as now, the watchmaker and its experienced team of specialists rely on manual work. Quality, not quantity, is what counts in production. The product diversity of the Baden-based manufacturer ranges from pilot’s and navy watches, sporty mission watches to elegant chronographs. However, all models have three characteristics in common: top quality, excellent design and functionality in use.

The design

The new timepiece has the classic instrument look of historical observation watches, known as B watches for short. The black dial of the “Ulm” with its Arabic numerals and the pilot’s watch triangle at twelve o’clock is based on a type A B watch. The small second is positioned at six o’clock as an effective detail. For maximum contrast, the luminous hands in the Losangé shape typical of pilot’s watches as well as the numerals and indexes stand out clearly against the dark background. The brown strap is made of high-quality leather.

Pilot’s watch “Ulm” from Laco in two sizes

The case

The stainless steel case of the “Ulm” is available with a diameter of 42.5 millimetres as well as in a new, more compact midsize version with a reduced diameter of 39 millimetres. The timepiece owes its sporty, elegant look in part to the striking combination of matt and polished surfaces. The hand-wound movement also makes it possible to use a particularly flat case. The larger model has a height of less than 11 millimetres, while the smaller version is slightly slimmer at 9.7 millimetres. Thanks to a pressure resistance of ten bar, i.e. a water resistance of 100 meters, the robust pilot’s watch is not only suitable for adventures in the cockpit, but of course also for all everyday challenges. Any reflections that could make it difficult to read the time are reduced by the sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the inside.

Classic observation watch design

The movement

In the classic 42.5 millimeter version, the hands of the “Ulm” are driven by the tried-and-tested UNITAS ETA 6498.2, a legendary watchmaking caliber. Once frequently used in pocket watches, this special hand-wound movement is rarely found today. The slightly smaller midsize version is powered by the compact Swiss Sellita SW261 caliber. Both movements are presented through the large sapphire crystal case back and feature traditional finishes such as decorative cuts and thermally blued screws.

Pilot’s watch with manual winding

Short and sweet

  • Pilot watch: Laco Ulm 42.5 / Laco Ulm 39
  • Case: Stainless steel, ⌀ 42.5 millimetres / 39 millimetres, sapphire crystal, water-resistant to 10 bar
  • Movement: Hand-wound, Laco 98 (UNITAS ETA 6498.2) / Laco 261 (Sellita SW261), 46-hour / 38-hour power reserve
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
  • Strap: Leather
  • Price: 1,690 Euro / 1,290 Euro
  • Year: 2024

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