The history of Laco watches is long and dynamic. With almost a century of experience behind it, the brand understands the importance of perseverance. In its timepieces modern technology and an appealing vintage style have been blended seamlessly. Laco has managed to create an almost symbiotic relationship between tradition and modernity. The brand relies on authenticity and constantly learning in order to produce outstanding reliable watches.
Beginnings and Pre-WWII
The Laco brand was first founded in 1925 by Frieda Lacher and Ludwig Hummel in Pforzheim under the names Lacher & Co. This is also where the brand name is derived from today. At this time most manufacturers imported whole or pieced movements and assembled them in their factories. Laco wanted to be independent. Depending on Swiss manufacturing for their movements wasn’t good enough. In 1933 Hummel left and founded the movement manufacturing company Durowe. The company supplied not only Laco but many other watch brands in Pforzheim which made it the region’s most popular watch producer. This allowed Laco more freedom in design as well as led to being self-reliant. When Frieda Lacher’s son, Erich joined the company in 1936, Laco began producing complete watches and was renamed Erich Lacher Uhrenfabrik.
World War II and Laco
World War II was a devastating period for Pforzheim. Due to the city being a well developed German jewellery and watch manufacturing center it was suspected that a large part if not all of the workshops had been converted to produce precision instruments to aid the German war effort. In February of 1945 the RAF carried out one of the most devastating raids of the war. More than two thirds of the entire city was destroyed that night. During this difficult war period Laco continued manufacturing. The brand was amongst the manufacturer’s producing watches for the German Luftwaffe. After the end of the war through the USA’s Marshall Plan Pforzheim managed to rebuild fairly quickly and Hummel built a 5-storey house for Laco-Durowe. Production of pilot’s watches became Laco’s speciality. The brand’s aviation timepieces showcase its dedication to precision. Then, as well as now, Laco focuses on achieving optimal functionality.
Post-war to Present Day
Laco continued to grow during the 50s and 60s. In 1952 Durowe produced its first automatic movement and Laco launched the Laco Sport which brought the brand great success. In 1961 after the brand was sold to Timex, Laco launched Germany’s first fully functional electric watch, the Laco-electric. The following few years were turbulent for the brand. The Quartz crisis of the 70s saw traditional watchmaking worldwide take a severe hit.
In the last decade or so Laco has returned to its roots and centered its values on combining modern technology with history. The brand has turned towards what they do best – reliable timepieces with unique character. Constantly looking towards the future, Laco continues to strive towards innovation.
An Outstanding Example
This Laco holds an undeniable vintage charm. Its 42mm case is made of dark sandblasted stainless steel and features an engraving of “FL23883” on the side. The watch has a typical historic pilot’s watch design. A large crown is featured at the 3 o’clock position. The dial is matte black and is contrasted by large white luminescent hour markers and minute scale. The hour markers are featured towards the centre of the dial while the minutes are larger and placed towards the outer edge. Its blued lozenge hands are also luminescent. A domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal encases the dial. A dark brown leather strap completes the overall design of the model.
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