For 2022 German manufacturer Laco has produced two limited-edition pilot watches, the Augsburg Oliv 39 and Aachen Oliv 39, production of each being confined to 250 pieces. The face design of these watches is based on the much-copied B-Uhren military specification: it is distinctly ‘Luftwaffe’, yes – but also highly functional and the inspiration for post-war Service watches worn by RAF pilots.
One particularly attractive aspect of these latest models is that the case diameter had been reduced from the previously fashionable – but frankly rather clunky – 42mm to 39, meaning that they are more discreet and look less like dinner plates. The one trendy thing about them is that they appear to have bronze cases and crowns but here the appearance flatters to deceive – these components are actually made from stainless steel and have a bronze-coloured PVD coating.
The automatic mechanical movement (based, if you need to know, on the Miyota 821A calibre) can be seen through the sapphire crystal case back and offers a useful power reserve of 42 hours. For mechanical watch fetishists, Laco offers the option of upgrading to the Laco 31 calibre, which has a sixty-hour reserve and thermally-blued screw heads that offer ‘an additional visual highlight’.
Make of that what you may, the Augsburg and Aachen come from a company with a genuine aviation heritage and are good value by mechanical watch, never mind limited edition, standards. They are available directly from Laco and ‘selected retailers’. PW