By Amos Kwon
on 2.28.12
Photo by Renae

LACO (LAcher & CO.) has built some of the finest pilot’s watches since the 1920s and has been in the business for nearly 90 years. Known as ‘Fliegeruhr’ or ‘flyer watches’, they are highly legible and classic in style. Having been one of the five authorized watch manufacturers to supply watches to the German Luftwaffe during WWII, LACO was known for its high quality clocks and timepieces, though today their name isn’t nearly as well known. LACO continues to produce homages to these vintage pieces, such as the LACO Memmingen. We got our hands on one this winter to see for ourselves.

Photos and review after the jump.

The watch arrived in a tasteful zippered black leather watch case with the LACO name embossed on the cover. And though it doesn’t follow the same 55mm diameter size requirements as set by the German Imperial Air Ministry back then, the Memmingen is a far more practical 42mm that still displays the Type A Flieger dial with Arabic numerals and the triangle flanked by two dots at the 12 o’clock marker. The hand wound Swiss ETA 2804.2 is incredibly smooth and very easy to wind with the easy to grasp large Flieger style crown, originally designed to be gripped with gloves.

The sandblasted stainless steel case with detailed engraving on the caseback is beautifully simple and impeccably constructed, with nary a flaw and zero extraneous designs. Probably our favorite feature is the C3 Superluminova filled thermical blued steel instrument hands, which are fantastic in low light and hold the charge effectively for hours. The slightly domed and anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal is thick but not bulky, another nice touch. The whole presentation of the watch is excellent. In a day where complex watches are everywhere, the Memmingen is refreshingly clean and free of any unnecessary pomp and circumstance. It’s a remarkably comfortable watch, thanks to the ultra-smooth caseback and the tasteful 20mm brown calf leather strap with contrasting white stiching and rivets.

The Memmingen looks phenomenal with a crisp white shirt and slacks on a casual Friday, as well it does in a leather bomber jacket, jeans and boots. We consider it a classic design that brings vintage watch style to the modern age.

Buy Now: ~$1,140