Watch Review – Laco Augsburg Oliv 42

Haven’t had a post in quite while. Partly because of some priorities shifted, partly, well, just been lazy.

Let’s shake this almost forgotten blog and do proper watch review.

I’ve been in watches for more than 20 years and looking back I can tell that I prefer sports and tool watches. I do appreciate haute horology, but from a distance, because of I am afraid they will not survive some of my favourite activities. Long time ago I had little pilot watch from Fortis and that was when I learned about this particular style.

In short – in 1930’s German air force Luftwaffe created specifications for a pilot watch – 55mm diameter, large numerals, soft iron case to protect it from magnetic fields. There were five manufacturers that made original pilot watches and only one of them still produce B-Uhr according to original specification – Laco.

Today I am reviewing smaller cousin of massive Beobachtuhr – Laco Augsburg Oliv 42.

Quick technical data:

Diameter: 42mm
Thickness: 11.73mm
Lug width: 20mm
Lug to lug: 50mm
WR: 50m
Movement: Laco 21 (base Miyota 821A)
Crystal: Sapphire
Case: Stainless steel, bronze coloured PVD plating, display back
Limited Edition of 250pcs
Price: 440 EUR

Laco have two pilot watch model lines – Original and Basic, watch case sizes from 39mm to 55mm and both A and B type dials (I am skipping type C which is chronometer, because of that would complicate things). Main difference between Original and Basic lines is movement, Basic line have Miyota based movements, Original have Sellita and ETA automatic and hand winding movements. So, there are plenty of watches to choose from.

In my hands is Augsburg Oliv which is a 42mm Basic line watch. It has B-Uhr type A dial and is housed in bronze PVD stainless steel case. Lugs are tapering and bends downwards thus increasing wearing comfort. Bronze plating adds very nice patina look. Bezel is very narrow and holds flat sapphire crystal. WR is 50m, which is OK, if you need watch for swimming then you have to find proper dive watch. Domed crown is quite large and very easy to operate.

Dial has very interesting hue. Laco calls it olive green, but to my eye it is a mix of dark military green and canvas colours. It is more on dark grey than green side and it works very well together with bronze hue of the case. Hands, markers and numerals are covered with SupeLuminova Old Radium and as with Superluminova you never complain about poor night time visibility. There no markings on dial except for Laco logo below triangle at 12 o’clock.

Strap is handmade pilot style with rivets and made of vintage leather. It’s colour again is a mix of dark military green and canvas. Strap is fairly thick, but supple. Buckle has the same bronze PVD plating as case and is signed.

Watch is powered by Laco 21 movement which is based on Miyota 821A. Movement offers hand winding and stop second function. By using Miyota movement Laco keeps Pilot Basic watch line prices to very accessible level and these movements perform very well on timegrapher. Movement have some decorations you can see through sapphire case back.

On a wrist. In recent years I prefer smaller watche, because of they fit better on my slim wrists and try not to venture out of my “safe” size of 38mm to 40mm. One of my concerns were that this watch might wear big – it’s a 42mm diameter, all dial watch. Surprisingly it doesn’t wear big at all. Partly that would be because of dark dial and bronze colour of watch case, that blends with hand. It feels very comfortable on wrist.

Summary. Laco Augsburg Oliv 42 is a great watch. It is legible and stands out of pilot styled watch crowd with its unusual colours. On a timegrapher it performed really well, with average rate of -3 seconds per day which is remarkable for watch in this budget.

Watch was supplied from company Jewels Stock, authorised Laco dealer.