As we recently explained when reviewing the brand’s latest concept for customization, the rather cool Flieger PRO, Laco is one of the most legitimate watchmakers when it comes to pilot’s watches and Flieger instruments. One of the 5 manufactures to have crafted the original B-Uhr, this style has become a speciality for Laco, which has been playing strong on the vibe. Using the recently introduced München Chronograph as a base, Laco is now releasing a very exclusive limited edition that makes new… old again… And why such a small limitation? Because the Laco “München Erbstück” Chronograph Limited Edition is all about a special hand-applied surface treatment that gives this watch more than just a vintage vibe.
It all starts with a watch, a standard one that you can find in the collection, the München Chronograph. Basically, it is the adaptation of the classic B-Uhr, Observation Watch or Flieger Watch concept into a modern chronograph attire. And then, once this watch is completed, enters the “Erbstück” transformation (it means heirloom in English, if your German is a bit rusty, like mine…) This isn’t the first time that the brand applies such a style to one of its watches, but this is a first for this chronograph collection.
What’s the Erbstück concept? Well, as said, once the classic watch is completed, it undergoes a very special surface treatment, which is hand-applied on all the parts of the habillage. In short, the brand makes something new very old-looking – like if the watch would have spent half a century on the wrist of a military pilot and would have gained not only a huge amount of patina but mostly signs of time and wear. The ageing process is applied to the case, which shows scratches, discolouration marks and signs of wear and tear. Gone is the sleek sandblasted surface of the stainless steel, replaced here by a darker, almost rusty surface. Of course, this process is handmade, meaning that no two watches will be identical. This manual application, which is time-consuming, explains the limitation of the watch.
This Erbstück process isn’t limited to the case, and actually concerns all the external parts of the watch. In the same vein, the dial has been aged, with discolouration marks and all the surfaces covered in Super-LumiNova have been patinated – the minute track, the Arabic numerals and the hands. Even the tracks and the logos are showing signs of use and wear… Finally, the leather strap undergoes the same process. Overall, this is certainly a quite controversial and very unique approach to watchmaking that some will probably hate, or on the contrary love. But one must recognize the amount of work done to give this watch some patina… It’s the next level of fauxtina here.
As for the watch itself, the Laco “München Erbstück” Chronograph is all identical to the classic version. This means a base case of 42.3mm in diameter, with typical short and straight lugs, two pushers for the chronograph and an onion-shaped crown designed according to the original B-Uhr and the typical FL 23883 engraving on the side of the case. The case features a sapphire crystal on top, with anti-reflecting coating, the caseback is solid stainless steel, engraved like the historical observation watches and the water-resistance is rated at 50 metres.
The dial is entirely focused on legibility, with an oversized minute track and Arabic numerals that are fully covered in Superluminova C3. Nigh-time legibility is thus guaranteed. Also, the look is very much low-key, with grey-coloured indications for all additional functions, either the 3 chronograph sub-counters or the day-date function. The display is classic, with the typical 6-9-12 layout of Valjoux-based chronograph watches. Indeed, inside is the Laco 50, which is based on the proven Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750. It thus offers 48 hours of power reserve and beats at 4Hz.
The Laco “München Erbstück” Chronograph Limited Edition is worn on an aged strap that mimics the leather straps with rivets once found on B-Uhr watches. It is closed by a steel pin buckle.
Availability & Price
Presented in a special box with a certificate of authenticity, the Laco “München Erbstück” Chronograph Limited Edition will be produced in only 30 pieces. It is now available at a price of EUR 2,990, from www.laco.de.
Note that this watch can be slightly customized with a Top Grade movement or an English day wheel.