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Laco Augsburg Taupe And Aachen Taupe Pilot Watches

Laco Augsburg Taupe And Aachen Taupe Pilot Watches Watch Releases

Best known for its military-inspired German Fliegers, Laco is a brand that has found its lane and, quite wisely, sticks to it more often than not. The release of the Laco Augsburg Taupe (reference 862116) and Laco Aachen Taupe (862117) does not break the mold but offers fans of this style an interesting color option, which is rarely explored in heritage-themed timepieces.

Laco Augsburg Taupe And Aachen Taupe Pilot Watches Watch Releases

We’ve seen Laco get creative with its dials before. Earlier this year we saw the release of a series of charmingly aged dials that made full use of Laco’s ability to add years of devastation to a totally new product as seen on aBlogtoWatch’s very own Rad-Aux special edition designed by Ariel Adams and Matt Smith-Johnson.

Laco Augsburg Taupe And Aachen Taupe Pilot Watches Watch Releases

It isn’t a given that new dials for an existing range warrant a dedicated article, but this colorway is so unusual and has such an altering effect on the overall appearance of this style it is worth shining a light on the release. The sun-ray finish adds a level of opulence that Laco rarely dabbles in. It is an interesting direction for the Flieger models and one that got me wondering exactly who would buy these watches? While the general appeal of the Laco Augsburg Taupe and Laco Aachen Taupe models is their gritty utility, these new pieces seem more suited to an officers’ mess than the cockpit of a fighter plane — which is perhaps part of the point.

Laco Augsburg Taupe And Aachen Taupe Pilot Watches Watch Releases

This kind of model seems ideal for two demographics as I see it. For a dedicated Laco-lover, these pieces are sufficiently different from the rest of the catalog to justify adding to the collection. And for the Flieger fanatic who perhaps owns a few more generic examples from other brands and fancies something a bit more off-base for those occasions when the classic IWC Big Pilot just won’t do. A third, less often discussed, section of society that might enjoy these dials is men who dress entirely in taupe. It’s a small niche, but this is the kind of release that can collar a market that size.

Laco Augsburg Taupe And Aachen Taupe Pilot Watches Watch Releases

From a practical perspective, these watches have a very wearable 42mm case size, boast a very good level of case finishing for the money, and, despite the jazzy color on the dial, a decent amount of legibility. That was, at first glance, my gripe with these pieces. In some of the press shots, the dials look quite light — almost too light to get away with white type. However, after a bit of time, I revised my opinion and now find them weirdly compelling.

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Laco Augsburg Taupe And Aachen Taupe Pilot Watches Watch Releases

The Augsburg Taupe employs the “prototype A” layout,” while the Aachen Taupe utilizes the layout of the historic “prototype B,” identified by its external minute markings, inner hour circle, and central second hands. Both models are treated with C1 Super-LumiNova and fitted with black-edged hands.

Laco Augsburg Taupe And Aachen Taupe Pilot Watches Watch Releases

But here’s where it gets really interesting. These models are part of Laco’s basic collection, which means they are powered by non-Swiss movements. These models are both powered by the Laco 21 movement, which is a Miyota 821A upgraded to feature a hacking function. The movement has decent finishing and is on display through a sapphire crystal caseback. “What’s so interesting about that?” I hear you cry. Well, it’s what it does to the price ….

Laco Augsburg Taupe And Aachen Taupe Pilot Watches Watch Releases

Laco’s prices are always pretty persuadive, even when the watches run on Swiss calibers. With this modified Miyota installed, the price plummets to an incredible €390. Yes, €390 (including taxes, excluding worldwide shipping). Add to that the fact that both pieces are limited to 500 units and individually numbered and you have quite the value proposition from an established brand.

Laco Augsburg Taupe And Aachen Taupe Pilot Watches Watch Releases

I’d like to get one of these on the wrist to see how the dial performs in natural light and would urge anyone considering this purchase to do the same. Sun-ray dials never come off as well on press shots as they do on the wrist. To learn more about the brand, and discover the history of its iconic Flieger range check out laco.de.

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  • SuperStrapper

    There must have been a huge sale on those “remove before flight” tags because I can think of like 5 watches that come with one in the box.

  • Lauri Martikainen

    Looks good but in my opinion €390 is rather expensive for a watch with only Miyota 8000 series movement.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I’ve always liked the Laco especially the simpler dial on the Taupe (reference 862116) I like the aesthetics of it purely from a design point of view. Not that I think I’m, some fighter pilot or something or hanker after an age gone by. My favourite is the Original Saarbrucken. I do have to say I thought the “charmingly aged ” Laco Erbstücke was the worst idea in the whole of humanity, but that aside I think they’re a sold make. Nice sized case, reliable movement, correctly sized hands ( so many get that wrong ), high legible and great lume. What’s not to like.

    • SuperStrapper

      They were active and supplying to axis powers during the war, don’t forget to guilt them for that ?

  • What fresh hell is this?
  • Sheez Gagoo

    I had to deal with them on the Tiger fleet. A plane, we had to put buckets under it, because there were all the time several leaks with differently coloured liquids. One of it crashed at the landing. I’ve never seen a whiter person than the pilot in my life. Was a good plane in the sixties. The almighty FA 18 never had any issues except the fact, that you have to fly higher than the mountains here, a fact that lead to some losses.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_F-5?wprov=sfla1

  • Jared

    nice an All stainless steel sapphire crystal…none of that 80% stainless steel sapphire crystal for Laco…only 100% will do

  • Swiss_Cheese

    Considering IWC gets off charing roughly 20x as much for similar watches with an (albeit more decorated) ETA movement, it ain’t too bad.
    That aside, let’s play the ‘Pilot Watch Advertising Bingo’:

    ? Image of watch on a leather jacket
    ? ‘Remove before flight’
    ? Image of the inside of a cockpit
    ? An unrelated photo of a WW2 Prop Plane
    ? A young woman (proving the watch is unisex)
    ? Person admiring the watch strapped to their arm
    ? A close up that isn’t so close you can see any imperfections
    ? A shot of the movement, if highly decorated, appears right at the front
    ? A shot of the movement, if plain, appears in the last photos
    ? Out of focus background

    7/10

    • Lurch

      Great post! My favorite image, although not related to pilot watches, is the watch with buckle fastened around the limb of a tree branch.

      • Sheez Gagoo

        Or the watch on a stone in a river/lake.

        • egznyc

          Except … this one has only 50m WR, so that river better not be too rapidly flowing ;-).

    • Leonarr

      Also: A hand grabbing something with the watch on the wrist (like a handle of an airplane door when boarding the plane)

  • Lurch

    Since your beginnings in 2007, you have never reviewed a Steinhart. Why?

    • What fresh hell is this?

      What are you talking about, they’ve reviewed plenty of Rolexes

      • Independent_George

        Ha!

    • Independent_George

      Because they are an homage brand.

      I mean, Steinhart doesn’t even try to pretend they aren’t, so more power to them.

      I guess when and if Steinhart creates a unique watch with their own design, and if Steinhart doesn’t try to micromanage and/or influence the review, I suppose ABTW would.

  • PR

    The whole pilot concept is becoming a bit too “familiar” now. IWC tried to freshen it up with the XVII triple date and the purists went berserk, I for one thought it was kinda neat and at least something new but no we must have the same look over and over made by many brands…yawn

    Bremont tried and tried and have pretty much vanished now thanks to poor strategy.

    I for one am waiting for a major brand to dare make a brand new pilot watch with a completely new design and dial. Tudor???

    • NaJo

      Dude, here we are talking about $500 watch and its value proposition. Iwc, Bremont, tudor ?

      • PR

        What does the price have to do with coming up with a new design? My comment had nothing to do with comparing this watch in qualitative ways to the other brands, more in the standardized repetitive aesthetic and design which is being put out over and over again by the names famous for pilot watches and Laco is one of them. Yaaay now we have a grey dial.

  • BNABOD

    Ok not bad and a good intro price w a reliable no thrill movement …
    Decent size case too for once . Had a Laco once it was well built but hand wound pilot imho is the only way to go

    • egznyc

      As a matter of fact I’m wearing my Laco sterile Type B dial, which has a 2804 hand winding movement. I like it a lot but I’d definitely consider the taupe Type A dial here, given how different its aesthetics are. While not a great movement it’d get the job done.

      I just wish they upped WR to 100m and then this would be an even better value.

      • Jack_Package

        So this is a pilot’s watch right? Pilots rarely fly 100m underwater, and if they do, they have better problems than their watch dying so I’m ok with 50m 😀

        • egznyc

          Yes, definitely a pilot’s watch. I agree pilots ought not fly their planes beneath the waves, but there may be times when said pilot would like to dive into those waves without the need to grab a proper dive watch ;-).

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Btw: These red flags are also on all kind of sensors, like speed sensors. These sensors are often a little hole and some insects go in there to nest. So you cover them.

  • Jack_Package

    P.Y.H. man, very important

  • Jack_Package

    I want to add a pilot watch to my collection for some time now, I really like the b-uhr design, and I’m eyeing Laco, because they are one of the original suppliers, and of those the most budget friendly. I’m kinda on the fence about this, I like the dial colour, but I wish if was hand-wound..

    • SuperStrapper

      I’m always shopping for the perfect manually wound centre seconds b-dial flieger. One day…

      • Jack_Package

        Their Leipzig model doesn’t look bad, unbranded, Swiss hand wound, blued hands, pretty close to the original design I think, and maybe downsized enough…I’d love to try one on before buying though, 50mm lug to lug still isn’t small, and the “originals” don’t taper so might be too big for me.

        • SuperStrapper

          I like that one too, the sandblasted steel is cool and the unusual movement as well. It also comes with a blue sunburst dial that isn’t very authentic but is quite striking and handsome.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Don’t forget to remove before flight.

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