With a lineage stretching back 80 years and a simple, easily legible template, the classic flieger watch design has proven to be one of the most versatile and enduring styles in watchmaking. As one of the founders of the design back in the early ‘40s, Laco has a wealth of experience with the flieger concept and has expanded the look to a myriad of colors, finishes, and sizes over the years. For its latest releases, the brand brings a bold orange accent to its classic Type A and Type B flieger templates for a uniquely vibrant look. The new Laco Neapel 39 and Palermo 39 offer a fresh and eye-catching take on the classic flieger formula, inspired by the orange groves of Italy.
Both the Laco Neapel 39 and the Laco Palermo 39 share the same 39mm case in stainless steel. More compact than previous versions of the Neapel and Palermo lines, this 39mm version of the foundational pilot watch case gives much of the same utilitarian charm as its larger cousin’s without the overwhelming wrist presence these designs sometimes carry. Every surface of these simple tool-oriented cases is heavily brushed, from the narrow sloping bezel to the short tapering lugs, for a robust utilitarian look in initial images. While on the smaller side for a traditional pilot watch design, both the Neapel 39 and the Palermo 39 keep the spirit of the flieger alive with oversized onion crowns. Both models also include sapphire display casebacks, along with a slightly disappointing 50 meters of water resistance.
The dials of the Laco Neapel 39 and Palermo 39 are a testament to the power of color in design. Where the classic military-influenced Type A and Type B flieger dial layouts are stark and eminently functional in matte-black and white, the use of orange here adds a more contemporary, playful, and energetic feel in initial images. The orange used for the printed Arabic numerals, scales, and diamond-shaped pilot-style hands appears as a balanced medium tone in photos, neither too pale nor too undersaturated. The tangerine hue here also neatly sidesteps the feel of forced aging, with a color too vibrant to come across as fauxtina. Outside of the use of orange, these no-date dials are classic Laco, with the Neapel 39 offering the elemental no-frills Type A flieger look in contrast to the more intricate B-Uhr design of the Palermo 39 with its inner-hours scale and more varied handset.
Laco powers both the Neapel 39 and the Palermo 39 with the Miyota 821A-based Laco 21 automatic movement. The Laco 21 offers decent decoration for the price with striping across its bridges and balance cock, and provides a somewhat low 42-hour power reserve at a 21,600 bph beat rate. To harmonize with the orange accents of the dials, Laco pairs both the Neapel 39 and the Palermo 39 with riveted pilot watch straps in black calf leather with orange contrast stitching.
By bringing a refreshing new colorway to these enduring designs, the Laco Neapel 39 and Laco Palermo 39 offer a distinctive and wearable alternative to the classic flieger look for style-conscious buyers. Both the Laco Neapel 39 and the Laco Palermo 39 are available now through authorized dealers at a starting MSRP of $410 each. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.