Hot Take: The Laco Erbstück Collection – New Additions
With Baselworld 2019 around the corner, we take a look at new releases in the Laco Erbstück Collection.
We’re definitely looking forward to Baselworld 2019 for all the normal reasons: new watches, seeing friends from around the world, and endless espresso. Ok, we get tired of that last part, but you get the point. On the other hand, there’s no doubt that 2019 qualifies as a very different year due to all the changes at the show. One thing we’ve noticed is an increase in releases prior to the beginning of the show. The new pieces in the Laco Erbstück collection are one such example. Now, we will meet with Laco at the show, so we’ll come back with live shots next week.
The Laco Erbstück Collection
With the Laco Erbstück collection, the German brand promises more in their lineup of “heirloom” pieces (“heirloom” is the English translation of the German word “Erbstück”) in both 39mm and 42mm. We’ve actually reviewed a piece from the Erbstück collection in the past, but today we’re here to look at the smaller editions. Here are the first eight.
Now, to be clear, we have two black-dialed models and two light-dialed models. If you’re a fan of higher math, that brings the total to four. Essentially, each of the four models comes in your choice of automatic or manual wind, so that brings the tally to eight.
Laco Has a History with Pilot’s Watches
Now, there are a number of German brands that make vintage-styled pilot’s watches that can trace their roots back to the 1940’s. Laco, Stowa, and Glashütte Original are just some of the companies that participate today. Laco is one of the brands that can rightfully claim to be an original maker of both the “A” and “B” versions of these early pilot’s watches. The A version is a simple 3-hand piece with a very basic dial, whereas the B Uhr is known for it’s internal circular track showing the hours.
With the new Laco Erbstück collection, we’ll see that the light and dark-dialed series offer both the A and B styles. Also, all feature unique distressed stainless cases and aged dials.
The Black “A” Pilots – Mülheim & Heidelberg – 39mm
Starting with the black dials in the Laco Erbstück collection, the Mülhheim is a 39mm “A” Uhr with an ETA 2801 hand wind movement. It has 20mm lugs and 12mm thick. The watch contains a sapphire crystal and is water resistant to 50M (surprising!). A period correct onion crown handles the controls. As we will see on all of these watches, a thick, weathered leather strap is included with 2 brass rivets on each end. If winding your watch daily isn’t your thing, a visually identical automatic version using the ETA 2824-2 is available called the Heidelberg. It keeps the same exact case dimensions as the manual. Whatever you choose, the price is 1,890 Euros.
The Black “B” Pilots – Kempten & Speyer – 39mm
For the black-dialed “B” Pilots within the Laco Erbstück collection, the Kempten is the manual wind offering. It’s also in 39mm and has the same specifications as the “A” series. The Speyer is your option if you choose an automatic version with the inner ring showing the hours. Here again, pricing is steady at 1,890 Euros.
The White “A” Pilots – Florenz & Venedig – 42mm
The Florenz comes to us as the white-dialed manual wind version of the “A” Pilot. These watches come in slightly dearer at 1,950 Euros, but they are 42mm (still 12mm thick). The aging in the dial is far more apparent than on the darker versions and it reminds us a bit of the Longines Military Heritage piece that we recently reviewed, but the aging here is far more noticeable.
The Venedig is the automatic option.
The White “B” Pilots – Graz & Wien – 42mm
Finally, rounding up the new releases within the Laco Erbstück collection are the 42mm white-dialed “B” Pilots. Also priced at 1,950 Euros, the Graz is the manual wind variant and the Wien is the 2824-2 automatic.
All of the pieces use Superluminova C3.
Opinion and Conclusions
I have a soft spot for these German pilot’s watches. It’s hard not to like the instrument-like simplicity of the dials and case designs. Plus, when a manual wind movement is available, it just makes things sweeter. Regarding the artificial aging on the Laco Erbstück collection, I have to admit that I like it. If I were buying, I’m not sure if I’d opt for a “virgin” version or a distressed model, but these make for a compelling choice. We look forward to seeing them in the metal in a few days.
For more information, head to Laco’s official site.