During our visit to MunichTime 2018, about which we reported here, we learned about Laco’s new Squad watch models. These new models are named ‘Scorpion’ and come in 4 variations. Amazonas, Atlantic, Mojave, and Himalaya. All four of them are available with a rubber strap or metal bracelet, while even more styles of straps are separately available.
While the introduction of this article might have left you a bit puzzled already, Laco makes it even somewhat more complicated. I mean, with 4 models in one model series, with all two strap or bracelet options, we’re already looking at 8 variations. For every watch, however, there is a variety of optional extra’s available.
These start with the choice for a Top-grade movement, instead of the Laco-standard Elaboré execution. And then the possibility of ordering an extra standard rubber strap or metal bracelet. Finally, two NATO-type rubber straps are available as extra as well, a green Amazon one, and a black Himalayas version. We’ll come back to all of this, including the belonging prices, later.
What does Laco mean with Squad watches in general? Squad watches are meant to be sports or outdoor watches for general purpose. Not specifically designed to be dive watches, neither aviation watches, nor dress watches. Laco produces watches in all aforementioned segments, however, wants to serve a more general active outdoor use with the Scorpion series. It’s a watch the wearer can always rely on, a robust solution for daily use in the harshest of conditions, combined with a simple and quite unique design.
As said, the Scorpion is available in four variations, on which the difference in color is the most determined. While with the Amazonas it’s predominantly the green color which attracts attention, with the Atlantic it’s adequately blue. On the Mojave, the same colored parts are orange, leaving the Himalaya to be most modest of them all, and the less colored watch, with only an orange minute hand.
For me it was quite clear, the Laco Scorpion Amazonas ‘talked’ to me the most during my visit to Laco’s booth at MunichTime. The complete new Scorpion collection was on display, however, the green of the Amazonas just did it. Let’s be clear, there are not that many watches around sporting such a clear green color. The Scorpion Amazonas I tried in Munich was equipped with the Amazonas NATO-type rubber strap, which made it stand out even more. I loved it right away.
Making the choice between the 4 models obviously wasn’t too difficult for me, neither was the choice of strap. After having tested quite some watches in this price segment before, I never became a big fan of metal bracelets. To explain this I have to reveal the price for the Laco Scorpion series, which is € 930,= for a watch on a rubber strap or € 980,= for the same watch on stainless steel bracelet. To me, that’s a very, very, attractive price level for a watch of this quality and specifications.
And of course I don’t want to be rude, but I can’t imagine that at a price of € 89,= (what they cost in the Laco shop) it’s possible to supply a stainless steel bracelet with the quality I would be happy with. At least that’s the general experience I have, but I clearly want to point out didn’t try the Laco bracelet personally. I’m a chicken and decided to be better safe than sorry, so got me the Laco Scorpion Amazonas with a black rubber strap. But again, I want to express that for just a few Euro’s extra this watch is available with a stainless steel bracelet as well.
It all starts with unpacking the watch. A black cardboard outer box with sober dark red printing contains a black, would-be leather, zipper closed container. Everything looks and feels good, and exactly what you would like to experience from an almost € 1.000,= watch. Opening the zipper, the package contains the watch and the lid contains the belonging paperwork.
Opening the zipper immediately unveils the strong smell of the vanilla flavored rubber strap as well. It’s long ago that I experienced such a heavy smelling rubber strap, an MDM Hublot from the late nineties comes to mind. Not annoying though, but a strong smell it is.
Taking the watch out of its package, one immediately feels the robustness and relevance of this watch. It’s big enough, and it’s heavy enough to show a serious presence. A high contrast dial with white and bright green colored details are looking at you.
Before putting it on your wrist, of course, you’ll set the watch and wind it by hand to start it running. For this, the crown will be rotated counter-clockwise until it pops off its reliable long thread. Clock-wise rotating the crown and winding the watch then feels good, and after just a few rotations the watch starts running. Pulling the crown out two extra steps allows setting the time. Pushing it in one step allows for the quick setting of the date. Don’t forget then to push in the crown completely in and screw it back on its thread. Nothing new here, but I just want to express again that the whole operations feel very solid.
The rubber strap is long enough to wear it on a bare wrist, but as well for wearing it over a jacket or even neoprene dive- or surf wetsuit. In fact, it’s thát long that for wearing it on my 18 cm wrist I need to use the last hole in the strap. Then it’s a bit tight, and probably one hole further would do the job as well, however, I like that a substantial watch like this sits tight and doesn’t turn around.
As I didn’t have the intention to actually use the watch for this review in water, I tried it on another strap as well. It’s the vegan – this is not a typo – strap which our friends at Ace Jewellers introduced lately. The name is Ash & Cork and it’s a unique watch strap made of natural cork and ash wood. Besides being an animal compassionate product, in my opinion, it suits the Laco Scorpion Amazonas very well. The green of the watch and tropical woody brown color of the strap both match the spirit of the Amazon region.
I’m sure the watch is very well able to take all kinds of other straps. As I mentioned in the beginning, I did like Laco’s NATO-type rubber strap very much on it, and I can imagine that other regular NATO straps would do a good job here as well.
Rotating the bezel is something one should really feel. Unfortunately, just as with the smell of the strap, we can’t offer the feeling of rotating the bezel here, so I’ll try to explain. The force needed to rotate the bezel is exactly on par with the grippyness (is that an official English word?) of it. The bezel needs quite a comfortable amount of force to be rotated, however, this is easily applied because of the adequate nudges on the outside. Rotating the bezel feels like it could easily make you play with it all day, that good.
The construction of the bezel itself is a class act as well by the way. The inlay is of ceramic material, while the numerals are coated with bright green Super Luminova.
A closer look at the watch learns that Laco uses at least three different fonts. If you’re sensitive for this, it might be something which could give a bit of a messy feeling. It’s certainly not something you’ll realize on first sight, but we saw different fonts for at least the bezel, dial numerals, and date indication. At least the hour and minute numerals are an equal font, although the hours are being printed in bold. I would have loved if this same font had been used for the dial and date indication as well, however, that is a very personal preference of course.
Although there’s much more to mention about the watch (the nicely engraved crown, the fine finishing of the case, the solid crown guards, the slightly domed sapphire crystal, etc, etc), the last thing I would like to mention is the beautiful case back of the Scorpion models. In my opinion, a glass case back isn’t adequate for a multi-purpose rugged sports watch like this. Besides being a very good and trustworthy caliber, the sight of an ETA 2824-2 wouldn’t make the hearts of most of us watch aficionados beat much faster. But a very well executed, beautifully embossed case back, showing a Scorpion does in my case.
As promised, I here come back to the different options when ordering this watch. Starting at a € 930,= Laco will supply you a Scorpion on a rubber strap. So what are the opinions? First, at € 980,= the very same watch is available with a stainless steel bracelet as well. However, for only € 89,= extra the watch on rubber strap can be ordered with an extra stainless steel bracelet as well. So for € 1.019,= you have both the rubber strap and metal bracelet. I don’t know where the difference of € 1,= comes from, however, when ordering the watch on a stainless steel bracelet for € 980,= and then adding the € 40,= rubber strap will make up for a total of € 1.020,= 🙂
Starting with either the watch on a rubber strap or metal bracelet will give you options for the mentioned rubber NATO style Laco straps at an extra price of € 80,=. At the same time, at an extra price of € 130,= the watch can be ordered with a Top-grade movement. Please find the differences between the standard fitted Elaboré and the optional Top-grade movement in the image below.
To be short, I very much enjoy wearing this watch. The clean look never fails to get a smile on my face when looking at the watch. Although a case size of 42 mm might be towards my maximum the watch never felt to be overly existent or too big. I personally might even have preferred size of 40 mm, but the proportions and relation between thickness and diameter are spot-on.
After a few days, the vanilla smell of the rubber bracelet, as well as its length, started to annoy me a bit, so I changed it over to the mentioned vegan strap. The wearing comfort was even increased a bit by that strap. The watch was extremely well readable in any situation, and its accuracy was well within the given specifications.
At a price below the € 1.000,= mark I can imagine that Laco Scorpion models will easily find their way to sports watch lovers. More information on Laco Squad watches, and the possibility to order them online, can be found through the Laco website here: www.laco.de
Gerard has been in the watch industry for over two decades now. He owned a watch shop in The Hague, The Netherlands, and besides that he has journalistic and photographic activities in the field of watches. Collecting watches since he... read more