Although Swiss Made has long been the benchmark of quality many are accustomed to, these days it has merely become a statement of where the product comes from. And the reason I say this is that I have seen watches with ‘Made in Japan’, ‘Made in America’ and even ‘Made in Germany’ displayed on their dials and most of these watches come with a quality level far exceeding their price tag. A pretty good example of what I am talking about can be seen in the German brand Laco, more specifically in their latest piece – Cuxhaven.
Although Laco is a name that I commonly associate with great Pilot’s watches, the Cuxhaven is a navy inspired timepiece that showcases the same attention to detail that made their air-inspired pieces such a hit. The design of the watch takes its cues from a timepiece that the crew of the German “U1” Submarines used to have and marries it with the style of a 1940s pocket watch, all done within a modern context.
The U1 submarine was the, then, the German Empire’s first ever U-boat commissioned back in 1906. Back in the day, timekeeping played an important role in naval navigation because instead of the Global Positioning System (GPS) we use today, the sailors of the past used the time to determine their longitude. To do this, they used an accurate timepiece (which was why marine chronometers had to be created) to keep the time of a fixed location like Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and by comparing it with the local ‘noon’ time they could determine which longitude they were currently in.
The style of this modern Laco Cuxhaven closely resembles the design of these marine chronometer watches. Namely through the use of large Arabic numerals for legibility and also a characteristic railway track that extends throughout the circumference of the dial. I like the fact that they decided to do away with the date altogether and instead offer a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock which gives the watch a very nice visual balance.
I can’t determine what the dial is made of, but on the website, it says “WHITE IN ENAMEL OPTIC”. Having seen the watch in person, its definitely not enamel, and most probably not lacquer. However, regardless of what its made of, it is still quite beautiful to look at and has a nice sheen on its surface. For those who prefer darker dials, the Bremerhaven is the exact same watch but comes instead in a black dial with white indices and hands.
The movement powering the Laco Cuxhaven is their Calibre Laco 98 which is a refined version of the ETA Unitas 6498-1 movement. This movement was made for pocket watches and because of this it is fairly larger than most other movements in the market and fills out the 42.5mm case quite nicely, as you will see from the transparent caseback. Also because the movement was made for pocket watches, it is a manual wind movement which adds a degree of nostalgic value to the watch.
Case: Stainless steel, fluted bezel
Case size: 42.5mm
Lug width: 22mm
Movement: Laco 98 (ETA Unitas 6498-1)
Water Resistance: 100m