Can a simple three hand watch give the same amount of satisfaction as something complicated like a three register chronograph with ceramic bezels?
I would say, absolutely! Without any hesitation.
Here is a review and my quick acquisition story of the Laco Leipzig B-Uhr Flieger.
It was summer when I studied abroad in Germany for a month where I made the decision to go on the search for this beauty. During an off day from studying, I took a day trip with a few friends to Hamburg, where there happened to be an authorized Laco dealer.
Aside from touring the beautiful port of Hamburg and enjoying a beer or two with my colleagues, my goal during the short day trip was to get myself that Type B Pilot watch I've been saving up for with the money I've earned from working at a print shop on campus. The hunt was on!
I thought it would've been a piece of cake to find the watch shop but of course, my navigational skills let me down. Luckily, I had a local with me familiar with the streets of Hamburg.
I remember walking into the shop and seeing the whole entire lineup of Laco watches. There was a small type B and a gigantic type B watch that had to be around 60mm or so! Probably was just a display model for decor or maybe not?
The type B watch I set my eyes upon happened to be the Leipzig which fit perfectly on my slightly larger than 7-inch wrist. Since then, the watch has been a keeper in my, unfortunately, ever-growing collection.
5+ Year Review
After several years of owning this watch, I've had a substantial amount of time to understand its pros and quirks.
During my time leading up to the acquisition of the Laco Leipzig, I was just starting to get into the world of watches. So, things like how a watch fits on your wrist and why it fits on your wrist a certain way didn't really come to mind at the time.
So really, I purchased this watch because it looked damn great!
- Only Tells the Time
- Historical Significance
- Great Quality Finish to the Case
These three points make this watch worth the thousand dollars spent. The legibility of this watch is ridiculously good. You really have to thank the designers of the B-Uhr.
Its genius representation of time with the minutes on the outside and hour numerals on the inside really makes it quick and easy to read. In fact, out of all my watches in my collection, the Laco Leipzig Type B reads the quickest.
As for historical significance, check out a brilliant video from Armand The Watch Guy going over iconic Flieger watches of World War II.
The quality of the B-blasted case is superb. I really don't have to worry about scratches on the watch because of this type of finishing. As a matter of fact, I prefer the look that this watch has acquired throughout the years of wear.
Because of its straight lugs, they are susceptible to more wear which looks great over time. It's more of a faded look rather than faint scratches.
- Easy to Break The Crown
- Straight Lugs Just a Bit Awkward
- Strap Could Use a Little More Reinforcement
Now my last two points are really nitpicking at the watch but they could be a bit of concern for some. However, the first point is no joking matter.
One night, I was in a bit of a rush getting myself out the door where I accidentally dropped my flieger while quickly strapping it on. It was a good four-foot drop on tile from where I was standing.
In all honestly, I didn't think the watch would incurred any damage except for maybe a knick or scratch to the case which I wouldn't mind. However, the outcome was much worse with the crown bent at a 45 degree angle. I couldn't believe my eyes and boy was my heart racing!
I took the Laco to my local watchmaker where he did a great job of bending the stem back into its original position. A few weeks after that traumatic event, I noticed whenever I would wind the watch to get it running, I would feel no resistance to stop winding the watch any further. It was at this point where I stopped wearing my watch for some time until I took it back to a watchmaker to replace the mainspring.
Because of the crown’s size, you really have to look after the watch from falls and pressure placed on the crown when on your wrist. Don't get me wrong, it's a sturdy watch but the crown is the Achilles heel.
As for the lugs, just be aware that they're straight. Unless your wrist is smaller than 6.75 inches, be advised that there might be some overhang.
The strap is a nice leather. At first, it was very stiff but over time it softens up and wears very comfortably. The watch was my daily driver for a good year with very little to no resting period given for the leather to breathe.
That being said, the strap has very heavy wear which I like but the weak points near the lugs make it difficult to change out to another strap without damaging the original strap. I have never changed the strap on the Laco but why would you? It wouldn't look like a proper German Flieger without it!
Sooner or later I am going to switch out the strap with a replacement. Maybe when the strap falls apart.
Is it a Keeper in the Collection?
Hell yeah, it is! However, I did think about selling this watch off when I tried purging my collection to make room for more watches. The thing that keeps me from selling it is its sentimental value.
Whenever I put on this watch, it always puts me back to when I was having the time of my life studying in Germany. Well, not really studying when there was a Biergarten right next to campus!
Not saying that everyone needs a pilot watch, but I'd say everyone needs at least one watch in their collection that tells only the time.
A classic three-hander. A purely focused watch on time with its highly legible dial serves its purpose and styling.
For some reason, this watch tends to catch a lot of people’s attention of non-watch enthusiasts as well. That's telling you something about the designers of the dial. People like legible dials.
The Laco Leipzig Type B is simple enough to tell time but even more intriguing to stare at when checking when it’s time to go home from work.
Are you a fan of B-Uhr watches as much as I am? Perhaps this shirt will help suit you on the weekends with your Beobachtungsuhr German Flieger watch.