Laco Venedig Erbstück
Laco Venedig Erbstück

‘Vintage-Inspired’ is one of the biggest buzzwords in watches, with countless brands turning to archival designs and reissues for inspiration. Generally, they’re just modern updates of old models. For Laco though it’s hard to believe the new Erbstück pieces aren’t genuine vintage pieces.

Erbstück means heirloom, a fitting name for piece whose looks come straight out of WWII. Sure, it’s a pretty popular look at the moment, but Laco at least have the heritage to pull it off; the southern German has been making pilots pieces since the 1940s.

Laco Venedig Erbstück

Laco Venedig Erbstück

Everything about the Erbstück, from the clean dial built to be read in the cockpit to the chunky aviator strap is in perfect keeping with Laco’s archival pieces. That said, I personally prefer the cleaner look of the Venedig and Florenz models, right down to the iron sights on the 12 o’clock index.

There’s nothing wrong with the more technical look of the Wien and Graz pieces, but that particular dial probably belongs on a bigger watch rather than the 42mm case size of the four-piece Erbstück collection.

Laco Venedig Erbstück Caseback

Inside each is an ETA Elabore movement, the manual wind 2801.2 in the Florenz and Graz, the automatic 2824.2 in the Venedig and Wien. They’re solid, reliable and incredibly well-priced movements, perfect for a military watch.

As you’ve probably already noticed though, there’s one thing that sets Laco’s new pieces apart from the host of other, similarly-styled pilots’ watches out there: age. These are brand new timekeepers, but thanks to Laco’s proprietary hand-aging, they could well be mistaken for true vintage pieces. The process doesn’t harm the watches in any way, it just gives them the kind of patina that normally only comes with years of use. You’d need to wait a good 50 years before it happened naturally.

Laco Wien Erbstück
Laco Wien Erbstück

In fact, the only way you can easily tell that these aren’t vintage watches – other than reading it here of course – is by turning off the lights. Lume fades over time but the Erbstücks are nothing if not dazzling, with a completely lume-filled dial and hands.

Laco Wien Erbstück

Laco is in many ways one of the originators of modern pilots watches but, with the new Erbstück pieces, they’ve gone one step further than merely plumbing their past for inspiration. They’ve created a quadrilogy of pieces that are as close as you can get to true vintage, without actually being vintage. At 1,950 Euros, I’m more than happy with that compromise.

Price & Specs:

          • Model Name: Laco Erbstück (Venedig, Wien, Florenz or Graz)
            Ref: 861943 (Venedig), 861944 (Wien), 861945 (Florenz), 861946 (Graz)
          • Case: 42mm width x 12mm height, 20mm lug width, stainless steel case, elaborately hand-finished in an antique look, double curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflecting coat, sidewise marking FL 23883, case-back with B-Uhr marking
            Dial: Superluminova C3, arabic figures and indexes black, execution according B-Uhr Baumuster A, like the case in antique look, aged manually

            • Movement: Automatic movement Laco 24, basic movement ETA 2824.2 (Elaboré) for Venedig and Wien models or handwind movement Laco 01, basic movement ETA 2801.2 (Elaboré) for Florenz and Graz models
              Water Resistance: 50m (
              5 ATM)
            • Price: 1,950 (available in Spring 2019)

For more information visit Laco’s website.