The Laco Watch Manufacture
Laco. Committed to tradition
Established in 1925 in the watchmaking metropolis of Pforzheim, Germany, Laco GmbH maintains a close connection with its founding values and uses those beliefs as a base for its current corporate philosophy. Andreas Günther, CEO of Laco GmbH and member of the company’s sixth generation of ownership, sees no incompatibility with such an approach. “Tradition, for me, is the respectful recognition of the achievements of past generations, and the expression of appreciation for centuries-old German watchmaking craftsmanship. “A company that stays true to its principles over the decades, such as Laco has, and serves its customers with quality, reliability, and consistency must never abandon the aura of tradition. All of this provides guidance for the present and future.”
1925. Watch production begins
The Laco name, an abbreviation of Lacher & Co., is steeped in tradition. Founded in 1925 by entrepreneurs Frieda Lacher and Ludwig Hummel, the company began building a name for itself by incorporating Swiss-made movements in self-manufactured watch cases. In 1936, Ludwig Hummel left the company he co-founded and Erich Lacher took his place. The company was subsequently renamed Erich Lacher Uhrenfabrik and it was under his auspice that the legendary and now highly-popular observation watches were first manufactured for the German air force. During the early 1940s the production of high-quality marine pocket watches was also begun. Few watchmakers of the time aside from Laco could meet the stringent quality and accuracy requirements of those who relied on these watches.
The 1950s. Technological Innovation
Despite the turmoil that followed the end of the Second World War, Laco’s sought-after handwinding models quickly put the company back in business. Crowned a great success, the Laco automatic watches of 1952 became a prominent fixture in the German watch market. As advanced as Laco proved to be in the following years, the development of a chronometer in 1957 was considered to be a notable achievement. The movement that was specifically developed for this watch, the 13 ligne handwinding calibre 630, was linked in terms of its quality to the highly precise Beobachtungsuhren (observation watches) that Laco once produced. Laco wrote horological history in 1961 with the Laco Electric, the first reliable electric wristwatch to be produced in the world. Similarly impressive achievements were realised by Laco in the following years when it succeeded in producing the thinnest German-made automatic movement. Called the Planomat, the watch was only measured 4.6 mm in height; the date version of the model was also remarkably slim with a height of only 4.75 mm.
With persistence and perseverance, Laco managed to hold its own ground in the highly competitive watch market. Always on trend, in the truest sense of the word, Laco consistently produced attractive watches to meet of tastes of its customers.
Laco today. Form and Function
With the arrival of the 21st century, Andreas Günther demonstrates the spirit of horological time with watches that have an open-minded approach to form and function. However, he also places special importance on the clear profiling of the Laco brand. This is reflected in Laco’s range of watches, which include the legendary aviator, naval and observation models that are predestined in the catalogue. In harmony with the originals they pay homage to, the modern Laco watch is a high quality timepiece permeated with the spirit and legendary history of German aviation. Whether you’re a watch collector, an aviation enthusiast, or a connoisseur of design, you will be enchanted by the appeal of a tradition-rich Laco.
Andreas Günther’s flair for creating a balanced design development plan has not limited Laco’s success to only satisfying the demands and high expectations of the German market; it has resonated with global customers as well. Operating on worldwide sales that include countries such as the United States, Japan, China, and Russia among many others, the agile watch professional has left his modest Pforzheim hometown and expanded his customer base to include the world.
Speaking of Pforzheim
Around 240 years ago, it was Margrave Karl Friedrich of Baden who laid the foundation of Pforzheim’s global reputation for watch and gold manufacturing when he built the city’s first “factory for jewelry and watches.”