It was love at first sight when it came to the historic flieger. Readability in watches is often overlooked in an age of cluttered dials, and this watch is not only readable but eye-catching. It’s big and bold. Of all of my watches, this is the watch I receive the most compliments on. And Laco pilot watches have a history of being worn by German Luftwaffe pilots in World War II (alongside other brands like IWC and Stowa), so this is a watch I like to get asked about.

Really the only setback is the case. I prefer polished or brushed cases and I’m not sure I’ll get used to the dark sandblasted look. It’s almost too understated for the watch. When I compare this to an IWC pilot watch, I have to say the brushed and polished look beats the blasted. Just a matter of preference.

The watch is a loud ticker. Easily the loudest I have. Sometimes I can hear it ticking at work when I’m in a meeting that gets quiet for a moment, and when it’s that bad it makes me think the case is too thin or somehow cheap.

The antireflective domed crystal is excellent. The dial is a deep charcoal with high contrast arabic numerals. It’s so easy to ready and so high contrast I think it really sticks out to people.

A black and brown strap come with the watch. Brown seems to be the more common strap for a flieger, but recently I started wearing the black and I like it. The straps aren’t that high of quality but are pretty thick. I’ve stretched out the brown strap and now it doesn’t fit that well anymore. With a 20mm lug width, the straps appear thin, which in turn makes the case appear to be enormous although it’s 42mm.

I don’t know much about the movement inside the watch other than it’s an ETA 2824-2. I don’t know if it’s the base or élaboré grade, but if I had to guess I’d say the base given the price. The watch, at the time I bought in May, retailed for about $700, but it looks like it’s going for $825 now on Laco’s website. I read that they have upgraded the cases.

My overall reaction to this piece? It’s a good German made watch, but I’d save up for a Stowa or IWC. You’ll get a better grade movement and more luxurious fit and finish while still getting a flieger from one of the original manufacturers.