Hands-On: Laco Flieger Stuttgart Pro – Navigating the Skies

My new Laco Flieger Stuttgart Pro is a watch, that brings the feeling of heritage and authenticity of the old pilot watches from the 1940’s, fondly known as “Flieger” watches, on your wrist. I chose a Laco’s pilot watch, as they stand out as one of the most authentic modern-, as well as artificially aged heritage, reconstructions of this watch type available on the market.

Before taking a closer look on my very first true Flieger watch, it’s necessary to acknowledge the history that underlies the classic Flieger — a term derived from the German word for “airman” or “pilot.” Join me as we explore the fascinating story of these aviation companions.

History of Flieger and B-Uhren

The historical heritage of Flieger watches, known professionally as “B-Uhren”, is a dramatic journey that began in the tumultuous skies of the great wars. “B-Uhren” is short for the German term “Beobachtungsuhr,” which translates to “observation watch”. After the First World War era dominated by pocket watches, these wristwatches emerged out of practical necessity, evolving into essential tools for pilots facing the demands of aerial combat and reconnaissance missions.

A Royal Air Force Supermarine Spitfire trails smoke after attacking a German Heinkel He 111H/P bomber during the Battle of Britain – Picture: Wikimedia Commons

The Five Authorized Manufacturers

During that era, only a few German and Swiss companies received permission to produce these pilot watches, adhering to the precise specifications of the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM), the former German ministry for aviation. The five manufacturers (IWC, Laco, Lange & Söhne, Stowa, and Wempe) collaboratively crafted these pure tool-watches, serving as inspiration for numerous wristwatches after the war.

B-Uhr Flieger am Arm über der Jacke


RLM (former German ministry for aviation) document from 1942 about the “navigation device – observation watch” with the classification number FL.23883, which is engraved on the Laco watch cases today, see the picture later in the article – Picture: Laco

Role as Essential Navigation Instruments

Characterized by simplicity and functionality, the historical design of Flieger or B-Uhren featured oversized cases, originally boasting an impressive 55 mm diameter. Furthermore the watches were not only oversized but also featured highly readable dials known as “Baumuster Typ A or -B”, with bold numerals and strong Radium lume, to ensure quick and easy legibility in the cockpit.

Laco Erbstück 55mm Flieger Uhr

Baumuster Typ A (right) and -B (left) – The hand made “Erbstück” is designed to emulate the original Flieger watches from the Second World War, with traces of aging that typically characterize vintage models. – Picture: Laco

The watches’ oversized crowns further exemplified their functionality, allowing pilots to make adjustments even while wearing gloves. These observation watches played a crucial role in coordinating missions and aiding pilots in critical calculations, contributing to the success of aerial operations.


In times before modern GPS systems, these timepieces were crucial for aviators navigating during World War II – Photo: Laco

Enduring Legacy as Tool Watches

The B-Uhren’s influence went beyond wartime exigencies, shaping the very essence of pilot watches worldwide. Their oversized crowns, bold numerals, and legible dials became iconic features, transcending their wartime origins. The watches not only played a vital role in historical aerial operations but also on the ground for infantry operations, and left an enduring imprint on the design language of timepieces across the globe.


German Infantry B-Uhren for different purposes from the Second World war showcased in the watch museum in Glashütte – Photo: Glashütte Watch Club

Today, modern versions of Flieger B-Uhren watches honor this long history by combining classic design with modern materials and technology. These B-Uhren observer watches aren’t just homages of old relics; they’re timeless tool-watches in the world of aviation and military. As we move through time, Flieger B-Uhren watches remind us of their lasting influence on todays pilot watches.

Laco Flieger Stuttgart Pro

In this hands-on review, I’ve tailored the watch to my liking, selecting 40mm diameter, the Baumuster Typ-A dial, a decorated Hand-Wound movement without a date display, a Sapphire crystal case back with anti-reflective coating inside and outside, the dial proudly bears the printing “Laco” and “Made in Germany” and I’ve opted for a brown leather strap to pay homage to the originals that inspired this timepiece. It is a great opportunity to configure the watch according to personal preferences, a service graciously offered by Laco.


Design and Construction

The design and construction of the Laco Flieger Stuttgart Pro honor the functional style of classic pilot observation watches we’ve seen in our historical review before. They combine this classic design with modern manufacturing techniques and materials for todays watch enthusiasts. Luckily we don’t need to wear Flieger watches in cold, unpressurized airplanes anymore, so we can choose smaller sizes and wear them comfortably under our jackets.

Laco-FLIEGER-STUTTGART-PRO-dial close up-min

The Baumuster Typ-A dial and absence of a date window contribute to a cleaner, more minimalist aesthetic. But if you are used to check the date on your watch, you can also choose it with a date window. For those seeking an even more pared-down look, the option to order without a logo is available.

The Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating inside and additionally outside, ensures optimal readability in various lighting conditions. With a waterproof rating of up to 20 ATM, it’s designed to withstand the demands of a pilot’s environment, providing reliability even when you get downed over the Atlantic ocean.


On the case of the watch we find an interesting engraving with the indication “FL 23883”. This engraving represents a former classification number and not a serial number. We have seen this specific engraving in the technical drawing of a Wempe B-Uhr from 1942 in our historical analysis before.


“FL 23883” engraving on the side of the case which represents a former classification number and not a serial number – Photo: WATCHBANDIT

Long lasting lume

Today, the use of the strong radioactive luminous material Radium in watches is no longer common, and even the much weaker and harmless Tritium color is no longer used. Instead, the numbers and indexes on the watch are coated with non-radioactive Superluminova C3, ensuring a clear and luminous display throughout the night, while staying true to the practicality that pilots required.


Laco Flieger Stuttgart Pro 40 on the wrist

Now, let’s talk about how the Laco Flieger Stuttgart Pro wears on the wrist. Opting for a more wearable size, I chose the 40mm version for my 18cm/7″ wrist, though the 43mm option would have worked just as well.


Laco Flieger Stuttgart Pro on the wrist (wrist circumference 18cm/7″) – Photo: WATCHBANDIT

With a balanced height of 11.35mm and a thick leather strap, the watch sits comfortably on the wrist.



The Flieger Stuttgart Pro is powered by the Laco 210 movement, which is based on the dependable Swiss Sellita SW210-1. I chose this his hand-wound movement as a tribute to the era when pilot watches were originally developed, a period predating the invention of automatic movements. The act of manually winding the watch becomes a connection to the traditions of aviation history. However, you also have the option to order a modernized version of the watch with an automatic movement based on the Sellita SW200.

Laco-FLIEGER-STUTTGART-PRO-hand wound Movement Sellita 210-1

You also have the option to choose between an open case back with sapphire or a closed case back, which stays true to the original tool watches. However, for me, it’s always a delight to have a glimpse into a magnificent and beautifully finished mechanical movement. Additionally, you can option for an unfinished movement if you prefer as well.

Laco-FLIEGER-STUTTGART-PRO-Movement Escapement Macro-min

Laco-FLIEGER-STUTTGART-PRO-Movement Macro-min


The thick calfskin leather strap of the watch offers comfortable wear and with a lug width of 20mm it accommodates a variety of strap options. Its minimalistic style makes it a versatile choice, earning it the title of a true “strap monster.” Stay tuned, as we will soon publish a strap guide tailored specifically for this watch.


Laco-FLIEGER-STUTTGART-PRO-Strap Handmade in Germany Detail-min


When your Laco watch arrives, it comes beautifully packaged in a vintage-inspired leather case, adding to the overall charm of the unboxing experience. One delightful detail is the small warning sign inside, reminiscent of those found on old piston engine airplanes. In bold letters, it reads “Achtung Schraubkrone”, serving as a gentle reminder to unscrew the crown before use. This thoughtful touch not only enhances the vintage vibes of the packaging but also adds a touch of authenticity to the unboxing ritual.




In conclusion, my experience with the Laco Flieger Stuttgart Pro has been nothing short of exceptional. As my first Flieger/B-Uhr watch, it truly encapsulates the essence of air combat during the Second World War. Its design, reminds of a bygone time, evokes a sense of history and authenticity that resonates deeply with me. Placing it beside my small Revell airplane models further enhances its nostalgic charm and serves as a reminder of the courage and sacrifice of those who served.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that while I am fascinated by the historical context of these watches, I do not want to romanticize war itself. War only brings sadness and suffering, and it’s essential that we stand up for peace. We must strive to ensure that brother wars never happen again. What truly fascinates me is how these wristwatches emerged out of practical necessity in very difficult times, yet managed to achieve a timeless design and functionality that remains relevant even decades later.

As I continue to wear this watch with great pleasure, I look forward to experimenting with different strap options to further personalize and enhance its versatility. The Laco Flieger Stuttgart Pro has undoubtedly earned its place as a cherished addition to my collection, serving as both a stylish accessory and a link to the history of aviation.

Laco-FLIEGER-STUTTGART-PRO-Packaging Open-min


  • Product.Nr.: 862141
  • Movement: Optional automatic or handwinding, Depending on configuration: Laco 200/210/215, basic movement: Sellita SW 200/210-1/215-1, Optional Quality level Elaboré or Top, Optional with or without date display, with dark or bright date display, Optional Decoration Undecorated or Decorated
  • Case: Stainless steel case, optionally with brushed or dark sandblasted finish, engraving on the side FL23883, screw-down crown
  • Crown: Optional on Right or Left side
  • Diameter: Optional Ø 37 mm, Ø 40 mm, Ø 43 mm
  • Glasss: Double domed sapphire crystal, anti-reflective coating on one side, optional anti-reflective coating on both sides, adapted proportionally to the size of the enclosure
  • Base: Optional screwed, closed back or visible back with sapphire crystal
  • Water Resistance: up to 20 ATM
  • Dial: Typ-A or Typ-B, Numbers and indexes covered with Superluminova C3, optionally with date display in light or dark, with or without logo, proportionally adapted to the enclosure size
  • Hands: Thermal blued hands, filled with luminous material Superluminova C3
  • Strap: Calfskin strap in black, brown or vintage brown optionally with or without rivets, alternatively a metal strap is available. The leather used is a natural product and makes each watch strap unique. It may therefore have slight variations in color and structure.
  • Measurements:
    Ø 37 mm Ø 40 mm Ø 43 mm
    Height: 10,95 mm  11,35 mm 11,45 mm
    Lug Width: 18,0 mm 20,0 mm 22,0 mm
    Visible Dial Diameter Ø 31 mm Ø 34 mm Ø 37 mm
    Lug to Lug: 44,5 mm 47,5 mm 50,5 mm
    Water Resistance: up to 20 ATM up to 20 ATM up to 20 ATM
    Weight (with leather strap): 66,0 g (incl. strap) 72,0 g (incl. strap) 80,0 g (incl. strap)
    Weight (with stainless steel bracelet): 101,0 g (incl. bracelet) 113,2 g (incl. bracelet) 140,0 g (incl. bracelet)
    Wrist Circumference: 12-18 cm 14-19 cm 15-21 cm

2 thoughts on “Hands-On: Laco Flieger Stuttgart Pro – Navigating the Skies

  1. Dominik Mölders says:

    I am fascinated by your post about this “Fliegeruhr”! The way you have traced the history and development of these timepieces up to the present day is simply impressive. The historical details you included really brought the text to life and gave it a certain elegance, made me dive even deeper into the world of pilot’s watches. Your description of the Laco pilot’s watch is very well done and makes me curious to learn more about this model. More articles like this, please!
    Best regards, Mölle

    1. Chris says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Mölle! I’m delighted to hear that you enjoyed the post about Flieger watches. It’s truly a fascinating journey tracing the history and evolution of these timepieces, and I’m glad you found it impressive. The Laco pilot’s watch is indeed a remarkable timepiece, and I’m glad the description piqued your interest. Rest assured, I’ll keep your feedback in mind for future articles. Stay tuned for more content!
      Best regards,
      Chris & Team WATCHBANDIT

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