German Watch Manking
German watch industry is one of the world's oldest branches. As early as in 1530, Peter Henlein ,a Germany locksmith, who came from Nuremberg, created the world's first pocket watch - Nuremburg Egg. At that time, the German watch making industry had been booming. For example, the Saxony city had become an important place of watch manufacturing in the early nineteenth century.
However, in 1920s, the industry was attacked by the global economic crisis and the World War II. Most of watch factories were reduced to the ground during the war. To avoid the war, a large number of top watch engineers migrated to Switzerland, which provided the foundation for the Swiss watch industry to dominate in the world
What is the biggest difference between Germany and Switzerland watches? In fact, the pocket watches made in early of the 19th century, no matter in Germany or Switzerland , had been pursuing sophistication and delicacy, or featuring the display of beautiful art , because only the nobles can own these. And in nearly one hundred years of development since then, the German industry displayed more in the pursuit of complex technology, Focusing on accuracy and quality, advocating classic design of usability and simplicity, which had much to do with the design concept of Bauhaus, originated in Germany and playing import role of affecting the modern German industry.
The town of Pforzheim, is located in Baden-Württemberg which is the entrance of "Black Forest" in Germany. It used to be an important military centre, where many large scale military enterprises were based refining different types of metal products. Since last century with the booming of metal refinery industry, the town has gradually developed into the centre of German watch and jewellery making and won the name of “German Gold City”. Pforzheim Industrial Design University is prestigious in the global jewellery, watch and car design. A lot of well-known designers graduated from the University. The complete advantage of the industry chain from design to manufacture has made Pforzheim one of the core regions for watch making in Germany.
Era of B-Uhr
infomation from Laco Website
In 1940, LACO joined the planB-Uhr with four other watch manufacturers - Glasshütte,A. Lange & Söhne, IWC, Wempe and STOWA. B-Uhr stands for Beobachtungsuhr in German, which means observation watch featuring high accuracy and readability
Before delivery, each B-Uhr must be strictly tested by the military inspection department. In order to ensure its firmness, the case and straps are connected with rivet reinforcement. To make it convenient for the pilots to control the time precisely in all kinds of adverse weather conditions during a flight mission, the pilot was required to wear the B-Uhr outside the uniform. For this reason, the diameter of the case had to be increased to 55mm. With the B-Uhr LACO became a fame because during World War II. The original design of B-Uhr, its unique Arabic numeral indexes on both the inner ring and bezel, the matte black and non-reflective dial, and 3 hands coated with fluorescent material are still in hot pursuit by a large number of watch lovers. It has also become the standard design for modern pilot watches.
B-Uhr is an important military equipment during World War II for the German Air force. With it the pilots could carry out missions precisely and calculate time of flight accurately in order to control the right flight itinerary. Each B-Uhr must have a separate certificate of inspection provided by the factory; must be durable, antimagnetic, shock-proof; movement must have a precision fine-tuning device, The quantity of jewels on the movement were also specified to be between 16 - 22.
The WWII ended catastrophically with Germany’s defeat for almost all the Pforzheim manufacturers including Laco. During a devastating air-raid by the Allies, its factory was destroyed to rubble. Soon the factory was rebuilt with thanks to the Marshall Plan. A magnificent 5 storey building was established in 1949 as the company’s residence of business operation and it expanded rapidly ever since.。
Laco developed into its golden era during 1950-1959. With the movement brandname DUROWE,LACO supplied a large number of reliable and high-quality movement products to many watch manufacturers at that time.
It is memorable that In 1952 DUROWE launched an automatic movement, based on 422 Cal. Movements of 18,000 and a half cycle of oscillation and two-way rotation of the wind-up "Duromat" - 11 1 / 2 lines (552cal.), with which DUROWE became the first mechanical movement manufacturer in Germany. In 1957, LACO introduced its unique 630 manual chronograph movement.
Later on, DUROWE introduced the slimmest mechanical watch in Germany (1963-4) fitting movement "Planomat" - 11 1 / 2 lines, 600 cal .- thickness of only 4.6 millimeters (date function model fitting 601 Cal. Thickness of 4,75 mm).
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