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LACO 861749 Paderborn



The Paderborn is part of Laco's line of traditionally styled German-made Fliegers, which are based on archival originals. This line is designed to closely resemble watches from the early twentieth century.


Origins of the Observation Watch:

Lacher & Co., or LACO, was founded in 1925, became one of Pforzheim's leading watch factories over the years. As Germany prepared for war, the German Ministry of Aviation, responsible for aircraft development, recognized the importance of coordinating mass attacks with cutting-edge weapons. To achieve precise timing for these attacks, they needed reliable timepieces for bomber navigators.

This responsibility was given to five manufacturers:

  • Lange & Sohne
  • IWC
  • Wempe
  • Stowa
  • LACO

There were two variations of the Observation watch:

  • A dial, like the LACO Münster, and
  • B dial, like the Paderborn.

These watches were designed to be worn over the sleeves of flying suits, due to their large size, measuring 55mm in diameter, these watches were easy to read and handle even with gloves on.


Case and Glass:

The Paderborn is smaller than its historical counterpart, measuring 42mm in diameter with a case height of 11mm. The case and caseback are constructed from stainless steel and are sandblasted to achieve a matt grey surface, reducing reflections in the cockpit.

Sitting atop the case is a scratch-resistant rounded sapphire crystal with a flat grey bezel, bringing the watch's height to 13mm.

The glass is treated with an anti-reflective coating on the inside as a standard feature. Buyers also have the option to treat the outside of the glass for an additional charge. However, we do not recommend applying anti-reflective coating to the outside of the glass. This is because the coating is susceptible to scratches, which somewhat defeats the purpose of using a sapphire glass in the first place.

Like all "Original pilot watches" from LACO, the side of the case is engraved with the former army classification number, FL23883, where "FL" stands for flight number, "23" was the army code for "device for monitoring flight," and "883" was a number assigned by the German testing office of Aeronautics.

The caseback of the watch is pressed down into the case and engraved in German with the army description of the watch:

  • Observation watch (Beobachtungsuhr)
  • Design type (Bauart): Aviator (Flieger)
  • Device number (Gerät-Nr): 127-560
  • Work related (Werk bez): LACO
  • Request (Anforderz): FL 23883
  • Manufacturer (Hersteller): LACO

The Paderborn case offers a water resistance rating of 10 ATM or 100 meters. 



The standard Paderborn's crown is positioned at 3 o'clock on the right side of the case. For an additional charge, LACO can move the crown to the left at the 9 o'clock position. The crown design, while resembling the historical watch, is now shorter for improved comfort since it no longer needs to be manipulated with gloves.



The black dial displays the original Type B design from the German Ministry of Aviation. This design prioritizes minutes over hours, crucial for flight missions. Large Arabic numerals mark every 5-minute interval, with single minute markers in between.

The B-Dial also features a unique triangle marker at the 12 o'clock position, aiding orientation during flight. Hours are displayed in a smaller inner circle with numerical hour marks from 1 to 12. All numbers and markers are painted with Super-LumiNova, and the dial does not include branding or a date window.



The Paderborn features sword-style hands heat-treated to achieve a beautiful blue tone.

The hour hand is short and fits perfectly within the inner hour circle, while the minute hand is almost three times longer, reaching the outer minute circle with precision.

The smooth second hand, the longest of the three, is not heat-treated. All hands and markers on the dial are painted with Super-LumiNova, ensuring excellent readability in the dark.


The Paderborn has always been powered by Swiss-made automatic movements. Older versions used the LACO 24 (ETA 2824) movement with 25 jewels, while newer versions now feature the LACO 200 (Sellita SW 200) with 26 jewels in its Elabore version. For an additional charge LACO offers an upgrade to its Top grade version.

We do not feel the upcharge is worth it as there is a lot of overlap in the expected accuracy of the two version of this movement:

  • Elabore: Adjusted in three positions; rated at +/-7 sec/day to +/-20 sec/day.
  • Topgrade: Adjusted in five positions; rated at +/-4 sec/day to +/-15 sec/day. 

The LACO SW 200 features hours, minutes and central seconds complications with hacking function. The hacking function allows the user to stop the movement whenever he please by pulling the crown.



Like all LACO Original Pilot watches, the Paderborn comes with a brown handcrafted calf leather strap adorned with two rivets on each side and lighter tone stitching. The buckle is made of brushed stainless steel and is the only visible part of the watch displaying the LACO brand when worn. The strap maintains a consistent width of 20mm from tip to end.



Today, LACO stands for watches of the highest quality with optimal functionality and timeless design. As demonstrated throughout their company history, LACO is a company that values tradition while also innovating to meet contemporary demands.

With the Original Pilot Watches line, LACO successfully captures the look and feel of historically famous pilot and observation watches, infusing the Paderborn with period details like the dial design, oversized crown, and flat lugs the watch wears larger than its size suggests, however, this timepiece also offers practicality with its highly legible dial, modest case size, and wearer comfort.

The most remarkable aspect of the LACO Paderborn is that it provides outstanding value for its price, offering a tasteful dose of nostalgia at a bargain price.

To acquire this exquisite timepiece, simply click below. Your journey to timeless elegance awaits!