Manufacturer: Laco | Price: €1,990 EUR (£1,800 GBP approx)
As most of my regular readers know, I generally review microbrands or watches that are atleast under £1,000. When Laco said they were going to send me a Hockenheim Automatic Chronograph to review I thought, “Yes! now let’s see how the Hockenheim measures up against my favourite microbrands from the likes of Zelos, Newmark & NTH Watches.
- Dimensions: Case Diameter – 42mm, Thickness – 14.9mm, Lug to Lug – 49.9mm, Lug Width – 21mm
- Movement: Laco 50 Valjoux 7750 Automatic Chronograph, Day/Date in Black, Sec/Min/Hr Counters
- Case Material: Brushed & Polished 316L Stainless Steel
- Strap: Black Calf Leather, Stainless Steel Folding Clasp
- Crystal: Flat Sapphire, Multiple Anti-Reflective Coatings
- Bezel: Tachymeter Extras: Black Presentation Box, Free Engraving
- Water Resistance: 10ATM / 100m / 330ft
- Lume: Swiss Super Luminova® C3 Weight: 129g
- Crown: Signed, Push/Pull, 2x Chronograph Pushers Caseback: Screwdown, Sapphire Display
- Warranty: 2 Years Where to Buy: Laco.de
- Options: Movement Upgrade: ETA 7750 Topgrade (+€130)
Laco - The Company
From 1925 to Present Day - Timepieces with a Distinct Character
The Hockenheim has a water resistance rating of 100m / 10 ATM. The transition between the brushed sides and the polishing are flawless as you’d expect for a watch in this price range. The proportions of the watch, in my opinion, are friggin’ huge for my 7″ wrist, but I suppose that’s to be expected with the Hockenheim’s thickness and lug to lug length.
Strap & Clasp
The weirdest part of the Hockenheim in my opinion is the 21mm lug width. Why Laco decided on such a weird size I have absolutely no idea. The much more popular 22mm width would have made much more sense for strap changes, but then again, the strap that is provided with the watch is a damn good one and I can’t see many people swapping it out for something else. The strap itself is made from very good quality calf leather, soft and subtle and very comfortable. The folding clasp is very nice too, fully milled stainless steel with some nice luxury touches like perlage finishing on the inside.
The chosen movement for the Hockenheim is the Laco 50, which basically equates to a Swiss ETA 7750 (Elaboré). Laco’s watchmakers carefully regulate this movement to -5/+10 seconds per day and I can confirm that this one is running at a very respectable +3spd. Laco also offer an upgrade path for this movement to Topgrade for an extra €130. This however, extends the delivery time by around 5-7 days.
Dial, Bezel & Lume
The hour and minute hands are perfectly in proportion to the dial and are very legible due to the Hockenheims monochrome aesthetic. The chronograph hand is very nice too with its red tip that reaches all the way out to the minute track. The overall motorsport look & feel you could relate to a chequered flag or an old-school Porsche 911 dashboard. The lume used on the Hockenheim is Super Luminova® C3 which is perfectly fine in my opinion, I wasn’t expecting diver watch levels of lume from a chrono. It is legible at night with the hour and minute hand having the strongest application.