As a tactical watch, the use of an orange lume for the minute hand is generally accepted in the military and other law enforcement agencies as it gives a reference anchor at a glance. The three level dial provides three distinct orientations for tactical planning. The unidirectional bezel with the necessary lumed pip at the 12 o’clock position allows the watch to be used as a timer or a reference for a second time zone.
There is a bit of play with the bezel. Compared to other makes in my collection, the bezel play on this Laco is obvious. For a tactical watch, this is not acceptable as it could imply it’s easy to accidently turn the bezel if brushed against something relatively solid.
The shape of the watch as well as the lug design is unique. In the following set of photos, the design features of the watch are highlighted. The first thing you would notice is the shape of the watch case which looks like a cone, wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. This design was chosen as it provides the necessary strength to sustain 500m of water pressure with the least amount of steel. Also, a narrower end meant a smaller surface area for the display case back crystal hence reducing the force on the crystal at maximum depth. The four photos below also show the extension lugs which are required due to the unique shape of the watch case. Unfortunately, the lugs are not interchangeable due to the position of the crown. The top lug has a special notch built into it to allow the crown to easily pass through it. This arrangement is much appreciated as it meant owners can easily source generic after-market straps of the 22mm variety.
The second issue I have with the watch is the crown. Honestly, I love watches with their crown either at the 12 or 6 o’clock position as it makes the watch look symmetric. However, for the Laco Squad Atacama, a design flaw makes such arrangement problematic. It is all because of the need to have an extension lug.
In the picture below, you can plainly see how close the crown is to the edge of the special cut-out lug. One cannot have a good grip of the crown to manipulate it. You need to use one’s nail to manipulate the screw-down crown hence is very difficult to operate. This is a major design flaw which Laco needs to address… more »