Laco 1925 Squad Atacama “Ninja” Reference 861632 – A Black Ops Watch With A Few Flaws

By Meor Amri Meor Ayob




The company LACO (Lacher & Co.) was founded in 1925 by Frieda Lacher and Ludwig Hummel in Pforzheim. After Mr. Hummel left the company, Erich Lacher took over completely in 1936.  The “Erich Lacher watch company” manufactured the legendary Pilot watches of the 1940’s under the brand “LACO”. The models were DIN certified and famous due to their precision and reliability.

I always admire companies and brands with strong historical past. As my first direct exposure to this brand, I decided to acquire their Squad Atacama “Ninja” model.

Laco’s Squad series are technical watches designed for the rigors of military service. Designed to be stealthy and capable for diving up to 500 meters, I was drawn to these specifications.

The package came with a black cardboard box with the brand printed in silver at the bottom corner emerged. Inside this box is a zipper watch box made out of artificial leather. Once again, the brand is embossed at the bottom corner.

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The Unveiling: You get only three distinct items in the watch box, a manual/guarantee document, a leather label and the watch.


The whole package is very utilitarian. This conforms to the intended target market – military/security personnel on active service. Having unnecessary bells-and-whistle packaging may get brownie points for desk-bound enthusiasts but that means less investment in the watches itself which should be the focus anyway.

In keeping with its German origins, the manual is in German with English translation. It is simply slotted between two bands sown on the watch box. The watch itself is treated similarly with another two bands sown on the opposite side of the watch box where the two ends of the strap are slipped into for storage.



As additional protection from the factory, a small strip of plastic is wrapped around the watch casing. A simple leather label with the brand is tied to the watch to complete the whole packaging design.

The Watch: The Laco Squad Atacama is a tactical style watch designed for military or law enforcement. Made in Germany and powered by a Swiss Made ETA 2824-2 automatic movement with approximately 42 hours of power reserve, the watch uses IP  black casing with display screw down case-back. The dial is also black with Arabic numbers and markers. SuperLuminova C3 is used to paint the Arabic numbers, markers, hour and minute hands to enable ease of reference in the dark. The bezel is unidirectional with a 60-click interval. There is a date complication at 6 o’clock and the crown of the watch is positioned at 12 o’clock.

One method that can be used to change the surface properties of a material is called Physical Vapor Deposition, or PVD (you’ll also see it labeled as Ion Plating, or IP, which is a variant on PVD). The PVD process involves placing the item to be coated in an inert (non-reactive) atmosphere, heating it up to 400° C or so (depending on the process), and basically spraying it with the molecules that you want to coat it with. That’s the general process; however there are a lot of subtle variations like using charged ions for the ion plated variation.PVD results in a coating up to a micron or so thick that’s tightly bonded to the base material. It won’t flake off, as the coating is interpenetrated with the underlying material which is what makes it different from paint, powder coats, or anodizing. If you hit it with sufficient force, however, you can go through the PVD and into the material below, and since it’s still a coating, polishing to remove scratches is not recommended.

The crystal is sapphire and the rubber strap is 22mm wide. Overall with of the watch is 46mm with a thickness of 13mm.  Dive watch compliant and capable up to a depth of 500m… more »


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