Lanco was the short lived brand name of a much bigger brand known as the Langendorf Watch Company (Uhrenfabrik Langendorf SA) based out of Langendorf, Switzerland that was founded in 1873 by Colonel Johann Viktor Kottmann. At one point around 1890, Langendorf was actually the world’s largest producer of watches and watch components with the brand producing components for nearly every other watch producer in the Neufchâtel area of Switzerland. The company was renowned for its quality and even produced their own movements which was rare for the day. The company is also known for the various military field watches that they produced during both world wars including some very early trench watches. After a number of leadership changes over the years, the Langendorf Watch Company was acquired by the Societe Susse Pour l’Industrie Horologere SA (SSIH) which itself was the result of a 1930 merger between Omega and Tissot. Langendorf would bring to SSIH one of the most modern semi-automated production lines in the industry and help the brand to stay competitive in the late 60s and 70s through to the company’s merger with what would become the Swatch Group.
Langendorf seemed to have been a bit bi-polar when it came to the use of the Lanco name. It was first introduced in the middle of the 1950s and used until the mid 60s in conjunction with some of their famous models such as the “Flying Saucer” and “Lanco-Fon”. Of note is that these early Lanco watches featured in house movements. The brand was then retired in the late 60s for a few years until the mid 70s when the brand was revived again. This middle production period is when our Lanco chronograph hails from. During this time period Lanco was focusing a lot on chronographs but unlike the early watches, these examples were powered by the ever popular Valjoux and Angelus movements of the day. During this period Lanco also dipped their toe into the world of synthetics with watches that featured the Tissot Astrolon movement. By the end of the 70s Lanco production would slow down and the brand name would eventually be sold and then licensed to a South African company who would produce Lanco watches during the 90s.
The 37mm stainless steel case with faceted lugs is in good condition. The case has most likely seen a polish during its lifetime and shows a number of scratches and dings throughout the case that are commensurate with a life full of wrist time and adventure. The watch features standard pushers, an unsigned crown, and an acrylic crystal. It should be noted that the crystal is not correct for the watch and should not feature a magnifier over the date window at 6 o’clock.
The Dial and Hands
The reverse panda dial is in good condition. There are some scratches along the top of the outer tachymeter scale but otherwise no major faults. The tritium lume has collected some dirt but is in otherwise good condition. The hands appear to be correct.
This watch features a Valjoux 7734 manually wound movement. The watch is running with all chronograph features functioning as expected. The service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Manual, Valjoux 7734|
|Dial||Black, “Reverse Panda”|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|