Ollech & Wajs began in 1956, in Zurich. Albert Wajs decided to partner with his friend Joseph Ollech to open a watch shop. At that time they distributed Breitling and Omega, before launching their own brand: OWZ Ollech & Wajs Zürich. Production was assembled at no. 55 Stocker Strasse, on the ground floor of a beautiful bourgeois building. Albert Wajs, decided to specialise in the assembly of reliable and accurate watches, with movements such as Dùbois Depraz, Landeron, and Valjoux, alongside cases in stainless steel by Maison Etienne, they used Tritium hands and created functional and legible dials. Ollech & Wajs manufactured under different brands, including OWZ, Helsa and Piz Palu, before focusing on OW in the early 1960s. They were the first to release a diving watch, tested at a depth of 1000 meters with a graduated rotating bezel, which allowed divers to calculate the decompression time. Their watches were used by American soldiers and even entire regiments ordered hundreds of OW Chronographs. NASA officials, including Mr. Von Braun, actually wore an OW watch.
This OW C-1000 S harks back to those divers of the 1960s; it has a 39.5mm, 316L stainless-steel case, which is brushed. A stainless-steel unidirectional 60-minute bezel with a mineral insert, an extra-strong domed sapphire crystal, a special quadruple gasket screw-down crown, which enables it to attain 1000m water resistance. The black dial uses both arrow and baton markers for the hours coated in Super-LumiNova®, its baton hands have the same infill for extra visibility when diving at such depths. At 6 o'clock we have a date window. On the reverse is a reinforced screw-down case back, Inside a modified Automatic ETA 2824-2 OW5, 25 Jewels, 28,800 Beats per hour. Modified with Ollech & Wajs Zurich 1956 engraved main plate and OW machined rotor. Fitted on a 20 mm stainless steel bead of rice bracelet. Inspired by the bracelets used back in the 1960s. The links are made of a solid block of 316L stainless steel that is both hand brushed and assembled, this process prevents stretching. Complete with a signed clasp in the box.
Points of Mention
This watch is sold with its original Ollech & Wajs box and Ollech & Wajs guarantee card. The watch comes paired on an original Ollech & Wajs Stainless Steel bracelet, included in the box is an Ollech & Wajs signed buckle. The watch is from March 2020 and was worn a handful of times at most, unworn on the bracelet however as you can see. The watch is keeping fantastic time and comes with the guarantee card which provides the manufacture warranty.
This is my first time experiencing Ollech & Wajs, I have to say I am very impressed. Beyond the great design, the build quality is fantastic and you can tell this was produced to be a true tool. The bezel design invokes an old bakelite style, very charming. The dial is incredibly legible and the hands are huge providing great legibility at all angles, times, and light situations.