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 Zurich. Watches were 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's officials, including Mr Von Braun, actually wore an OW watch.
Here we have an Ollech & Wajs OW P-101 Pilot with a 40mm brushed stainless steel case. Clean, crisp edges lead to tapering curved lugs for a comfortable fit. On the right side, a large screw-down signed crown for easy adjustment. The lug to lug length of 49mm and a thickness of 12.5mm gives the watch excellent wrist presence. An all-black bi-directional 12-hour bezel precisely marked in pale yellow. Its coin edging makes for easy turning. A domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with AR coating sits above a matte black dial. Applied baton indexes are coated in pale yellow Super Luminova to match the bezel. The baton handset has a unique ladder pattern application of Super LumiNova. It is complemented by a broad arrow sweeping seconds hand. At 6 o’clock a date window. On the reverse, a stainless steel screw-down case back with the logo in the center deeply engraved. Inside an Automatic ETA 2824-2, modified engraved main plate and rotor. 25 Jewels, 28,800 Beats per hour. It has hand winding and hacking functionality. It is fitted on a 20mm leather strap with a signed buckle.
We have been fortunate enough to have had a few Ollech & Wajs' in over the years and all have gone down very well with collectors, they offer a hint of vintage with everything we love about modern watches.