Some names probably won’t sound familiar to a more extensive crowd, however can in any case be notable and exceptionally respected in some collectors’ communities. Ollech & Wajs, a Swiss brand brought into the world in 1956 and had some expertise in tool watches, is a valid example. It required more than 10 years to persuade Albert Wajs to pass on his brand… yet Ollech & Wajs (OW) is in the groove again with another, cool assortment of accessible tool watches (so, the brand’s claim to fame for decades).
Ollech & Wajs – short history
In 1956, Albert Wajs and his companion Joseph Ollech shaped an organization and opened a watch shop in Zurich. From the start they dispersed watches from Breitling and Omega however ultimately chose to build up their own image: OWZ, for Ollech & Wajs Zürich.
Joseph Ollech dealt with the commercial side of the brand while Albert Wajs was more on the specialized side of things in this venture – despite the fact that he was not a prepared watchmaker.
Albert Wajs immediately realized that OWZ ought to spend significant time in the get together of reliable and exact mechanical watches. He favored developments with strong reputations, from ETA, Dubois Dépraz, and Valjoux. He likewise sourced strong hardened steel cases from Maison Étienne. Craving carefully useful and clear dials, he got his stockpile from the Frères Lender du Locle, while the tritium hands were picked from Universo, in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
In 1959, the main watches were dispatched, with an attention on pilot, plunge and tool watches in general.
- 1959 Ollech & Wajs Diver – hand-wound or outfitted with programmed ETA developments, embraced by professional divers, like Global Marine (primary competitor of COMEX).
- 1964 Ollech & Wajs Aquaguard – an advancement of the diver’s idea, with a more powerful case
- 1964 Ollech & Wajs Caribbean 1000 – one of the brand’s most acclaimed watches, this model broke the 1964 world record for a creation watch, beating Rolex and Omega to the remote ocean, with a protected monobloc case justified to be water-resistant up to a profundity of 3,300 feet. The Caribbean was likewise embraced by Alberto Novelli and Cesare Olgjai, the two plunging world record holders, just as by Roberto Dei, on his North Pole and Red Sea undertakings in 1966 and in 1967.
- Ollech & Wajs mechanical chronographs – outfitted with a few registers, and Valjoux V72 or V92 developments, for example, the 1965 Navichron or the 1967 Astrochron
- 1969 Ollech & Wajs Selectron Calculator – a pilot watch with slide-rule utilized as an adding machine for common and military pilots. The Ollech & Wajs Selectron and Astrochron were received by a few individuals from NASA’s logical staff and executives.
The brand acquired distinction and respect among officers, divers and pilots around the planet, creating more than 10,000 watches per year before the finish of the 1960s. Ollech & Wajs zeroed in on tool watches during the 1970s with new 3-counter chronographs and a refreshed Caribbean diver.
Still, with the appearance of quartz watches, creation dropped to 2,000 units per year. Albert Wajs kept on committing himself to the creation of mechanical watches, without once amassing a solitary battery-powered watch.
In 1978, as Breitling shut down its tasks, Ollech & Wajs (alongside Sinn) purchased stocks and hardware from the acclaimed watch brand. Albert Wajs then resumed creation of the Navitimer, under the brand name Aviation, for more than two decades.
After Joseph Ollech kicked the bucket in 1992, Albert Wajs began another company, OW, which planned and created another line of sports watches – with a similar pilot/diver center the brand was respected for.
2017, after a long period of work and ten years of trades and networking, Albert Wajs gave the OW brand to a trusted and devoted gatherer who shares similar qualities and long haul vision for the brand.
The rebirth of Ollech & Wajs with new, accessible tool watches
When relaunching Ollech & Wajs, the thought was clear: keeping a similar soul as before, which means tool watches with pilot, diver or military motivation, attempted and-tried mechanical developments just, a style reminiscent of more seasoned models, utilitarian plan, reliable habillage and relatively accessible costs. Note that more than 90% of the components utilized are Swiss.
It all began with a case, which could undoubtedly be adjusted to future turns of events. Shared by all models, the case is a vigorous 39.56mm hardened steel base, stepped and later completely brushed (in the Swiss Jura) with a screw-down crown and caseback to give 300m water-resistance. Both of the new models feature a profoundly domed sapphire precious stone and a tempered steel turning bezel – once more, a feature that can be effortlessly traded to create different tool watches.
When creating Ollech & Wajs, the authors quickly realized that re-appropriating developments gave the best combination of availability and reliability. Today’s Ollech & Wajs (OW) watches actually rely on rethought developments from ETA – in this unique circumstance, the programmed ETA 2824, with 25 gems, 28,800 vibrations/hour and 38-hour power reserve. It features a customized Ollech & Wajs engraved mainplate and a rotor with the OW logo.
Two watches have been dispatched to stamp the rebirth of the brand. Both are utilitarian, tool watches with a reasonable recognition for past models. The first, the OW P-101, is a direct reverence to the MC Donnell F-101, the absolute first contender fly in help fit for surpassing 1,000 mph, establishing a world precedent in 1956. As you would expect, the watch has a solid military/pilot personality.
The dial of the OW P-101 is uncluttered and practical, with huge twirly doo markers and intense hands, all loaded up with brilliant material. The dial is brown, a tribute to vintage patinated watches, and old-radium colored lists reverberation the vintage motivation. The novel and unique hands are additionally in accordance with the DNA of more seasoned Ollech & Wajs watches.
This model is furnished with a bidirectional pilot’s bezel with a 12-hour scale. As referenced, inside is an ETA 2824-2, with date. The watch comes on a characteristic leather and cloth (inception Great Britain) tie and comes with a 3-year guarantee. The Ollech & Wajs OW P-101 is now accessible to arrange on OW’s e-shop, at CHF 956. It will likewise be dispersed by means of an organization of ensured watchmakers. The initial 56 pieces will be independently numbered.
The second model is the Ollech & Wajs OW P-104. While still dependent on a similar case as the OW P-101 (39.56mm x 12.5mm), this watch is inspired by the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. In this occurrence, it is the replacement of the Selectron line of pilot watches created by Ollech & Wajs.
The principle difference here is that the slide-rule bezel on this watch is intended to assist military and commercial pilots with performing computations allowing them to measure speed and distances, to figure flight time or fuel utilization. This watch features a complex dark turning bezel just as a dim internal spine to report calculations.
The dial of the OW P-104 is matte dark with larger than average markers and exchanging white and orange subtleties for most extreme readability. The hands are additionally very unique, with an upscale dark and orange moment hand. To complement this military/pilot style, the watch is worn on a striped texture NATO lash. Inside the case is a programmed ETA 2824-2 with date.
It comes with a 3-year guarantee. The Ollech & Wajs OW P-104 is now accessible to arrange on OW’s e-shop, at CHF 1,056. It will likewise be conveyed through an organization of confirmed watchmakers. The initial 56 pieces will be separately numbered.
More subtleties and orders at ow-watch.ch .
Photos by Frédéric Verhoye.