For some reason, Ollech & Wajs has always been one of those brands that I’ve deeply admired from afar. We’ve brought up their designs on the podcast before and covered some of their prior releases pretty regularly. They seem to be operating in a vacuum—doing whatever they want while offering some pretty compelling pieces at decent prices. Now, they’ve announced the Ollech & Wajs 56 M—an interesting and highly-limited piece that combines new old stock and refurbished parts along with modern components. It’s the kind of stuff I like to see a brand do, without caving to any pressure or watch enthusiast expectations.
I’ve noticed something about Ollech & Wajs. While they regularly tease some seriously sexy vintage designs and renders on their Instagram, I don’t believe the brand has ever released a true 1:1 vintage reissue in its current state. It just doesn’t seem to be their thing at this point. Something always clearly sets the contemporary models apart from their vast catalog of vintage pieces. In the case of the 56 M, this differentiation can be found on the dial, which features the entire brand name printed at 6 o’clock. While it’s difficult to say if this is just a rarity or something that they’ve never done, it’s a cool trait for a watch limited to just 56 pieces. This also doesn’t seem like any direct tie-in to a vintage Ollech & Wajs model.
According to Ollech & Wajs, the case, crystal, and movement are all new old stock. The brand apparently came into possession of the cases in the late-90s. As a 90s kid, calling these vintage makes me … sad, but I guess that’s the reality I’m facing. This case paired with an NOS plexiglass crystal gives the watch a real vintage look, with case dimensions to go along with it. Oh, and another cool Easter egg; those dots and dashes engraved on the fixed bezel spell out “SOS” in Morse code. It’s not practical by any means but it’s just another fun and unique feature found in a very limited watch.
Ollech & Wajs 56 M Specs
- Case Diameter: 38mm
- Case Thickness: 11.5mm
- Lug-to-Lug: 45mm
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Water Resistance: 50m
- Movement: ETA 2824 automatic movement
- Power Reserve: 38 hours
- Crystal: Plexiglass
- Bracelet: Stainless steel mesh bracelet
- Price: 1,356 CHF
Inside, Ollech & Wajs went with refurbished ETA 2824 movements, which are becoming harder to come by if you don’t fall within a very specific family of brands. By now, we all know how well these movements work out and serviceability will be a guaranteed breeze down the road. The matching stainless steel bracelet seems robust and modern. But if it ain’t your thing, the 20mm lugs will allow you to match this with practically any kind of strap you want.
Again, the Ollech & Wajs 56 M is limited to just 56 pieces and you can learn more about the model on the brand’s official site.
Michael Peñate is an American writer, photographer, and podcaster based in Seattle, Washington. His work typically focuses on the passage of time and the tools we use to connect with that very journey. From aviation to music and travel, his interests span a multitude of disciplines that often intersect with the world of watches – and the obsessive culture behind collecting them.