A new addition to their growing catalog, Ollech & Wajs has just announced an interesting new Valjoux 7753-powered chronograph. While many of their prior designs we’ve covered are thoroughly aviation-inspired, this new model exudes serious racing DNA to pay tribute to some of the earliest days of motor racing. Now, I’ve never been one for motorsports, and I’m definitely more into Ollech & Wajs designs like the reference 2834 24-Hour “Early Bird” GMT, but this new Rallychron is undoubtedly handsome. And, if you are into the whole racing thing, there are some little easter eggs built into the watch’s design that you’ll probably appreciate.

One thing I’ve noticed about Ollech & Wajs under its current management is that they don’t really “reissue” watches from the company’s past. I mentioned this while covering the 56 M limited edition and it’s something I’m admiring yet again. The Rallychron has a similar silhouette to some older Ollech & Wajs models along with those big baton hands, but the similarities practically stop there. This is a modern and capable watch measuring 39.5mm in diameter with 300m of water resistance. That’s wild for a watch that probably won’t see much water, but I appreciate that they’ve decided to “overbuild” the watch in this specific area. Ollech & Wajs also claim that the movement has been “highly tuned and track tested”, but it’s uncertain what kind of process they employed for that kind of testing.

Another special design element involves the black PVD-coated rotating, bidirectional friction fit bezel. Ollech & Wajs worked with Hervé Charbonneaux, a notable car collector and rally driver, to comb through archives of lap data, cross-sections of period-correct cars, and analysis of race seasons from 1965-1969. The idea was to theorize hypothetical perfect lap times for 11 of the world’s most iconic race tracks. These times are printed in orange throughout the entire bezel with the track names in white. Other design touches that pay tribute to this era are the checker flag-printed hands, the gray-colored dial meant to evoke memories of black & white photography, and a tachymeter scale. The twin chronograph pushers feature four gaskets, and there’s another pusher at 10 o’clock that adjusts your date—a bit out of left field, but I kind of like it!

These types of racing-inspired watches can be heavy-handed in their design elements. However, these little design cues are actually quite subtle and probably leave the watch feeling a little more universally appealing. One thing I do enjoy is the contrast between the darker sub-dials and the rest of the dial’s gray color. That, paired with the little orange accents, makes this watch a bit cooler than the typical “panda” style you see from a similar era. Something that might turn off some collectors is the 15.3mm case thickness. But that’s the same case thickness I’m used to on my IWC Pilot’s Chronograph, so I wouldn’t mind test-driving this if I got the chance.

Ollech & Wajs Rallychron Specifications

Case Size39.5mm (diameter) x 15.3mm (thickness)
Water Resistance300m
MovementAutomatic Valjoux 7753 chronograph
Case MaterialStainless Steel
Bracelet & StrapBlack leather racing-style strap, optional M-Heritage bracelet
Lug Width20mm
Price2,356 CHF

There may be a lot going on with the Ollech & Wajs Rallychron, but I can get behind it. For those who are into it, the Rallychron will be available on March 30th this year, and the first 56 pieces will have numbered crowns, which is apparently an Ollech & Wajs tradition. To learn more about the Rallychron, visit the brand’s official site.

Ollech & Wajs

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