Sunday, February 26, 2023

The Astrochron From Ollech & Wajs Zurich

Editor's Note - James Henderson represents Ollech & Wajs in the US and Canada. This post is not a review or endorsement, only a reposting of the official Ollech & Wajs press release. 

Courtesy of Ollech & Wajs Zurich

                 THE OW ASTROCHRON: 


The OW Astrochron story began in Zürich nearly 60 years ago, amidst history’s most ambitious era of exploration. The race to go faster, further and deeper had the world poised at the edge of several new frontiers, the most notable being outer space. The astral realm represented the ultimate in exploration and inspired the name of the famous Ollech & Wajs 1967 ‘triple-register’ chronograph. 

Courtesy of Ollech & Wajs Zurich

Perhaps it was inevitable that NASA’s most prestigious scientists would be amongst the elite professionals that used the Astrochron’s various dials and scales (Chief Rocket Scientist - Werner Von Braun amongst them). Engineers, sportsmen, commercial and military divers, pilots and ships officers were also fast to appreciate the value of such a rugged and water-resistant precision timing instrument.

Courtesy of Ollech & Wajs Zurich

Only a chronograph of exceptional quality would be worthy of continuing the Astrochron legacy today, and we had endeavoured to ensure this new interpretation is equal to the challenge. With a water-resistance of 50 atm (500 m), the new model more than doubles the depth rating of the original and far exceeds Swiss chronograph standard. Other updates include a 360-degree rotating compass bezel and a 20 minute diver’s scale. These additional utilities, combined with a five-minute Regatta counter, extra-thick sapphire crystal and unique four-gasket pusher system, make the new OW Astrochron as proficient on the ocean as it is under and over it.

Courtesy of Ollech & Wajs Zurich

Inside the brushed 316L stainless steel case is a descendant of the historic Valjoux 72 movement that powered the first Astrochrons. A custom-engraved automatic Valjoux 7753, with an OW machined rotor set onto it, is regulated, adjusted and power-tested in five positions at our workshop in the Swiss Jura, thereby qualifying for the OW Precision rating.

As a final tribute to its forebear, the new chronograph revives the distinctive North Atlantic blue dial of 1968.

Whether you’re exploring a wreck, exploring a theory or just gazing up at the stars and exploring the possibilities, the new OW Astrochron could well be the perfect chronograph. The first 56 numbered OW Astrochron S will be available to reserve via the OW website from March 10th and will be priced Swiss franc 2,496 



Year 2023

39.56 mm X 16.8 mm

Brushed 316L stainless steel, screwed back, screw-down crown, twin pushers with 4 gaskets. Date adjusted by special diving pusher at 10 o’clock. Rotating 360-degree compass bezel with cardinal direction markers and an angle scale / 60 mn diver’s bezel. Manufactured in Jura, Switzerland.

Semi-domed sapphire with anti-glare treatment

Hands and indexes in Super-LumiNova® A seconds register, a 12 hour totalizer and 30 minute totalizer incorporating a Regatta counter.

Water resistance
500m/ 50 atm

Automatic Valjoux 7753 OW PRECISION 5 position adjusted, 27 Jewels. 28,800 bph, with a power reserve of +/- 54 h. Mainplate engraved Ollech & Wajs Zurich 1956, and OW machined rotor

Swiss Made

20mm 316L stainless steel beads of rice, OW S-Type Mark II


In 1956 two Swiss watch specialists, Joseph Ollech and Albert Wajs, founded Ollech & Wajs. Prizing precision, robustness and durability above all things, the two associates sought only the best components to assemble the finest of wristwatches in their workshop. The Zurich-based company has ever since been dedicated to the creation of mechanical watches equal to any challenge.

The simple OW monogram quickly became known and respected on several fronts. Military and aviation watches proved popular among on American GIs and airmen, who needed a sturdy and reliable time piece in the battlefields of Vietnam. Test pilots and scientists depended on watches like the OW Selectron, with its integrated slide rule performing as a calculator, including those all the way up to the NASA headquarters.

Underwater, OW’s divers line has won the hearts of deep-sea explorers and diving clubs since the ground-breaking debut of the Caribbean 1000 in 1964. With its patented stainless steel monobloc case, certified to be water-resistant up to a depth of 3,300 ft, the Caribbean 1000 enabled OW to set a new world record, ahead of Omega and Rolex. As well as being combat-proven in Vietnam, OW watches were worn by members of the Red Arrows, the French Air Force, record-breaking skin divers, early oil-field divers, British CI5 agents, legendary Cream bassist Jack Bruce, and at least one Apollo era astronaut. All this in spite never actually applying the full company name to a single watch dial.

Upon Albert Wajs' retirement in 2016, OW was acquired by a long-term collector and distributor of the brand. In 2017 a new collection of exceptional timepieces was unveiled, exemplifying the original vision of Joseph Ollech and Alberts Wajs and equal to the challenges of the 21st century.

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