Ollech & Wajs

Ollech & Wajs (O&W) is a watch company based in Zurich, Switzerland.[1]

O&W logo

HistoryEdit

In the 1950s Albert J. Wajs founded the company as a supplier of stainless steel bracelets. He partnered with Joseph Ollech in 1956 and expanded into the manufacture of wristwatches from retail space in Zurich.[2] Watches were offered by mail order from Switzerland through magazine ads to customers in the United States and UK.

 
O&W M1 diver model

The company specialized in automatic and manual-wind mechanical military and dive watches. They were sold in PX's on US military bases during the 1960s. The company's M 65 military watch was popular with US soldiers.[3] The Vietnam War era marked an all-time high in sales. Breitling Navitimer stock was used to produce Ollech & Wajs chronometer-style watches, called "Aviation".[4] During the first season of the 1970s British television series The Professionals, actors Martin Shaw and Lewis Collins wore what appear to be Ollech & Wajs Caribbean 1000 wristwatches.[5]

O&W finally ended production of OW models in the early 1980s, although business continued with the Aviation chronographs.[6] In the 1990s, the company resumed under the name A.I. Wajs.[7] and subsequently OW. New models were successfully introduced, such as the M4 diving watch and the Mirage Valjoux 7750 chronograph.

In 2006 a collector of OW became the distributor of the brand for the French market, and in 2017, Albert J. Wajs passed the company over to him.[8]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ollech & Wajs relaunches brand with two new Pilot watches". Professional Watches. 24 July 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  2. ^ Love, Zen (13 March 2019). "This Obscure Tool Watch Brand Is Back with New Timepieces". Gear Patrol. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  3. ^ http://ow-watch.com/historic.html O&W France, History
  4. ^ "Montres Breitling, une légende née dans les cockpits". Capital. Capital.fr. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  5. ^ http://www.mark-1.co.uk/Professionals/hardware.htm The Authorised Guide to The Professionals
  6. ^ http://chronotime.ch/ Chronomaster, History of Ollech & Wajs
  7. ^ http://www.chronotime.ch/about_us.htm About Ollech & Wajs
  8. ^ "History". ow-watch.com. Ollech & Wajs, precision A.G. Retrieved 19 February 2018.

External linksEdit