Monochrome Watches
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The Ollech & Wajs OW 8001 is an Ultra-Robust Take on the 1970s Integrated Sports Watch

This retro-modern timepiece has a rugged appeal worthy of contemporary adventurers.

| By Denis Peshkov | 4 min read |

Amidst the rapid expansion of the steel sports watch with an integrated bracelet category, selecting the right (meaning available and accessible) timepiece has become increasingly complex. However, this watch by O&W (the contemporary side of Ollech & Wajs) stands out distinctly amidst the influx of new models. Rooted in the legitimate design ethos of the 1970s, when the sports watch category was born, the Ollech & Wajs OW 8001 exudes a robust, durable feel capable of withstanding rigorous use. Moreover, it houses a movement officially certified for its accuracy and durability, yet it maintains a price point devoid of luxury add-ons. Notably, the watch’s aesthetic appeal matches its accessibility, making it a compelling choice for enthusiasts. Join us in exploring the details of this noteworthy timepiece that we thoroughly enjoyed examining.

The Ollech & Wajs OW 8001 draws inspiration from the brand’s 1973 creation, the Ref. OW 8000 – a steel, 7750-equipped chronograph with a distinctive rectangular case, integrated bracelet and a “Havana brown fumé” TV-style dial. The new OW 8001 features a tonneau-shaped case with a round dial, an integrated bracelet, and a focus on recreating the unique feel and character of the classic rather than a direct reinterpretation. While you can observe some similarities, such as the sharp sides, virtually absent lugs, and the dial’s colour, the OW 8001 is a contemporary watch designed to celebrate the spirit of the 1970s, not to mimic it.

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Crafted from 316L stainless steel, the brushed tonneau-style solid-slab case of the OW 8001 measures 39.56mm in diameter, with a height of 12mm – thicker than the usual integrated sports watch, but there’s a reason for that. Its robust construction, with a screwed bottom and crown, contributes to an impressive 300m water resistance. The fixed bezel features numerals at 5-minute intervals and round markers in Super-LumiNova. The fluted crown is ergonomically sized for comfortable operation, and while the watch offers wrist comfort, some may find the lugs need to be a little more articulated. 

With a substantial feel and weight of 200 grams, the OW 8001 exudes sturdiness – a characteristic contributing to its allure as a solid, functional tool watch. It is a watch with classic integrated-style credentials, but it doesn’t compromise the brand’s values of ultra-robustness either. This biased take sets it apart from the crowd and gives this watch quite some character. 

The double-lacquered fumé dial of the OW 8001 showcases various hues depending on the light, ranging from shades of grey to occasional hints of brown, always complementing the watch’s robust appearance. Encircling the dial’s periphery is a pronounced minute track accompanied by baton indices printed in Super-LumiNova along its inner edge. At 12, 3, and 9 o’clock, larger applied indices filled with lume enhance visibility, while the date aperture occupies the 6 o’clock position. The hour and minute baton hands, also featuring Super-LumiNova, match the width of the applied indices, further enhancing readability.

Powering the OW 8001 is an automatic COSC-certified chronometer Soprod Newton Precision P092 calibre with a 44-hour power reserve. While the autonomy may not be exceptional, the P092 movement underwent rigorous testing, in addition to the COSC certification, for dependability and durability at the Laboratoire Dubois in Chaux-de-Fonds, earning a Chronofiable certification. Built with 23 jewels and operating at 28,800 vibrations per hour, the movement is said to maintain accuracy within +/-3 seconds per day. The screwed solid caseback does not let you peek into the inner works; it bears the brand’s logo and some necessary information, including a somewhat perplexing Pilot mention that graces the casebacks of other OW references with a much more evident aviation theme.

In the realm of integrated bracelet watches, attention to detail is paramount, and the OW 8001’s three-row oyster-style stainless steel bracelet exudes both style and ruggedness. Its chunky design complements the watch’s utilitarian character, enhancing its overall feel of robustness. Noteworthy is the milled clasp, which offers a double pusher-release system for micro-adjustment, allowing the bracelet to extend up to 22mm – a feature that beautifully adds practicality. The Ollech & Wajs OW 8001, available for order with an approximate 6-week delivery time, comes with a price tag of CHF 1,856.

Established in 1956, Ollech & Wajs may not be a household name. Still, it has a legacy of watchmaking achievements and remains one of the few Swiss brands that has steadfastly eschewed quartz movements throughout its history. The OW 8001, with its robust appearance, is likely to resonate with individuals seeking a sturdy and solid timepiece boasting commendable specifications. With COSC certification, 300m water resistance, and a price under 2,000 Swiss francs, the OW 8001 is a compelling choice for those searching for a reliable and rugged watch with a cool factor.

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5 responses

  1. Interesting choice to have 300m WR and a dive like extension at the clasp but a fixed bezel which I get adds to the aesthetics. Perhaps it would have be worth having an external rotating bezel that was progressed by a second crown like Longines’ or JLC’s internal bezel. And yes, I understand they have the second crown because it’s internal, just trying to avoid knurling on the OW to keep everything nice and crisp.

  2. I’m confused as to why you’d include so many photos of the watch straight on and not a single photo of the watch’s profile.


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