Ollech & Wajs’ Astrochron S Combines a 500 WR Dive Chronograph with a Compass Bezel and Regatta Counter

If I had a time machine to visit any point in history, my adventurous spirit would punch in the year 1969. This was already a period rich with daring exploration, technological innovation, and historical achievement that inevitably led to the culmination of the Space Race with NASA putting a man on the moon. But that wasn’t the only “high stakes” race going on at the time. Watch brands all over the world were jockeying for position to see who could make the most robust tool watch for explorers foraying into the most extreme conditions including the unknown depths of the ocean, mountainous death zones, and of course, outer space. Ollech & Wajs was one of the brands that were most certainly in the mix with their own multi-functional triple register chronograph aptly dubbed the Astrochron.

The Astrochron’s distinctive multi-scale display made it a popular choice among engineers and scientists in NASA’s research and development lab including Chief Rocket Scientist, Werner Von Braun, or otherwise known as the “father of space travel.” Equipped with a rotating 12 hour bezel, tachymeter scale on the dial, chronograph timer, and a slew of other attractive tool watch features, the Astrochron found its way onto the wrists of sportsmen, pilots, and ship officers alike. Recently, Ollech & Wajs has decided to revisit the design and one glance will confirm that this isn’t your original 1967 Astrochron. With the new refresh, Ollech & Wajs’ already capable multi-functional chronograph just got, well, more capable.


Split bezels seem to be an ongoing theme we’ve been seeing this year. More commonly, we’ve seen a 12-hour scale integrated into a diver bezel, but Ollech & Wajs has other ideas as to what information should be displayed across the bezel. We still get an elapsed time display, but in this contemporary version of the Astrochron S, we also get a compass scale. Ollech & Wajs is no stranger to using an azimuth ring display on the bezel, as they introduced it in their M110 field watch late last year. The compass portion of the bezel angles downwards towards the bezel’s grip and uses black markers against a steel background to assist with getting your bearings out in the field. The slimmer and flatter portion of the bezel displays a count-up timer separated into two different tones – a white bezel with blue accents providing a 20 minute diver scale and the remaining portion of the bezel using a matte gray color with white accents.

Ollech & Wajs has also doubled down on the Astrochron S by doubling its water resistance rating. As it currently stands, the new Astrochron is capable of hitting 500 meters without breaking a sweat. Ollech & Wajs has also tightened up the case by using a 4-gasket system within their twin pushers. But with the significant increase in depth rating, comes a significant increase in thickness. The Astrochron S comes in at 16.8mm in height, and despite the fact it is balanced by a 39mm case width, the chronograph could potentially have the hockey puck feel and aesthetic. The Astrochron S also has a nifty pusher feature tucked into the case at ten o’clock that adjusts the date, alleviating that responsibility from the screw down crown.

The dial gets the North Atlantic blue dial which pays respect to the original 1968 Astrochron. Also like the original Astrochron, three sub registers are positioned within the dial – a 30 minute totalizer that also includes a five minute regatta counter at three o’clock, a 12 hour totalizer at six o’clock and a running seconds at nine o’clock. When Ollech & Wajs dabbles with color, they lean into more faded matte tones. The Astrochron S uses a mix of blues and grays, which along with the steel casing come together quite nicely as if the watch was one cohesive shade, while using subtle patterns to easily read the different timing scales.

The Astrochron S is powered by the Valjoux 7753, a descendent of the iconic Valjoux 72 which was used within its predecessors. Adjusted and regulated within Ollech & Wajs’ workshop in the Swiss Jura, the movement is adjusted in 5 different positions, has 54 hours of power reserve and has a machined Ollech & Wajs rotor adorned with an engraving of the brand’s wordmarking. Accompanying the Astrochron S is Ollech & Wajs’ S-Type Mark II beads of rice stainless steel bracelet. Each bead and link are individually machined before they’re brushed, assembled and screwed by hand. The bracelet is secured by a dual button deployant clasp signed with the OW logo.

The Astrochron S is currently available directly through Ollech & Wajs with the first 56 models numbered and retails for $2,737. Ollech & Wajs

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Thomas is a budding writer and an avid photographer by way of San Diego, California. From his local surf break to mountain peaks and occasionally traveling to destinations off the beaten path, he is always searching for his next adventure, with a watch on wrist, and a camera in hand. Thomas is a watch enthusiast through and through; having a strong passion for their breadth of design, historical connection, and the stories that lie within each timepiece.