Ollech & Wajs Issues the OW 56 M, a Limited Edition Made from Mostly New Old Stock and Up-Cycled Components

We’ve seen a number of compelling releases from Ollech & Wajs in the years since the brand was relaunched, but the new OW 56 M is something genuinely different, and not simply another plumbing of the back catalog. At a glance, the OW 56 M resembles any number of other Ollech & Wajs releases. It has a brutish charm about, presents as a true tool, and is without any unnecessary adornment. But this watch sets itself apart with the literal components it’s made from, with a number of the watch’s parts being new old stock or refurbished from an earlier Ollech & Wajs era. 

The 38mm case used for the OW 56 M has been upcycled from stock originally acquired by Ollech & Wajs in the 1990s. While the brand doesn’t provide exact manufacture dates for the cases, they say they were acquired in the late 90s, but made “several years earlier.” If that puts the manufacturing period at sometime in the late 80s or early 90s, we’re looking at cases that are right on the edge of vintage. The design of the case itself is straightforward, and right in line with the brand’s pilot watches that date back to their inception in 1956. 

The movements are ETA 2824, and are taken from OW’s unused stock. All movements used for the 56 M have been serviced and reconditioned after a prolonged period of sitting on the proverbial shelf. Of course, the ETA 2824 is one of the most reliable workhorse movements, with untold thousands in working without incident over many decades, so it’s quite likely the eventual owners of the 56 M will have an experience similar to what they’d get with watches powered by modern ETA 2824 equivalents. 

Ollech & Wajs notes that the plexiglass crystal and dial have also been upcycled from unused stock. The crystal, of course, will give the watch a very specific look on the wrist, as the optics of plexiglass differ markedly from sapphire. The dial is simple, with lumed markers at the hours, and Arabic numerals counting off the minutes in five minute increments. To differentiate this new edition from vintage Ollech & Wajs watches and more contemporary releases, the brand has printed their entire name on the dial, rather than the traditional “OW” wordmark that has been the standard for its entire existence. This will make this highly limited edition immediately recognizable to collectors, and perhaps even make it more enticing given the unusual nature of seeing the whole name spelled out near the 6:00 position. 

Ollech & Wajs is making only 56 of the OW 56 M, and has set the retail price at CHF 1,356. More information can be found at the brand’s website, here.

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.