The OW 350CI: A Ollech & Wajs And Atelier Zevaco Collaboration

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Before we get to the intro, let’s take a moment to go back a couple of years. It’s 2019 at the Le Mans Classic. Engines firing up fill the soundscape and finely tuned racing machines speed around the Circuit de la Sarthe. There’s a palpable buzz in the air. Somewhere amongst the crowd, a small group of mechanical enthusiasts chat about bringing a project to reality which would combine the worlds of utilitarian horology with heritage, and iconic military motorcycle design. That leads us to today, where Ollech & Wajs and vintage motorcycle restoration specialist, Atelier Zevaco have collaborated to bring us the OW 350CI, a rugged military inspired field watch geared up to provide a second time zone. Let’s buckle up and take a closer look.

The OW 350CI gets its build inspiration from a fully restored Condor 350, an iconic motorcycle used by the Swiss military in the 70s and 80s. The dial comes in a deep khaki green with applied yellow toned cardinal hour indices, taking after the khaki painted metal frame of the Condor 350. The decently sized screw down crown, measuring at 6.10 mm, is built for left hand drive. The crown is not only strategically placed there for lefties, or for fellow righties that enjoy the comfort of an LHD set-up, but also to pay tribute to the reversed gearbox and inverted controls or “commandes inversées” of the Condor 350, hence the name OW 350CI.

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The rectangular lume-filled hour hand and dash-like lumed minute hand, along with the arrow tipped seconds hand and white markers (aside from the yellowed cardinal hour markers mentioned above), display the time legibly. Just like it’s utilitarian relatives of the past, such as the 1964 Aquaguard, 1965 Chronograph V92 and the 1971 Silvernight, the OW 350CI is equipped with a rotating 12 hour bezel with brushed finishing. Rotating the 12 hour bezel allows the user to keep track of a second time zone without worrying about the date setting, which by the way, tucks in at 6 and keeps the symmetry of the dial.

Under the hood and keeping time is the ever so reliable ETA 2824-2, which is an appropriate choice considering the reputation and heritage of watch making for Ollech & Wajs that follows, as well as their use of ETA movements, which dates back to the early 70s when military servicemen around the world entrusted O&W watches for their precision and robustness.

The case is entirely brushed and rendered in stainless steel. The case specs of the OW 350CI are what we look out for in modern tool watches of today; 39.56 mm wide excluding the crown, 12.5 mm tall and 49.5 lug to lug. The OW 350CI will come on a two piece khaki leather strap with yellow stitching to match nicely with the dial. That being said, in the press photos, Ollech & Wajs had the OW 350CI on their S-Type Mark II beads of rice bracelet and I must say, if it were up to me, I’m clicking “Add To Cart” for their steel bracelet as well.

It seems that Ollech & Wajs have made a complete watch with the OW 350CI. I’m keen on many things about this watch; the utility of a 12 hour bezel, the “double-take” appeal of an LHD and the vintage aesthetic of a beads of rice bracelet. The deep green khaki dial reminds me of all the similar colored outerwear in my closet that’s waiting to be worn with the change in weather in the weeks to come. The OW 350CI also looks like a versatile piece and would look at home on a Coyote ADPT single pass or even better on a black Model 2 leather strap. 

The OW 350CI is built for any outdoor adventure (the trip to the store around the corner counts) or for just tinkering around the garage. Either which way you use the OW 350CI, the soul of the Condor 350 will always be on wrist. The Ollech & Wajs OW 350CI is currently available and priced at CHF1,146. Ollech & Wajs

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.
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