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Ollech & Wajs 8001 Hands-On Review

Hands on Watch Reviews Ollech and Wajs Watches

Ollech & Wajs 8001

Integrated sports watches have been all the rage and OW pulled from their archives to create this Ollech & Wajs 8001. The 8001 is inspired by the OW Reference 8000 below and is updated for 2023. Well, I shouldn’t say updated as clearly, these are different watches. Still, they took that retro TV cushion chronograph design, and modernized It to a 3-hander date model, with a lot of water resistance, the familiar OW look that they have been doing the past few years, a massive crown, a Havana fume dial, and well a bracelet that is not going to fit everybody.

OW Reference 8000

Specifications:

39.5mm by 39.5mm stainless steel case
12.7mm thick
55mm “lug to lug”
187 Grams
Soprod Newton P092 COSC Movement
300m Water resistant
Sapphire Crystal
Screw Down case back and crown
Quick Extension bracelet

Price $2,034

https://ow-watch.ch/collections/ollech-wajs-watches/products/ow-8001

Let’s start with the overall look of the Ollech & Wajs 8001. I think this is a pretty cool and funky-looking piece and the big part of the appeal for me is the blocky case, with the all-squared-off design, and all-brushed finishing. This is not a standard design at all, and it was one of the things that initially drew me to this watch when I saw it last year. From a visual aspect, this watch stands out! The design is definitely out there from the side view especially, and from the top down it still has a distinctive look, but when wearing it on the wrist, that’s a bit of a different story.

And I am not going to make you wait to get to the real issue with this watch. I will discuss the dial and movement and everything else down below, but let’s not keep you in suspense. There is a big problem with this watch and it’s that not everyone is going to be able to wear it, and that is simply because of how this is integrated and lug construction. Now I really get into this in the video, but to condense it a little bit, basically, the lugs are made by the bracelet itself and they attach to a solid male link coming off that blocky case. Those “end links” also smack right up against the case, meaning there is no articulation whatsoever for the lugs. And the lugs point outwards, not down, so effectively this makes the lug to lug 55mm, on a watch that is only 39.5mm wide.

Ollech & Wajs 8001

As you can see in the above photo, that is going to make it interesting to wear for people with wrists smaller than, you know what, scratch that, it’s going to make it interesting for people with wrists, period. Yeah pretty much this is going to wear long and a little odd on pretty much anybody’s wrist and I think anyone considering this watch needs to be aware of it. The lugs do not curve at all, and in the above photo you can see how the top lugs are kind of kinked and there is a big gap underneath. That’s just how this watch wears. It looks like a bangle, a big, blocky bangle that tells time.
My wrist is 7.5 inches (19.05cm) and 55mm is the absolute limit for my flat wrist, and while it does technically fit, the lack of articulation in the lugs is just weird. If the lugs were able to swing and move down, or the case curved down, this would wear very differently, and even though it’s not uncomfortable, it is just a bit odd.

Ollech & Wajs 8001

The bracelet of the Ollech & Wajs is a chunky oyster-style bracelet with screws and a rachet quick extension clasp, although this is the older style, long clasp, not the newer sleeker ones, with this watch design, this blocky clasp works here. So you can size it easily and have a clasp that will allow you to get an even better fit, but it won’t do anything for how the lugs wear on your wrist. Unsized, this watch weighs around 187 grams, so it’s not exactly lightweight either.

Ollech & Wajs 8001

Okay, so I’ve covered how it wears, but what about the rest? Well, like I said, this design, I do love it. The dial of the Ollech & Wajs 8001 is a fume dial, a Havana fume dial to be exact, which means it has a brownish tinge to it, that can look grey in certain lighting and that gets lighter towards the center of the dial, which doesn’t work on every way but suits this piece just fine. And while there may be a few lines of text and a logo and the brand name on the dial, it doesn’t feel cluttered or overdone, mostly due to the fact the text and logo are all printed in white and seem to kind of just blend in. And of course, the date is located at the 6 o’clock position, my favorite place for a date and it keeps it all symmetrical.

Ollech & Wajs 8001

Weirdly though, only 3 indies are applied indices, the rest are painted on the dial, something OW has done with a few other watches in their lineup, and those are the only indices that are lumed as well. More on that in a bit. The overall dial layout is very similar to the OW 350CI, though the hour, minute, and second hand are right off the M-110 I reviewed a few months ago, with the hands and indices having that rough brushed finish, a finish that complements the brutalist design language of this watch.

The bezel is fixed, even though it has numbers and markers on it, and the large, almost 8mm crown adds to the style of this watch while also being very functional and easy to grasp and operate. The crown does screw down as does the case back and oddly enough this non-dive watch is rated to 300m of water resistance. This means you can pretty much take this to the ocean, to the lake, in that YMCA pool, or Niagra Falls and it should hold up well, but 300m is probably a little overkill for a watch that is not a dive watch. Still, it does make this kind of a GADA type of watch, though I am not sure this one would look good with a tux. People where Apple watches with tuxes these days, so what do I know?

Powering the Ollech & Wajs 8001 is the Soprod Newton P092 movement, a movement OW worked closely with Sorpod with, and this time it is COSC. OW used this movement in the OW M-110 and as I said with that model, I found no issues with it, winding and using the crown are very smooth, with the power reserve as stated. I know initial reports of this movement (not this modified OW one) stated it had crown issues and floaty hands, but I have experienced none of that in two different models. I will state my time before a review is usually limited to a few weeks, but I have not seen reports of issues with the OW models that have these movements. And like I said, this one is COSC and has been keeping time at 2 seconds fast per day.

As I mentioned earlier in this review, only 3 of the indices are lumed, along with the hour, minute, and secondhand arrow. Unfortuanly this is not the first watch from OW that I have experienced this with, and while the light blue (C1?) SuperlumiNova does glow well on the areas it is applied, I wish they had just lumed all of the indices.

Ollech & Wajs 8001

I was excited to get this watch in hand for review. Like really excited. I loved the look of it from the moment I saw it, and when the watch was on the way to me, I looked up a few reviews and saw the issue about the lugs and lack of articulation. Still, I thought, it can’t wear that bad, and it isn’t that long right? Well, I do not think it wears as bad as some claimed, and it’s not 60mm in overall length like some claimed either, but yes, this watch does not wear like I thought it was going to, or I guess I should say like I wished it would.
The look is still very attractive to me, and even at 39.5mm wide, which is generally smaller than I like, the watch head does not feel small to me, probably because of the blocky case and that large crown. I can wear this watch, and it’s quite the statement piece, but it’s not a watch I would probably wear often and while not uncomfortable, I am very aware of this big block of steel on my wrist while wearing it.

Ollech & Wajs 8001

At just a little over $2000, the Ollech & Wajs 8001 does have a lot to offer with the COSC movement, a unique and retro design, a beautiful dial, and very good build quality, but I think many will be put off by how this wears. I will say it doesn’t seem like OW is shying away from how it wears though, as even on their website there is a pic of a model with it on, and it is jetting off his wrist as well, more so than it does on mine. It seems this design and implementation of the lugs was clearly on purpose and this is the look they were going for. Still, I would have loved this watch so much more if the bracelet lugs were able to swing freely from the male end link and drop downwards. It would change the entire feel of the watch. Maybe one day Ollech and Wajs will make a 2.0 version. Until then, visit the OW website if this watch interests you or if you want to check out the rest of their lineup.

Ollech & Wajs 8001

I've been an avid watch lover since the age of 7. Watches are not only my hobby but a passion. My favorite style used to be dive watches, but field or non bezel watches have been growing on me. When I'm not reviewing watches I am either cooking or with family and friends.

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