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Ollech & Wajs Release Rallychron Chronograph with ‘Perfect Lap’ Bezel

Ollech and Wajs Rallychron

Ollech & Wajs has really hit their stride in the last few years. They’ve evolved from producing occasional under the radar launches to a pretty full release schedule getting mainstream attention within the industry. So far, this year has already seen the M-52B AF and OW Astrochron chronograph (which we reviewed in issue 100 of Oracle Time magazine). Their latest timepiece is another chronograph, the motorsport-inspired Ollech & Wajs Rallychron.

Let me start by saying that never have I seen a watch that was so perfectly designed to meet the aesthetic I personally love as this is. Grey, black and orange is my absolute favourite combination of colours and the Rallychron balances them all perfectly. The steel of the 39.5mm heritage inspired case contrasts nicely with the black bezel and anthracite dial. Which in turn contrasts well with the flash of orange on the hands and the custom bezel markings.

Ollech and Wajs Rallychron

It’s worth zooming in on the custom bezel more because it’s the most unique element of the watch. On the inside is a tachymeter scale but around the periphery it features the names of 11 of the most iconic racetracks from the 60s followed by the mathematically derived ‘perfect lap time’. These lap times are purely hypothetical and created in collaboration with Hervé Charbonneaux, a well-known classic car collector and author. He analysed a huge number of races from the 1965-1969 seasons at each of the 11 tracks accounting for race conditions, race cars at the time (Ferrari 312, Cooper Maserati, McLaren M4B) and more to calculate the perfect lap time at each circuit for the period.

In watchmaking terms, it has no particular function, and its hypothetical nature means it’s not a celebration of specific historical occasions. Instead, it’s purely a conversation starter designed to encourage debate and discussion among racing fans. It feels like the watch should come with an almanac of race information and statistics that support its hypotheses.

Ollech and Wajs Rallychron
Ollech and Wajs Rallychron

If you’re not a race fan it’s also just as likely to create conversation because of how odd of a direction it is to take for the bezel – surely it makes more sense to pick a single year and just include the fastest laps from each course and call it a tribute to those specific (and real) races. I’m also glad they didn’t take that route though because I kind of love how bizarre it is.

Beyond the cool colour selection and the intriguing bezel, the Rallychron is a pretty conventional tricompax chronograph. It has central hours and minutes with race flag inspired markings, a central chronograph hand and then a trio of subdials for small seconds, 30-minute timer and a 12-hour timer that intersects the date window at 6 o’clock. They haven’t reinvented the chronograph wheel, but they don’t need to.

Ollech & Wajs Rallychron

Beneath the surface and protected by a solid steel caseback is the Valjoux 7753 automatic chronograph OW PRECISION 5 movement. This is actually the modern descendent of the Valjoux 72 calibre that Ollech & Wajs used in several chronographs during the 60s. The OW PRECISION 5 rating is an in-house certification the denotes that the movement has been regulated, adjusted and power-tested in five positions. It has a power reserve of 54-hours, which is very good.

Ollech and Wajs Rallychron

The Ollech & Wajs Rallychron is presented on a vintage style perforated leather racing strap. Although it’s also compatible with OW’s mesh bracelet, which is available as an optional accessory. Following the brand’s traditions, the first 56 pieces will feature numbered crowns prior to the standard collection with the standard crown. It’s priced at CHF 2,356 (approx. £2,100) with the mesh bracelet adding a further CHF 126 (approx. £110). Not exactly accessible but the movement is really good, and the case is great too with 300m water resistance, so I think it’s justified. On the whole, just a really strong chronograph that has a novel bezel.

Price and Specs:

Model: Ollech & Wajs Rallychron
Case: 39.5mm diameter x 15.3mm thickness, brushed stainless steel, black PVD coated bezel with 11 perfect lap times and tachymeter scale
Dial: Grey with chequered baton hands and orange tipped chronograph hands
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Valjoux calibre 7753, automatic, 27 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 54h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Strap: Black leather with natural tan underside and OWZ1952-engraved thorn buckle with an optional hand-brushed stainless steel mesh bracelet with OW-engraved thorn buckle
Price: CHF 2,356 (approx. £2,100) with optional bracelet available for an extra CHF 126 (approx. £110), first 56 watches will be numbered and must be reserved via email, available to order online from 30th March 2024

More details at Ollech & Wajs.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.