Ollechs & Wajs is not a new brand. But they are recently revived. After 40 years of near-dormancy, the brand was spun back up in 2017 and fully relaunched in 2019. From their founding in 1956, the brand has focused on sport and tool watches, and that’s no different today. Up until it was brought back, and still today, Ollech &Wajs pieces have been loved by vintage watch enthusiasts.
The Ollech & Wajs Ocean Graph revisits the hyphenated “Ocean-Graph” from 1968, made right in the middle of the brand’s first period. And it’s a compelling offering with substantial water resistance, a robust case, and a beautiful color scheme.
On the Wrist
No two ways about it, the Ollech & Wajs Ocean Graph is a great looking watch. The dial is highly legible with no worry of confusion. And while the same can’t be said of the bezel, it is easy to operate. The jumbo crown is one of the best I’ve ever used.
The Ocean Graph has almost no curve, and smaller wrists may find it a bit large as it’s quite true to its lug-to-lug and height dimensions. That said, I found it wore easily on my 7-inch wrist, perhaps aided by the flexibility of the amazing beads of rice bracelet.
You probably don’t try to read your watch at this much of an angle, but look at how much the domed crystal bends the dial. You could–if you really wanted–read at such an angle for 20 minutes between 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, twice a day. Talk about versatility.
As you’ll see through the review, the Ocean Graph is easy to pair with a variety of straps. Though given it’s limited case curve, NATO straps do make the watch wear a bit high.
I really love the dial of the Ocean Graph. It’s engaging and incredibly legible, and blue with orange is always a winner in my book. The Achilles heel is the bezel insert, which is so preposterously crammed with a three-ring decompression scale as to render it completely useless. Even setting it back to zero is hard as the triangle is small enough to require squinting (or Lasik). I was visiting a non-watch friend in New York the other week and had the Ocean Graph on the wrist. He leaned over, looked at the bezel, and said “But no one can use that, right?”
I’ve always loved the Ollech & Wajs logo (I’ve heard tell it’s just a highly stylized ampersand), but my favorite part of this dial are the brushed hands and applied cardinal markers. The deep finishing on them against the smooth applied lume offers great contrast and lets them catch the light and stand out against the matte dial.
It’s like a plinth, that marker.
Even the date window has the sharp brushing, matching the 6 o’clock nub below.
The lume application confirms my suspicion that this is not a true diver: there’s no lume on the bezel to track dives or ascents. And the lume that is present is mediocre if fun, with its two colors.
Case and Bracelet
The execution on the Ollech & Wajs Ocean Graph case is top class. The brushing is well-defined and the transitions are crisp. The crown is perfectly sized and has a satisfactory tension that instills a feeling of quality. The bezel is easy to grip thanks to its pronounced coin edge, turns well, and has no backplay. (NB: Ignore the blued logo on the crown; that’s from the protective tape and I wasn’t about to get in there with a toothpick. Sorry.)
Two things here. Look at the size of that domed crystal–wowza! They’re really leaning into the vintage vibe (nothing wrong with that). As you saw above, it can dramatically affect the dial at an angle. Second–and this is a subjective aesthetic nitpick–I’d rather the endlinks have been blocked at the ends to match the lugs. As is, they match the rest of the links, and that’s just fine.
This is beads of rice like you’ve never seen it. While undoubtedly one of the heaviest bracelets I’ve ever encountered, it’s well worth it. The ridge along each brushed bead adds definition that is usually lacking on this style of bracelet, and makes it that much better. The only downside is the push-button clasp, which appears to be stamped (not milled). While I didn’t have any issues with it staying fastened, I expected something more substantial and higher quality, in line with the rest of the watch.
Even the back of the links look nice, don’t they? And here’s a cool feature: the lugs feature two sets of holes. One drilled set is for the bracelet, and the other is positioned closer to the case for straps straps; this avoids an awkward strap gap. Also, did you know they decorated the rotor even though you can’t see it? Silly.
Since their return, Ollech & Wajs seem dead set on rehashing their subjectively iconic watches. With many brands, that’s truly dangerous territory, but with OW, there seem to be enough hits that it’s hard to blame them. Or at least their new releases make me feel that way.
The Ocean Graph is no exception, and it’s modern interpretation is a joy to wear. While it’s technically not suitable for proper diving, the reality is you weren’t going to use it for anything but a quick dip anyway. Maybe snorkeling. And because of that, the quibbles I might have about lume, the clasp, or bezel utility are moot. What we’re left with, then, is a exceptionally robust watch with great design.
Check out more dive watch reviews at the Watch Clicker
Check out the Ollech & Wajs website
Ollech & Wajs Ocean Graph Specs
*Height of the watch from the wrist to the top of the crystal