What a pleasant find! An affordable ETA 2824-2 watch from a Swiss company. The Ollech and Wajs M-65 watch is available from Gnomon Watches or West Coast Time, but the NATO style dial is only available from West Coast Time. Service from WCR was prompt and friendly. The proprietor, Howard Marx answered emailed several questions very promptly before I placed the order, and created a feeling of personalized service. The packaging was unassuming, with a simple but sturdy box.

The watch itself is somewhat diminutive by current standards, less than 37mm without the crown, an even 40mm with the crown, 41mm lug to lug, with an 18mm strap. It’s 11mm thick, but this is partially due to the acrylic crystal, which extends 2.5mm above the bezel. The acrylic seems a little out of character on a modern automatic watch, but this watch is made to a Viet Nam War era specification, and was made as an alternative to the issue and Timex watches available to U.S. soldiers and sold in the PXs in Viet Nam. The dial markings on this variation are similar to those found on British military watches like the ones made by CWC or MWC. I selected the NATO style for the simpler dial, without the O&W logo. With the brown leather strap, it has a retro 1940s look that goes well in casual and business settings without being excessively showy. A black strap or steel bracelet take it up a step in dressiness, but lose that WWII flavor. The movement is an ETA 2824-2, a very reputable movement, and so far has kept time beautifully. It is water resistant to 5 atm, but with the leather strap, I haven’t put this to the test. I’m inclined to have faith in the rating, as the crown is a screw-down type with a gasket. The luminescent markings are adequate, and hold a reasonable degree of brightness through the night. The workmanship is simple but well executed, and with the smaller size and lighter weight, it is an extremely comfortable day to day watch.

Overall, I am very satisfied with this watch, and have worn it almost continuously for two weeks now. I’ll be getting a nylon strap for it, so I don’t trash the leather when I’m not in an office setting, but other than that I’m as pleased as I can be with it and whole heartedly recommend O&W and West Coast Time.

ByJohn Biggs

John lives in Brooklyn and has loved watches since he got his first Swatch Irony automatic in 1998. He is the editor of WristWatchReview.

8 thoughts on “Review: Ollech and Wajs M-65 with NATO dial”
  1. Great find John! Funny, my father has the same watch. He bought it at a watch fair we visited together. I think it was NOS and paid around 60 euro for it. He wears it constantly, since 6 or 7 years now. He had it serviced and regulated once. Never saw him with his Omega Geneve or Constellaton again. He only wears this particular watch.

    Have fun with it.

  2. Ben, Time will tell. I haven’t taken it into any harsh, abrasive enviroments yet (at least not physically abrasive). But, as the proprietor of WCT pointed out, commercial plastic polish should clear up scratches. As I learn more, I’ll share.

    The edge of the lens is squared off, and I’m watching for chipping there too. Now what’s interesting, as I look at it, there is a wear-mark/scratch on the metal case adjacent to the lens, but no scratch on the acrylic. I like to think that bodes well, but time will tell.

  3. Superb blog. Thanks for the information, it is very useful. I visited a site and it’s also cool, I’d like to share my wrist watchesdirectory. Complete lists of sites all about wrist watches and more… Check this one out!

  4. Well what a nice surprise I never knew this place was around and I still love the knife in the photo.
    As to wear and tear on the acrylic crystal they hold up and all you need when you have scratches is a one
    step car polish or low grit simoniz and 2 minutes on
    a cotton ball or sock and the crytal becomes water clear again
    thanks again for all the kind words here

  5. Ive had an O&W automatic for several years. Has worked perfectly. Keeps dead on time. Wouldnt sell back for twice the price I paid.

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