Watch Review Ollech &Wajs ID3077
I received this one from Howard Marx with the intention to use it as a base for modifications. Upon arrival I realized this was not going
to work, as the dial size is 30mm (larger than the typical Submariner clone) and the MkII dials which I intended to use are only
available in 28mm and 32mm. In fact this watch is a bit larger than a Submariner in most dimensions, making it look noticeably
bigger, even more so than the specifications would suggest.
After my initial disappointment I figured I would price it for a quick sale and just flip it for another. But after looking at it for a bit I
decided to wear it, and I have found it to be a very nice watch. Here are my thoughts after a couple of weeks wear:
Case: Stainless steel with screw on back. One detail that attracted me to this watch is the lugs are drilled all the way through, allowing
use of full-width shoulderless spring bars. This method is nearly as strong as solid fixed bars, and allows easy strap and bracelet
changes. Although the watch was shipped with light-duty spring bars, the holes are large enough to accommodate the larger sized
Rolex-style bars which I installed immediately. The sides are polished, the top surfaces look like they are blasted.
Crown: Where most Submariner look-alikes are equipped with a too-small crown, this one is large, easy to use and looks right. It
engages and turns down smoothly, taking four full turns.
Crystal: Sapphire (doesn’t appear to be A/R coated) without the magnifier “Cyclops” usually seen on this style watch.
Bezel: Unidirectional with 60 clicks. It turns smoothly with very little backlash and lateral movement. The edge knurling is smoother
than a Rolex (which has sharper-edged, machine cut knurling), making it a bit more difficult to get a grip on. Overall, I would say the
bezel operation on this one is very good.
Dial & hands: I like the square hour markers and dial layout. The original hour and minute hands are very similar in style to the original
O&W Caribbean diver of the ‘60s. I’ve swapped those for a set of MkII Plongeur style hands. The lume is Superluminova. I would
consider the lume better than average. The Dial glows the same color and intensity as the MkII hands.
Movement: Undecorated ETA 2824-2 with a plastic retaining ring. It’s running +15 sec per day. Everybody says these run fast when
new and should “settle-in” after a break-in period. I’ve owned a number of watches with 2824s and found them all to be solid, reliable
and easy to regulate to a very high standard of accuracy.
Bracelet: This watch comes with a nice solid-link, screw-pin Oyster style bracelet. The link pins are the type with a screw head on
each side requiring two screwdrivers to get the job done. When removed you will have a long pin and a tiny screw for the opposite
side. The clasp has a dive suit extension and a safety lock. The hollow end links fit the case nicely and are drilled to fit the fatter Rolex
type spring bars, although this watch was shipped with standard thickness spring bars. The surfaces look like they have been
blasted to a satin finish.
Packaging: Unsigned vinyl covered clamshell style watch box with generic 2824-2 operating instructions. Very basic.
Fit & finish: Overall very good. All surfaces are nicely polished or bead blasted with no visible tool marks. The edges are crisp
(without being sharp) and everything fits and operates as it should. While this is not a one-to-one copy of a Rolex Submariner,
everything is pleasingly proportioned and nicely done. The watch feels nice and solid, feeling heavier than any of my Rolex or Tudor
This watch reminds me of the reasons I’m such a fan of the Submariner style dive watches. They’re just the right size, not too big or
too small. Large enough to be easy to read, yet stays in place on your wrist without having to wear the strap or bracelet uncomfortably
tight. The case is just big enough to support the dial, bezel and crown, and enclose the movement. No unnecessary styling add-ons,
just smoothly proportioned lugs to attach a strap or bracelet and protect the large crown. The smooth, low profile styling prevents
hanging-up while working underwater and allows the watch to slip comfortably under a shirt sleeve. This watch looks great on a dive
strap, leather or the classic steel Oyster style bracelet.
Others must agree, as this classic style is now over 50 years old and still going strong. Oversized and overstyled dive watches are all
the rage today, but when the whims of fashion change again the classic Submariner will likely still be around.