Ollech & Wajs (O&W) Early Bird

Vietnam conflict era, early 1970's

24-hour handwound 17j. antimagnetic mouvement

Caliber 11 1/2" FHF-72

Stainless steel case , acrylic crystal

Waterproof 20 ATM (not tested)

Thickness of case 11mm, diam. 38mm, weight 44gr.

Two color bi-directional revolving bezel


The Early Bird was produced by the Swiss company Ollech & Wajs starting in 1965. The watch is named after the world's first commercial communications satellite (COMSAT), the Early Bird, launched on April 6, 1965 by Hughes Aircraft Company. The Early Bird was in synchronous orbit providing line of sight communications between Europe and North America and served for four years, including use during the Apollo 11 mission. It is still in orbit but is now inactive.
It is a simple, rugged 24 hour watch with the ability to tell a second timezone. Because of this, the watch was a big success in the US military via private purchase, and in VietNam.

The NOS (New Old Stock) Early Birds are still around but are becoming harder to find. They usually sell for around $650 now, and you'll need to add another buck and a half for servicing (it's unused, but has been sitting around for forty years!).

A true 24-hour dial