The legendary B-52 bomber celebrates the 70th anniversary of its production model’s maiden flight in 2024. Ollech & Wajs has released the OW M-52B AF to honor this incredible airplane and those who have contributed to its incredibly long lifespan. As someone deeply interested in this machine, I requested a sample piece for a hands-on review.

The B-52 Stratofortress is a marvel of a plane that turns 70 this year. While over 700 were built and used extensively during the Cold War, more than 70 remain in active service today. Depending on the reports one reads, the United States Air Force plans on keeping these mighty giants in the arsenal until they are roughly 100 years old. That’s an incredible feat! So yes, the “BUFF” (Big Ugly Fat F*****) deserves a celebration like the Ollech & Wajs OW M-52B AF.

Ollech & Wajs OW M-52B AF

The B-52 Stratofortress

If you’ve never heard of the Boeing B-52, please have a look at this Wikipedia article for some background. It’s a massive airplane that has taken part in conflicts and has likely helped keep some from starting. It’s a shock-and-awe bomber with a gargantuan payload and impressive range. I’m fortunate enough to have a close relative who piloted B-52s. The shareable stories were always interesting — yes, these old beasts each have a personality! I even had the opportunity to walk around and under one after being mildly scolded for snapping pictures with my Blackberry! A B-52 may not have the sex appeal of an SR-71 Blackbird, but it’s a tireless worker known for getting the job done.

The Ollech & Wajs OW M-52B AF design has a history

The watch world is rife with models that claim to be inspired by a famous car or plane. However, the OW M-52B AF has an overhead profile of the B-52 directly on the dial. Is this too “in your face”? Actually, the design deserves some context. In 1966, Ollech & Wajs created the B-905 for US Airmen serving in Vietnam. The watch featured a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, nicknamed the “flying gas station.” The only known example resides in the Ollech & Wajs archive. Most importantly, though, the KC-135 was the mid-air fueling plane for the B-52.

Ollech & Wajs OW M-52B AF

A look at the current model

The Ollech & Wajs OW M-52B AF is a 39.5mm × 47.5mm stainless steel watch with a 300m water resistance rating. It comes in at approximately 14mm thick including the domed sapphire crystal. A black pull-through RAF strap with a signed pin buckle is standard on this model, but a mesh bracelet/strap with a pin buckle is also available for CHF 126.

Ollech & Wajs chose a bidirectional friction-fit 60-minute bezel. It uses a black PVD coating and is meant to resemble the nose cone of the B-52. From the side, we see that the watch has drilled lug holes and a signed screw-down crown. The case design is similar to other models from the brand and reminds me of a slightly softer vintage skin diver.

A Soprod automatic inside

The OW M-52B AF houses a Soprod P024 automatic movement underneath its stainless steel screw-in case back. Essentially, this is an ETA 2824-2 clone, which translates to a frequency of 28,800vph and 38 hours of power reserve. The caliber hacks and offers a quick-set date function.

Ollech & Wajs OW M-52B AF dial close-up

The dial

Next, let’s take a closer look at the dial. This is the calling card of the OW M-52B AF, and after spending several weeks with the watch, I like it. Upon receiving the watch, I immediately found it bright. The outline of the B-52 dominates the dial, and, admittedly, it can obscure the hands at certain times. After some wearing, though, I began to enjoy how different this watch is from anything I own. Moreover, it gives off a tactical vibe.

There are key details worth mentioning. First, the dial is matte black with white printed details, such as the plane and round indexes. The rectangular indexes at 3, 9, and 12 o’clock are applied and have a creamier tone of Super-LumiNova. Interestingly, the large hands use white luminous material. Second, the dial has diagonal wording emanating from the center that evokes the original B-905. Finally, note the red-numeral date wheel, which references the original B-905 model.

The OW M-52B AF on the wrist

Last October, I reviewed the Ollech & Wajs OW M-110 AS. I enjoyed that watch, but it was large on my wrist. Oddly, it wasn’t as long as today’s OW M-52B AF, but the difference maker here is the optional mesh bracelet. While the black nylon strap is fine, it struggles to manage the weight of this hefty watch. The mesh, however, feels great and wears comfortably. For me, the bracelet wouldn’t be an option but a must.

Ollech & Wajs OW M-52B AF

Final thoughts and pricing

The Ollech & Wajs OW M-52B AF is currently on sale for CHF 1,256 and includes a three-year warranty. Earlier this year, the brand offered a limited run of 56 numbered pieces that sold out immediately. Thankfully, O&W will continue producing a serial model in small numbers annually. The B-52 is a special plane, and it deserves the right watch. The OW M-52B AF feels like the correct move due to the brand’s history with its fuel tanker partner. Let’s see what happens when the BUFF turns 100!

For more information on the OW M-52B AF, visit the official Ollech & Wajs website.

Watch specifications

Matte black with white B-52 outline and Super-LumiNova indexes
Case Material
Stainless steel (316L)
Case Dimensions
39.5mm (diameter) × 47.5mm (lug-to-lug) × 14mm (thickness with crystal; 12.5mm without)
Sapphire with antireflective treatment
Case Back
Solid stainless steel, screw-in
Soprod Newton Precision P024: automatic and hand winding, hacking, 28,800vph frequency, 38-hour power reserve, 25 jewels, adjusted in three positions
Water Resistance
30 ATM (300 meters)
Black 20mm military-grade RAF single-pass nylon with pin buckle, optional stainless steel mesh bracelet with pin buckle
Time (hours, minutes, central seconds), bidirectional 60-minute bezel, and date
CHF 1,256
Three years