Tornek-Rayville Series 3 TR-660

Style - 9905 views -
8 votes 1 Star
Tornek-Rayville Series 3 TR-660

Yet another defunct watch brand resurrected, Tornek-Rayville was a military supplier during the early years of the Vietnam war, before the Lindon B Johnson full escalation.

During the advisors era, the military needed diving watches to equip special forces. Specifically they required nonmagnetic watches that could be submerged up to 400 ft (120m).

The US government would purchase anything that was available in the market back in the time; Benrus 7951 & 7952, Blancpain 50 Fathoms, Doxa 300T, Seiko DEO-95, Zodiac Sea Wolf, Tudor Submariner and Prince, even Rolex Submariner (Rolex was still in the tool era.)

Tornek-Rayville Series 3 TR-660
Tornek-Rayville Series 3 TR-660.

In 1961, the military established a new MIL-W-22176A specification for diving watches and the first maker to meet this new spec was Tornek-Rayville with the TR-900 model. Allen Tornek was a US representative of Blancpain, so the new TR-900 was basically a rebranded Blancpain Fifty Fathoms with the name of the local U.S. distributor on the dial. Refurbished in the Rayville Factory, the first TR-900s were delivered to US special forces in 1963.

At the end of the war, all TR-900 were decommissioned and destroyed, probably because the dial was lumed with Tritium, a highly radioactive luminescent paint.

Tornek-Rayville Series 3 TR-660
Like the Blancpains, hands, dial and bezel are lumed.

Fast forwarding to nowadays, Bill Yao resurrected the Tornek-Rayville with the TR-660, an improved version of the old mil spec TR-900 and non-radioactive Superluminova lume.

The TR-660 is a self-winding 200m diving watch, 40mm case, sapphire domed crystal and Japanese made NE15C automatic movement. Both, hands, dial and bezel are lumed. The result is a more accurate machine than the old mil spec, with more power reserve and totally safe lume. An affordable 1960s Blackpain with a Submariner dial. Check it out on tornek-rayville.us.