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Tornek-Rayville TR-660 - SOLD OUT Reissue - Full Kit
  • Tornek-Rayville TR-660 - SOLD OUT Reissue - Full Kit


    Up for sale is a beautiful Tornek-Rayville TR-660 - SOLD OUT Reissue - Full Kit


    Reference: TR-660


    Serial: T45362  - Dated February 25, 2022


    Case Width: 40mm excluding the crown, Holes Case

    Case Thickness: 14.7mm including the crystal

    Dial: Black dial


    Hands: Original White


    Bezel: Bead-blasted 316-L Stainless Steel


    Movement: Made in Japan SII NE15 (Rotor features Côtes de Genève), quickset date, hack setting, automatic with manual winding capability. Movement origin: Made in Japan


    Crystal Material: Double domed sapphire crystal, with anti-reflective coating on interior surface only

    Lug Width: 20mm

    Band Material: A Black and a Khakis Green a custom woven, single-pass nylon strap he calls the Nytex™ Type I-M2 to mimick the original issued one and a Leather with Rubber backing strap with 3 options

    Condition: Running Condition


    Extras: Includes Original Tackle Box, Warranty Card and Operating Paper which is a take as an homage to the original so a full kit! This model SOLD OUT quickly and has become a reissue and military watch fan favorite. 


    As mentioned in Worn & Wound: With the request in, the Navy’s Experimental Diving Unit, not keen to waste time, surely, put three commercially available divers through the ringer for good measure. The Rolex Submariner, Enicar Sea Pearl 600, and Blancpain Fifty-Fathoms were selected and put through a gauntlet of tests to see which would survive the rigors of, well, whatever it is the Navy’s experimental divers and demolition teams (now called SEALs) might find themselves doing in the middle of the Vietnam War. The Blancpain was the sole survivor, and consequently recommended for use until Bulova’s diver was ready. (Spoiler alert, the prototype Bulova MIL-SHIPS were unable to pass the same testing procedures, and would not see use.)


    Thanks to the “Buy American Act” (passed in 1933 by Congress under President Hoover), ordering a batch of Blancpain dive watches for government use was, well, complicated (requiring a non-availability determination, assuming a domestically sourced option is unavailable). A quick thinking importer based in New York by the name of Allen V. Tornek suggested Blancpain relabel the watch “Tornek-Rayville” and let him sell them to the U.S. Navy. Rayville, by the way, is a phonetic anagram of Blancpain’s hometown, Villeret. The plan worked, and around 1,000 TR-900s were created and promptly put to use between 1964 and 1965. Most were destroyed upon return due to their use of radioactive luminescence on the dials, leaving very few surviving examples in the hands of collectors today. 



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