The best watch designs are also often timeless, and it’s one of the reasons why we see so many vintage cues in today’s modern watches. It’s also why there are watches built 50 or 60 years ago that look wholly at home on the wrist in 2016. Of course, the point of entry can often be high with vintage watches, even more so in recent years, and especially with those that are more in demand or rare. And though we’re certainly seeing an uptick in manufacturers reissuing some of their more iconic models, the cost of these revivals can still be too prohibitive for some. This is where—like them or not—homage or tribute watches come in. Enter the Iconik 3, a limited release from Manchester Watch Works tackling the ultra rare Tornek Rayville TR-900.
The Tornek Rayville TR-900 has quite an interesting history. It was commissioned by the US Navy in the ‘60s. Though approximately 1,000 units were produced, it is believed that there are roughly 30 (this number changes from one source tot he next) surviving watches, with the vast majority of TR-900s having been destroyed by the government due to the Navy’s rules regarding atomic waste disposal (the dials used radium paint). Most of these remaining watches are likely resting in the safes of private collectors, making the TR-900 a pretty rare—and expensive—beast.