Introducing the MWW Iconik 3–an Affordable Homage to the Tornek Rayville TR-900

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.

Iconik 3 - 2The 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.

Two examples of the iconic TR-900

At first glance the references of the Iconik 3 are quite apparent; the watch does a fine job of capturing the look of the TR-900. The dials—offered in black and white—have three different contrasting hour markers: an inverted triangle at 12; stick markers at three, six and nine; and filled dots for the rest. The hands feature the same sword and ladder (hours and minutes, respectively) design found on the original, with a second hand that ends in a lumed arrow tip. Speaking of lume, the Iconik 3 utilizes vintage style “old radium” Super-LumiNova—a nod to the look of aged radium. Sitting atop the dial is a sapphire crystal—doubled domed with anti-reflective coating for maximum clarity.

Iconik 3 - 7The Iconik 3 comes in a bead-blasted, stainless steel case with 200-meters of water resistance. The diameter is 42.5mm—up from the original 40mm—with a 47mm lug-to-lug height. The lugs are exemplary of the biggest visual deviation. Rather than flowing from the mid case as they did on the TR-900, the lugs here are short and angular pegs jutting out from the case. They’re also drilled to facilitate strap changes.

Iconik 3 - 6The 120-click bezel on the Iconik 3 is a straightforward diver’s bezel. The insert is matte black aluminum, and features an upside-down, lumed triangle at 12; numeral markers at 15, 30 and 45; and simple sticks markers for the remaining five-minute intervals.

The solid, screw down case back features the Manchester Watch Works logo along with pertinent specs. Inside the case is a Seiko NE15 automatic movement.

Iconik 3 - 5The Iconik 3 series will be made in a limited run of 100 total pieces—50 of each dial color. Each watch will ship with a textured olive military-style canvas strap with leather backing.

Iconik 3 - 1The pre-order will be done in two tiers spanning two weeks each. The first—from Aug. 19 to Sept. 12, 2016—will see the watch priced at $390 plus $10 shipping ($36 for international). The 2nd pre-order will run Sept. 12 to Sept. 28, 2016 with the price at $440 plus the aforementioned shipping fees. If all 100 units sell out in the first two weeks the second tier will not happen. After both tiers pass, MSRP will be set at $510 plus shipping. Delivery of the watches is slated for late December, 2016. For further information or to pre-order, visit the Manchester Watch Works website.

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Residing in North Idaho, James has been wearing a watch for over 35 years. With growth of the internet in the late 90s watches as an interest turned into an obsession. Since that time he has been a watch forum moderator, watch reviewer, contributor to Nerdist, and operates Watches in Movies in his spare time.
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