Hands-On: the Tornek-Rayville TR Type 7B “Blakjak”

You’ve got two options. First, you can craft or find a device that can bend space and time so that you can travel back to an alternate universe in which the MIL-W-46374F Type 6 SANDY 660 was widely issued and battle-worn, and readily available. Second, you could just pay closer attention to what Tornek Rayville (under its current MKII Watch umbrella) is doing and snag a version that’s better than the slightly obscure original. Maybe I’ve been reading too much science fiction lately, but as fun as the first option sounds, the second option is probably the right move.

Today, we’re looking at Tornek-Rayville’s take on a lesser-known mil-spec watch with a short-lived history of service but plenty of potential. The spec called out for a navigator-style watch with a rotating bezel, quartz movement with antimagnetic properties, water resistance, and a focus on legibility. The TR Type 7B “Blakjak” is a modern take on the post Gulf War-era watch that improves upon the spec while adding some premium touches that us watch collectors will appreciate. Let’s dig in and take a closer look at the latest and greatest from Tornek Rayville. 


The first thing that struck me when unboxing the watch was the sheer size and weight of it. The 7B ships on a quick-release stainless steel bracelet and includes a nylon and rubber strap. I took it off the bracelet and popped it onto a nylon strap of my own for the initial evaluation. My wrist is pretty average, measuring in at 6.75” and I couldn’t help but notice how large the watch wore and how heavy it felt on my wrist, especially without the bracelet to balance it out. The 7B measures 42.5mm wide by 13.2mm thick with a lug-to-lug measurement of 49mm. On paper, it sounds a lot like a Seiko diver or other similarly chunky watches, but when worn it does feel like it’s taking up all of its specified dimensions. It’s perfect for those looking for a tough, chunky, knockaround watch that you’ll probably never have to worry about. Let’s break down the case dimensions and geometry to uncover how the dimensions translate into real life. 


Hands-On: the Tornek-Rayville TR Type 7B “Blakjak”

Stainless steel
SII NH36 automatic with custom date wheel
Black with white accents
BGW9 SuperLuminova
Bracelet, rubber, and nylon
Water Resistance
200 meters
42.5 x 49mm
Lug Width
Screw down

When looked at from the side, the first thing you’ll notice is the beautifully finished bezel. It’s a double stack of chunky knurling that’s super easy to grip thanks to the texture and slightly tapered shape. The bezel represents about 1/3 of the overall thickness, with the mid-case and case back making up the remainder. Since the watch features a flat sapphire crystal and a bezel insert with an inward-sloping orientation, there’s a lot of metal making up that 13.2mm thickness. From the top down, the shoulders of the case and transition to the lugs is pretty chunky too, but TR has done some excellent finishing to make the watch a bit less stout. A polished chamfer separates the brushed top and sides of the case which widens into the crown guards on the right side of the case. The polishing really adds something to what could have been a military-issued watch where the focus is usually on cutting costs and toughness, so it’s nice to see both the polished edge and the beautifully finished bezel. On the case back, you’ll find some military-style engraving with the name of the watch and relevant specifications. It’s simple, and I really like how it completes the look of a military-issued watch. 

There’s also the weight. The 7B clocks in at 103.9g without the bracelet and 199.3g with the bracelet, making it the heaviest watch in my vicinity. For good measure, a Seiko SKX007 weighs in at 81.3g, a Black Bay 58 at 65.3g, and a Grand Seiko SBGN003 tips the scales at a comfortable 63.6g. These measurements were taken as just the watch head and spring bars. The 7B is hefty but with purpose. It feels like that’s how it was meant to be and isn’t a knock on the watch. 

Dial + Hands

One of the coolest details of the 7B is the dial construction. At a glance, you’ll see that the printing and design of the dial are largely the standard mil-spec style. A familiar typeface for the numbers, a few symbols that refer to the specs, and both a 12- and 24-hour scale for quick and easy telling of military time. Syringe-style hands point to the time and are generously filled with BGW9 lume that glows a pleasant shade of teal when the lights go out. On the right side of the dial at 3 o’clock, there’s a day/date display with a custom date wheel that displays both Roman numerals as well as the abbreviated days of the week. All of the days are white on black, save for the Roman numeral VII, which is rendered in red. It’s the only use of color on the watch, and it’s a shame that you’ve got to wait around all week to see it. 

Drawing inspiration from the original 660 is the rehaut with cutouts at each hour. On the original, these cutouts housed small tritium tubes, but since the TR 7B is non-radioactive, they opted for printed bars of lume. It helps to add some depth to the dial and I had to do a double take that they weren’t little tritium tubes. As cool as tritium is, it does degrade over time and is unable to be easily replaced. The usage of BGW9 lume ensures that the watch will continue to glow for a much longer time, albeit needing exposure to light in order to do so. 


Inside the 7B is a Seiko-made SII NH36 automatic movement. The movement is widely used amongst a ton of brands and represents a reliable and robust option that’s readily available and affordable. It’s a great choice for a watch like the 7B, and packs in a ton of nice features that help keep the watch within the realm of affordability. Beating at 21,600bph, the movement will stay running for 41 hours when fully wound. The movement can be wound via the automatic rotor or by hand via the crown. It displays hours, minutes, seconds, the day of the week, and the date. One thing worth noting is that the 7B is based on a quartz movement, while Tornek-Rayville opted to use an automatic mechanical movement. 

Strap + Wearability

Included in the box is a stainless steel bracelet, rubber strap, and mil-style nylon strap from Maratac. You’ve got plenty of options when it comes to the TR 7B, which is always nice when it comes that way from the manufacturer. According to broadarrow.net, the Stocker and Yale 660 was one of the few recent military watches that was issued with a bracelet, and it’s nice to see Tornek follow suit. The bracelet features fully brushed links, which are arranged three across. Solid end links house some quick-release spring bars that make changing out the bracelet a quick and easy task. The clasp features micro-adjust holes to dial in your fit, while the links themselves feature screw bars (my personal favorite) for easy large-scale adjustment. The bracelet is nearly as heavy as the watch, so they do a great job of balancing each other out on the wrist. You’ll also receive a high-quality rubber strap with a signed clasp and a 22mm Maratac Mil Series nylon strap. 

In my experience, the 7B wears larger than its dimensions imply and it leans on the heavier side. I never found it uncomfortable, but more watch than I’m used to wearing. It’s a bit more noticeable on a nylon strap since there isn’t much to balance out the watch head. 


If you’re on the hunt for a watch with military roots that’ll more than likely survive a bomb blast, the 7B makes a compelling choice. It’s bold and sturdy, yet the attention to detail in the finishing and dial treatment elevates it above something you’d find in the surplus store. Tornek-Rayville did an excellent job of shining a light on this lesser-known reference and adding their own touch to it. On top of that, they’ve crafted a whole story around it, and the presentation on both their website and printed zine really adds to the package.

At $895, the 7B represents a solid value as well. The rock-solid construction, elevated finishing, and inclusion of a bracelet and two straps in a nice carrying case all help to justify the asking price. Fans of military history and MKII’s other endeavors will no doubt take a liking to the 7B, which can already be seen by the swift sell-through of the first run. Tornek-Rayville 

Editor’s Note: The Blakjak is currently sold out on the Tornek-Rayville website, but we’ve been advised a restock is coming mid-March. Newsletter subscribers will hear about the restock first, so head to the TR website linked above to get on the list if you’re interested in buying a 7B from the next batch. 

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Ed is a Long Island-based writer and photographer with an affinity for watches, fountain pens, EDC gear, and a great cup of coffee. He’s always looking for the best gear for the job—whether it be new watch, pen, flashlight, knife, or wallet. Ed enjoys writing because it’s an awesome (and fulfilling) way to interact with those who share the same interests.