If you are a fan of classic military watches, these are good times. We have seen quite a few brands bring back military watches from the past. The latest addition to the modern reinterpretations of classic military-style watches is the Tornek-Rayville Type 7B “Blakjak.” But this is not just a simple remake. This is an evolved version of the classic mil-spec Stocker & Yale “Sandy” P660. Tornek-Rayville has improved upon the MIL-W-46374F specification to develop a modern version of the P660. The result is a watch that will appeal greatly to the fans of military timepieces. I had a chance to learn more about the Time-Elapse model, one of two Type 7B “Blakjak” variants.

The first time you see the Tornek-Rayville Type 7B “Blakjak” Time-Elapse, you will immediately understand that you are dealing with a military watch. That’s why it’s easy to think that this is another remake of a classic. Before I started reading about the Type 7B “Blakjak,” that was my first thought. But once it became clear that Tornek-Rayville improved on the MIL-W-46374F specification, I was all ears. And reading through the improvements, it seems that the brand upped the game substantially. Most of the improvements make complete sense in modern times. So, are they really that remarkable? Not necessarily. But they do mean that you get a very capable, modernized version of an early 1990s military watch.

Tornek-Rayville Type 7B "Blakjak" Time-Elapse

Tornek-Rayville focuses on improving mil-spec watches

Before we get into the details of the Type 7B “Blakjak,” let me say that this is the second Tornek-Rayville watch we’ve reviewed on Fratello. Last summer, Nacho reviewed the Paradive G3 Type I TR-50717, which he liked quite a bit. In the article, he explained more about the brand’s background. So, if you are interested, I suggest you read his article to get a good idea of the brand. I will focus on the watch that we had in for review.

The Tornek-Rayville TR-660

But I won’t do that before saying that Tornek-Rayville is showering us with great new releases. This Type 7B “Blakjak” is already the second one of this still-fresh new year. The first was the attractive TR-660 mil-spec diver that saw the brand improve on the MIL-W-22176A (SHIPS) specifications. The result was a modern version of a familiar-looking dive watch, and it sold out in no time. It is proof of the popularity of the military watches in general and the new spin that Tornek-Rayville puts on these classics. If you missed the TR-660, there is no need to worry. The brand will open pre-orders for this model again soon.

An overview of the Tornek-Rayville Type 7B “Blakjak”

But let us focus now on the watch at hand. As mentioned, the Tornek-Rayville Type 7B “Blakjak” is an evolution of the classic mil-spec Stocker & Yale “Sandy” P660. That watch, released in 1991, resulted from the F revision to the MIL-W-46374 specification. Stocker & Yale might not be one of the most familiar suppliers of the US military. But together with Marathon, the company supplied the US forces with numerous new references during the 1980s. With the Type 7B “Blakjak,” Tornek-Rayville improves on the Type 6 “Sandy” P660 that came out of the early ’90s revision.

The Type 7B “Blakjak” comes in two different versions. The first is the Type 7B “Blakjak” 12-HR GMT, which has a 12-hour bezel to track another time zone. The second model, which we had for review, is the Type 7B “Blakjak” Time-Elapse with a 60-minute dive bezel. Other than the different bezels, the watches are identical. Both have an asymmetrical stainless steel case that measures 42.5mm wide, 13.2mm thick, 49mm long, and 22mm between the lugs.

Tornek-Rayville Type 7B "Blakjak" Time-Elapse

A dive-capable field watch

This Class B (non-radioactive) timepiece is called a dive-capable field watch. Looking at the dial, the field-watch styling is present. The standard 12 numbers surrounding the smaller 13–24h scale immediately remind us of the military-style field watches we know so well. But the case, with its 200m water resistance rating and 60-minute unidirectional bezel, means that this can also be used as a dive watch.

Tornek-Rayville Type 7B "Blakjak" Time-Elapse dial/bezel close-up

So, how has Tornek-Rayville improved the specifications for this watch? The modifications and improvements include an automatic movement, a day/date indicator, 200m WR, and drilled lugs. But that’s not where they end. The bezel was also redesigned to slope slightly inward, and it features a black DLC-coated and engraved stainless steel inlay. The inward-sloping design increases its resistance to wear and helps to further protect the already scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Another important update is the use of Super-LumiNova BGW9 instead of the tritium gas tubes used in the early ’90s.

The improvements are subtle on a busy dial

Let’s get back to that dial for a bit. At first glance, it looks like a very busy one. In all honesty, there is a lot to take in. As mentioned, you have the classic “military time” layout that takes center stage. But if you look closely, you will see that the curved chapter ring holds the minute scale with a luminous marker for every five minutes placed in a cutout. On the original 660, the cutouts held small tritium tubes that would always glow but be extra visible in the dark. So besides being part of the minute scale, the luminous markers are also the hour markers in the dark when you can’t read the time on the numeric hour scales.

Tornek-Rayville Type 7B "Blakjak" Time-Elapse lume

At 10 o’clock, you will find the “non-radioactive” symbol, while the Type 7B indication sits at 2 o’clock. Incorporated at 3 o’clock is the day/date window. The day of the week is indicated in English or with a Roman numeral. The latter was important when military personnel needed to know how many days of the week had elapsed rather than what day it was. In a colorful twist, the Roman numeral “VII” is red. It’s the only hint of color that you will see once a week for a day.

Tornek-Rayville Type 7B "Blakjak" Time-Elapse day/date window

Other than that, the black-and-white color scheme of the dial feels functional, and despite holding a lot of information, the dial is pretty easy to navigate. The syringe-style hour and minute hands also help in that regard. Completing the handset is an arrow-shaped seconds hand that, just like the other two hands, is filled with white Super-Luminova BGW9 that lights up blue in the dark.

The SII NH36 automatic movement

Inside the case, Tornek-Rayville chose to use the Seiko Instruments Inc. (SII) NH36 automatic movement. This caliber operates at a 21,600vph frequency and has a 41-hour power reserve. While it is a rather basic movement, it has a reputation for being very reliable. If you unscrew the crown and pull it out to the first position, you can adjust the day and the date, while pulling it out to the second position will allow you to set the time.

The Type 7B “Blakjak” comes standard with a stainless steel bracelet with solid end links. Included in the package is also a sturdy but comfortable rubber dive strap and a black Maratac “Mil Series” nylon strap. I have to say that the watch looks really good paired with all three options. They are delivered in a black plastic case, which makes for nice packaging. Tornek-Rayville also provides buyers with a small magazine-style booklet with stories and specs. It looks super nice and only increases the value of the story.

Tornek-Rayville Type 7B "Blakjak" Time-Elapse pocket shot

Wearing the Tornek-Rayville Type 7B “Blakjak” Time-Elapse

Of course, changing the strap will result in a different appearance. But if you fit the watch with the stainless steel bracelet, it will also become heavy due to its solid construction. On the bracelet, the watch will weigh just under 200 grams. So yes, it is a big and heavy watch, but despite the size and weight, it wears very well.

The 22mm bracelet tapers nicely to 18mm wide, ensuring that it doesn’t look too chunky. The quality of the clasp is decent, although it can be a bit of a nail breaker. Consequently, I preferred wearing the watch on the black rubber strap. Not only is it comfortable, but it also balances the watch nicely on the wrist.

Once on the wrist, the watch’s presence is undeniable. But while it is fairly big, I never thought that it was too big. It is a bit smaller than my Seiko Turtle, which has a reasonably similar case/bezel style. So despite being a substantial watch, it was a nice wearing experience. One thing I particularly loved was operating the 120-click unidirectional bezel. The grip is brilliant, and the sound that it makes is crisp and brings a smile to my face every time. It is perfect proof of the excellent build quality of the watch.

Final thoughts on the Tornek-Rayville Type 7B “Blakjak” Time-Elapse

All in all, this is another impressive release from Tornek-Rayville. After going into this review with hardly any expectations, I was impressed by the quality and the charismatic style of the Type 7B “Blakjak” and quickly became a fan. While I love the look of the watch on the bracelet the best, it was great to mix it up with the rubber strap too. This is also a watch that will look great on a variety of different straps. In particular, I can see it working with a lighter canvas or suede strap.

Tornek-Rayville offers the two Type 7B “Blakjak” models for US$895. Considering what you get for your money, that is a very good price. That’s why it is no surprise that the first batch of watches that went on sale on February 6th sold out quickly. But there’s no need to worry. The brand will start pre-orders for the next batch in March 2024, so you won’t have to wait long if you are looking for an impressively made dive-capable field watch.

That is a rather strange way of describing it, but it is exactly what this watch is and feels like. And therein also lies its brilliance if you ask me. I take my hat off to Tornek-Rayville for reintroducing this classic and improving it to modern standards. It makes me curious to find out what is next for the brand. After experiencing this Type 7B “Blakjak,” I know it will be really good.

For more information, visit the official Tornek-Rayville website. I’d also like your thoughts on this Type 7B “Blakjak,” so please share them in the comments section.

Watch specifications

Type 7B "Blakjak" Time-Elapse
Matte black field-watch-style dial with printed numerals and Super-LumiNova markers
Case Material
Brushed stainless steel with black DLC-coated stainless steel bezel insert
Case Dimensions
42.5mm (diameter) × 49mm (lug-to-lug) × 13.2mm (thickness)
Case Back
Stainless steel, screw-in
SII NH36: automatic with hand winding, 21,600vph frequency, 41-hour power reserve, 24 jewels, custom date wheel
Water Resistance
Stainless steel three-row bracelet (22/18mm) with folding safety clasp, black rubber strap, and black Maratac “Mil Series” nylon strap
Time (hours, minutes, seconds), day/date display, rotating 60-minute dive bezel