After the success by Blancpain with their Fifty Fathoms diver, and their universal acceptance by the Naval Unit of countries across the globe, a man by the name of Allen Tornek proposed that the US Navy also order and make use of the Fifty Fathoms dive watches in service. However, due to import restrictions (the US Government would only award contracts to those products produced in the USA), Blancpain was unable to sell the Fifty Fathoms to the US Navy. As such, Tornek sourced and modified movement parts from US manufacturers — just enough to be considered American-made — in order to satisfy the import restrictions; he slapped “Tornek-Rayville” on the dial, and the rest is history! As these were military-issued dive wristwatches, they were often subject to rigorous use, and as a result, would go in for service to a military-specific watchmaker. During many of these visits, the watchmaker would redo the dial, and in the process, remove the Tornek-Rayville signature, which we now call/know as “Sterile” dials.
The condition of this “sterile” Tornek-Rayville TR900 is in excellent condition. The case is unpolished, with sharp original beveled edges. The dial is immaculate with no visible wear, and likewise for the tritium lume, present in both dial and hands, aged to a golden yellow color. Lastly, the original bakelite bezel — usually riddled with cracks — is extremely well-preserved, with no major wear or damage.