Churchill once described the Soviet Union as “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” I can’t think of a better description for the TR-900. For many years few even knew of its existence, developed at the height of the Cold War to counter the Soviets’ expertise in naval mine laying, but it found its main role on land in the jungles & paddy fields of South East Asia during the Vietnam conflict.
All TR-900 watches are rare, but this one is especially rare as it recently came directly from Blancpain with a sheaf of documents including a letter from Allen Tornek; in the late 1970s almost all TR-900 watches were destroyed by the US Atomic Energy Commission, as low-level radioactive waste. This makes this watch extra special as it remained at Blancpain’s Rayville factory for 40 years and never went either to Tornek or to the US Navy and so shows the finish that these watches had when new.
The movement is the automatic, cal. AS 1361, signed Tornek Rayville, with 17 jewels and incabloc shock protection.
Their rarity has made the TR-900 one of the most valuable of military watches, one sold earlier this year for almost $115,000 http://www.skinnerinc.com/auctions/2890M/lots/204
The case is 95%, the dial is 95+% and the movement is in 95% condition.
It measures 41mm diameter, 48mm lug to lug, and 12.5mm high it takes a 17 mm strap and is on a new beige NATO style strap.