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Tornek-Rayville Type 7B Blakjak Review

Bringing a forgotten military classic back to life

Military watches, especially those used in combat, can fetch hefty prices when they hit the sales block. Purpose-built and designed to endure some harsh conditions, military-issued watches often have stories attached to them, even if they never saw “time in country.” One military watch that seemed destined for greatness and would be a highly sought-after collectible by military historians was the Stocker and Yale SANDY 660.

Featuring all of the creature comforts one could want on a military watch, the SANDY 660 had a dive bezel, a screwdown crown, a reliable quartz movement, tritium tubes for lume, and a dial design that could lend itself well to being a field watch or pilot watch. For the 1990s, this is a watch many modern collectors would swoon over getting their hands on today. This is where Bill Yao and his brand Tornek-Rayville come in. Bill is no stranger to reviving lost watches and brands (as he did with Tornek-Rayville). Watches like the MKII Project 300 and Tornek-Rayville TR-660 (review here) are popular military watches brought back to life by respective brands. The Type 7B “BlakJak” is the next in line to be resuscitated. Based heavily on the SANDY 660, the BlakJak is a masterclass in releasing a watch that 1) you can’t buy anymore and 2) makes it better than the original.

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On the Wrist

As I list off the specs for the BlakJak, let’s not forget that this is a “dive” watch initially designed for combat use by the US Military in the Middle East. The Blakjak comes in at 42.5mm wide, 49mm lug-to-lug, and 13.2mm thick. Thanks to the case design, the thickness is brought down to a very respectable 11mm wrist-to-crystal. This is a big watch, yes, but it doesn’t feel like an overpowering hunk of steel on the wrist. While undeniably substantial, the Blakjak doesn’t impose itself as a burdensome chunk of steel, evoking a tactile experience reminiscent of the Omega Seamaster 300 (the big triangle).

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Legibility is the name of the game when it comes to military watches, especially those skirting the lines between dive, field, and pilot. The Blakjak exceeds at being readable for all those purposes. The printing on the dial is clear and crisp (I should note that Tornek-Rayville said the dial printing would be improved on the production models, and I’m trying to figure out how it can get any better), and the handset aids in the outstanding legibility.

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Adding to its functional prowess, the BlakJak offers a tactile engagement on the wrist that is reassuring and comfortable. The robust case, constructed for combat durability (even though it probably won’t see combat), doesn’t compromise on user experience. The watch has a well-executed balance, making it versatile for everyday wear without sacrificing its tactical roots. That design theme design extends to the crown and bezel, allowing for easy adjustments even in challenging conditions.

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Tornek-Rayville Type 7B Blakjak Specs

Case Width




Case Thickness




Lug Width



103g (watch head only)

Water Resistance



Bracelet, rubber strap, pass through




Super-LumiNova BGW9


Seiko NH36



Dials Details

The Blakjak’s dial design is straightforward and functional. Arabic numerals adorn the dial with 1-12 numerals larger than the inner 13-24 hour track. As I noted above, the printing on the numerals is exceptionally crisp. When I took macros for this review, I was impressed with the lack of bleeding from the printing. I’m still trying to figure out how the printing will improve on the production models.

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A syringe-style handset filled with plenty of lume sweeps around the dial. Although watches such as the Sinn 104 came well after the watch this is inspired by, the Blakjak utilizes that handset as it is easily readable and evokes a classic field/pilot watch vibe.

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Situated to the inside of the 10/22 numerals is a nod to the SANDY 660. The symbol for radiation (a trefoil with an inner circle) has a slash through it, indicating that no radioactive tritium tubes are used on the Blackjack. Instead, we get Super-LumiNova BGW9 applied to the lume cutouts that flank the numerals.

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The Blakjak is offered in two bezel variants. The dive bezel you see in this review, and a 12-hour bezel. Although I understand the functionality of a 12-hour bezel, a dive bezel is what this watch is meant for. Going for the 12-hour bezel would feel like making a Rum and Coke with generic soda from your grocery store (sorry, 12-hour bezel fans). You will be greeted with 120 glorious clicks regardless of the bezel insert you choose. The bezel action is outstanding, but this is almost a calling card of Tornek-Rayville/MKII watches. With that said, I would have liked to see a period-correct (and accurate to the original watch) 60-click bezel used. And with THAT said, I have no complaints, and I am splitting hairs here because the bezel action is wonderful.

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Case and Straps

Another calling card of Tornek-Rayville/MKII watches is case finishing. I’ve had my hands on several watches, and all of them feature brushed/polished cases that rival watches tiers above their price point. The Blakjak is no exception. Crisp brushing with equally crisp polished chamfers decorates the case in a way that screams precision.

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My favorite element of the case design is the polished chamfer that runs along the crown side of the watch. The chamfer flares out to create the crown guards and looks downright awesome with the flawless polishing. The way the guards slope down around the crown makes the crown feel fantastic to operate. Knowing Bill’s attention to detail, I have no doubt he spent a decent amount of time getting this right.

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I don’t often talk about casebacks in my reviews, but I will give a shoutout to this one. The caseback is designed to look like what a military-issued watch’s caseback would. The engraving mimics what the Government Qualified Part List (QPL) markings would look like and lists off a few specs about the watch.

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Tornek-Rayville is giving you a plethora of straps with the Blakjak to accommodate whatever mission you’re setting out on. Each mounting option works exceptionally well on the Blakjak, and I enjoyed swapping them out for different looks. Keep it on the bracelet for BBQs on the weekend. Swap it out to the rubber strap for diving/swimming, and put it on the single-pass nylon strap for more strenuous activities. Each strap is well made, but the bracelet was the star of the show for me. It is a faithful recreation of the SANDY 660’s bracelet, but upgraded with many of the creature comforts we all love today, like screwed links and quick-release spring bars.

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Final Thoughts

The Blackjack is one of the few military watches that I have come across for review that I genuinely enjoyed my time with. The word charming gets thrown around a lot in watch reviews, but this watch has charm in spades. By the time this review goes live, Tornek-Rayville will likely be starting its marketing campaign for this watch, and let me tell you, it is fun as hell. Exceptional care went into making the Blakjak and Tornek-Rayville ensured that an equal amount of fun went into the marketing materials. Well done.

I’m glad brands like Tornek-Raville exist. Bringing watches like the forgotten-to-time SANDY 660 back to life is an unexpected surprise. I am certainly no military watch historian, and prior to the Blakjak, I had no clue what the SANDY 660 was. However, you can see many design cues in this watch that modern military-inspired watches draw from. If military watches are your thing, the Blakjak is one you shouldn’t pass up.

Check out more Tornek-Rayville reviews at The Watch Clicker here

Check out the Tornek-Rayville website here

More Images of the Tornek-Rayville Type 7B Blakjak

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