DISCLAIMER: What you are about to read "never happened" and attempts to verify the events recounted below will be denied by official channels and met with possible sanction.Memorandum: Regarding The Proving of Dive Watch TR-50717 Class B "Paradive"
Tornek-Rayville Div.: National Integrated Research & Development Dept.
Date: ████ / ██ / ██
The Paradive Class B watch is Tornek-Rayville’s second dive watch, following the TR-660. The Paradive is our evolution on the military watch specification MIL-W-50717. In response to a survey of end users, we identified issues and weak points with the first generation contract watches and set out to create an updated version that could thrive under challenging environments. In place of the specified Pm 147, this watch leverages a proprietary luminous material that eliminates radiation, and thus any potential interference with high sensitivity equipment. Owing to the rarity of this proprietary compound, and in the interest of a full spectrum design validation, Paradive production watches were provided to select units undertaking missions at the logical extreme of a combat diver’s operational envelope. The following is an excerpt from the report of one relevant and representative mission.
“When I joined the military I never expected to find myself off the coast of ██████ in the nose of the nuclear attack sub SSN - ████. It really feels like a discarded sub-plot of the film Thunderball I saw on leave a few years ago. The names are different, the watch they gave me is different, but not even a writer's wildest fever dreams could match this. A technician from Tornek-Rayville's National Integrated R&D Dept, which he shorted to N-I-R-D-D (I found this hilarious but the tech didn't seem to get the joke…or maybe he’s heard it too often) briefed me on the watch. He also repeatedly made it abundantly clear that should I survive my mission he’d be back to collect the watch. Much like the mission, the watch's existence was also not to be acknowledged. Who was I gonna tell anyway stuck sub-surface in a tin can? The watch looked like a Type I I’d gotten issued for a previous deployment, but as far as I knew there was never a Class B, non-radioactive, variant of the watch. All the Class Bs I’d come across, till this NIRDD tech showed up right before we cast off, had no luminous paint on them at all and arabic numerals. This new “Paradive” glowed like the Class A Type 1’s I’d had, but stronger, at least initially, and it was ideally charged by sunlight. The tech supplied a small flashlight that emitted a violet light, UV light specifically, which he told me to use on the watch since I wasn't expected to see the sun for quite a while.
I did ask further about the exotic glowing material, but the NIRDD tech wasn’t having any of it. He cut me off with the curt summary explanation that it was a Class B and the material on the dial, hands, and bezel were non-toxic so I didn't have to worry, nor did anyone on board the sub. Status quo in the service, we never do get the whole picture, so I hope he's right about the toxicity.
Lume intrigue aside, the other upgraded features of the watch were impressive. This tech and his fellow NIRDD’s really thought through improving upon the originals I’d seen. The monocoque case of the first Class As and Bs was a good idea in theory, less failure points, but it was a bitch to service and the crystals tended to develop stress fractures rendering them illegible. Definitely not confidence inspiring. The two-piece stem that the construction required was another failure point, usually announced at the most inconvenient time as the crown had a tendency to come off in your hand as you went to hack set the time. My old Class A Type 1 had that happen once, luckily stateside, but the guys had way too much fun telling the prospects at Bernie & Jennie's Tavern that I’d lost my “male stem” in a training accident…
This Tornek-Ravyille "Paradive" watch had a screw down case back, that carried forward the comfy curved case back of the first design. The screw back case meant the watch used a solid one-piece stem. Reassuring now but it's going to be a while before I have any chance at Bernie & Jennie's on a Saturday. The uni-directional bezel was also a nice upgrade over the friction bezel and a welcome safety feature for underwater timing. The crystal was press fit into the front of the case and made of a tougher synthetic sapphire material and wouldn't develop the "crazing" the first watches did.
I must have charged the watch with that little UV flashlight at least 50 times, as I only half believed the tech that only 60-120 seconds exposure was required. Kinda turned into a meditative as the prospect of my next 24 hours was terrifying, which is honestly what still has me in after this long. Locking out of a perfectly good sub via the torpedo tube, face to face with a dive buddy, to swim several miles to a hostile shore isn’t exactly sensible, but it gets your blood pumping like nothing else. Neither was attempting to retrieve the Team E████a agents, presumed dead when they went off the air in late ████, but then suddenly "resurfacing" behind enemy lines. There was a good chance it was a trap, but leaving agents behind is pretty terrible for the agent recruiting business and the information they might provide was, apparently, worth potentially sacrificing our lives. But as we say “You haven't lived until you’ve almost died”. So, as the sub pulled into position off the coast of █████ we charged the watches one last time before █████ ███████ ████████████ ███████████████ ██████….
The watches performed well and ██████████ ████████████ ███████ █████ ██████████"
The remainder of the report is heavily redacted for security reasons. In interviews we conducted post-mission with the divers they reported the performance of the production unit TR-50717s was excellent and on par with their experiences with the 1st generation Type I watches. This is the best we could hope for considering most of the improvements were implemented with the aim of easing serviceability, lowering cumulative repair costs, increasing longevity and time between maintenance intervals, and reliability.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to rendezvous with the submarine for quite some time after the completion of the mission. By some rare coincidence, the swim pair reported that both of the test units were lost during a "long" night in their last port of call. They recounted the evening in question in somewhat unnecessarily explicit and graphic detail. Needless to say we will have to rendezvous with the operators much sooner after the completion of future missions if we hope to preserve the limited stocks of the TR-50717s and conduct supplemental field studies on the returned watches. Continuing testing in parallel at SPAR will be necessary to answer further questions since these events have proved that we can not solely rely on the return of requisitioned pieces for study.