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Every watch tells a story. But for REC, this sentiment is more than symbolic, as each watch created by the brand incorporates stories from the past in physical form. By repurposing parts from iconic machines throughout history — aircraft, cars, or in this case, motorcycles — REC keeps the past alive on your wrist. The Twist the Throttle (or TTT) collection features parts from two of the world’s most iconic motorcycles: Steve McQueen’s 1962 Triumph TR6 Trophy featured in The Great Escape and the 2013 Triumph Speedmaster, custom-built by ICON1000 Motorsports and Triumph North America.
Released in 1963, The Great Escape is an epic adventure film with an all-star cast, a wonderfully suspenseful plot, and rollicking action. One of the scenes that firmly cemented The Great Escape as a classic in cinema was Steve McQueen’s escape from prison on a stolen 1962 Triumph TR6, capped by a jump (performed by Bud Elkins) over a barbed-wire fence, escaping Nazi Germany for neutral Switzerland. Like so many pieces of cinematic lore, the three Triumphs used during filming were lost to history — until, that is, Dick Shepherd, owner of the world’s most exclusive collection of rare Triumph motorcycles, discovered the TR6 gathering dust for over 40 years in a barn in Norfolk.
After months of meticulous restoration work, Shephard was able to restore the TR6 to its original glory. Though the restored motorcycle utilized 95% of the original parts, those few remaining parts not used in the restoration by no means went to waste. After replacing the clutch plates and connecting rods, the originals were provided to REC to be incorporated into the dials of the TTT Great Escape.
Like all of REC’s watches, the brand ensures that the marks and scars symbolic of the piece’s past are placed on full display, remaining as a visual reminder of the iconic machine from which it came. Though the reclaimed metal is a direct connection to McQueen’s Triumph, visual elements throughout the piece clearly evoke the iconic TR6. The green on the dial is a clear nod to the bike’s army-green gas tank, while the WH-13371 at 5 o’clock is derived from the Triumph’s license plate that is prominently displayed on its front fender. Other elements include a skeletonized movement reminiscent of the “naked” motorcycles of the 60s and wire lugs inspired by the bike’s exhaust pipes. And, in a clever twist, the crown can be rotated down the case 30 degrees, quickly shifting between Ride and Dress modes.
Now, creating a watch in tribute to a classic motorcycle is one thing, but doing so while crafting an attractive and cohesive timepiece is another thing altogether. Luckily, REC has done just that. Ignoring the connection to McQueen’s TR6, the TTT Great Escape comes across as a modern watch with a unique style that blends layers, textures, and colors in a novel and evocative way.
The next watch in REC’s latest collection is the TTT ICON1000, named in honor of the 2013 Triumph Speedmaster. Custom-built through a collaboration between ICON1000 Motorsports and Triumph North America, the Speedmaster was created as a tribute to the Triumph 650 twins that were the kings of the dragstrips in the 1960s. The Speedmaster is pure, unadulterated power. It’s a bike that oozes 1960s muscle with unabashed style and flair, albeit with plenty of modern accouterments (like twin fork-mounted nitrous oxide bottles) — a fitting complement to REC’s philosophy.
In the case of the TTT ICON1000, REC has reforged the stator cover of the Speedmaster for use in the dial. Raw and unfinished, the metal used on the dial evokes those gritty quarter-mile races of the ’60s. Like the TTT Great Escape, the ICON1000 sports plenty of additional design cues that will be immediately apparent to fans of the Speedmaster. Black and white stripes of the forks can be found at the tip of the seconds hand, while the iconic white lightning bolt is echoed at the center of the dial. Even the stitching on the cushioned leather strap is a clear nod to the leather seat on the Speedmaster. Finally, a hidden surprise is exposed as you switch between crown positions, revealing ICON1000’s Go Fast, Look Flash tagline.
REC gives both watches in the TTT collection plenty of space for the dial to breathe, utilizing a 43mm diameter 316-L stainless-steel case. Paired with a short 46.5mm lug-to-lug distance and thin 12.3mm case height, the TTT watches will fit comfortably on a wide range of wrists. Despite utilizing pieces from the past in constructing its watches, the REC TTT collection is thoroughly modern, including a sapphire crystal with multiple layers of anti-reflective coating and an exhibition caseback that displays the Swiss Made Sellita SW200-1 S B beating inside. This automatic movement beats at 28.8kbph and features 26 jewels and a 41-hour power reserve.
The REC TTT Great Escape and ICON1000 watches are limited to just 393 and 262 pieces respectively and are available now for $1,995 USD. To learn more about the REC watches and the TTT collection, be sure to visit the brand’s website.
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