Pure Evel – The REC TTT Knievel is a striking tribute to the King of the Daredevils Pure Evel – The REC TTT Knievel is a striking tribute to the King of the Daredevils

Pure Evel – The REC TTT Knievel is a striking tribute to the King of the Daredevils

D.C. Hannay

You can’t point a GoPro without running into an extreme sports athlete these days, with bold-faced names like motorcycle stunt performer Travis Pastrana and others breaking records with their jaw-dropping feats. But the genesis of motorcycle stunt riding all leads back to one name: Robert “Evel” Knievel. Arguably the most famous stunt rider of all time, his final jump inspired the REC TTT Knievel, integrating a piece of history into each watch.

A brief history


From his motorcycle-jumping debut in the late ‘60s, Knievel was a household name virtually unique in his field. A master of publicity, his feats drew mass media attention, including his attempted jump of the Caesars Palace fountains in Las Vegas in December of 1967. Despite the horrific crash that crushed his pelvis and femur, broke several other bones, and resulted in a serious concussion, the stunt had captured the public’s imagination. His fame only grew from that point, with ever-bigger jumps over cars, buses, and his ill-fated 1974 attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon in a rocket-powered cycle.

Even though the canyon jump failed, there were still plenty of successes, and Knievel’s star continued to soar ever-upward. TV appearances, feature films, and an avalanche of toys, kids’ bikes, and other licensed merchandise ensured Evel stayed firmly in the public eye. I mean it when I say he was everywhere: I clearly remember one Christmas where my brother and I found a pair of friction-powered Evel Knievel motorcycles under the tree, leading to a festival of furniture-jumping hijinks in our own proto-X Games.


Despite an ever-growing tally of serious injuries, he continued his career until his last major attempt, a jump over a shark tank (inspiring the phrase “jump the shark”) in Chicago in 1977, where he crashed during rehearsals, breaking both arms. He never attempted the jump again.


The shark jump motorbike serves as inspiration for Danish microbrand REC Watches’ latest release, the boldly-styled TTT Knievel. REC are known for incorporating historical artifacts into their timepieces, with watches made in tribute to famous cars, aircraft, and motorbikes, with parts of the actual vehicles integrated into their designs. The TTT Knievel  continues this tradition, with part of the shark jump Harley XR-750’s clutch lever utilised as part of the striking dial design. So, let’s twist the throttle (“TTT”) and get into it.

The case


I have to say from the outset that I’ve always been impressed with REC’s execution when it comes to their tribute watches. They’ve established a distinct design language, and the build quality of their timepieces set them apart from mere licensed souvenirs. The case itself has a clever two-piece construction, with a circular 43mm diameter, brushed stainless-steel outer. And with a lug-to-lug of 46.5mm and a case height of 12.3mm, the TTT Knievel has real wrist presence without being comically oversized. The polished wire-look lugs evoke the look of a motorcycle’s chrome exhaust pipes, a knowing wink to the subject of this tribute. The bezel has a combination of finishes, both polished and sandblasted, with a gold pointer at 12. The inner case is polished as well, nicely contrasting with the vertical brushing on the outer case. Water resistance is 50 metres, and there’s a sapphire crystal on the dial side, with a mineral display back featuring Knievel’s signature in bright blue.


And my favourite detail? The inner case rotates 30 degrees by sliding the reinforced crown down the side cutout, with a sly Easter egg inside. The hidden engraving switches from “Show Time” with a directional arrow, to a shooting star motif, orienting the dial at a more handlebar-ready position for riding. It’s a great detail that will surely delight collectors.

The dial


And now we come to the star of the TTT Knievel, the dial. Appropriate, since stars are a recurring motif in All Things Evel. Knievel’s brand cast him as the star-spangled daredevil, from his bikes’ paint schemes, to his signature jumpsuits emblazoned in red, white, and blue. This dial is a real dazzler, with a black glitter finish on the center, along with the inner chapter ring. On that centre section, you’ll find a number of tributes from top to bottom, starting with “King Of The Daredevils” following the dial’s curve.


Below that rests the real star of the dial, an actual five-pointed one, made from the repurposed clutch lever of Knievel’s shark jump Harley XR-750. Finally, Knievel’s number 1 sits above 6 in silver. The outer ring gets a bright blue contrast, and dual blue and red stripes flank the centrepiece, recalling the front of Knievel’s trademark jumpsuits. The skeletonised silver handset gets lumed tips, with a blue second hand picking up the dial and chapter ring tones. Cutouts offer a view of the movement beneath the dial.

The movement


Timing duties are handled by a skeletonised Sellita SW200-1 S b, the Swiss workhorse that serves as base for many higher-end microbrands. A genuine no-date version, it features hacking, hand-winding, 26 jewels, a beat rate of 4 Hertz, and a 41-hour power reserve. The rotor, visible through the caseback, shows a bit of flash with cutouts that resemble the spokes on a motorcycle wheel, and the black outer edge features the limited edition total of 736 in white, evoking a white-lettered tire.

The strap


The black tapered calfskin leather strap has a number of period-correct design touches, including embossed ribbing near the lugs that nails the look of vintage motorcycle leathers. Bright blue stitching further reinforces the retro vibe, and interestingly, the strap is lined in blue leather with red stitching, a nice extra bit of detail. A substantial stainless buckle recalls the wire look of the lugs, and the strap utilises curved strap bars to better match the contours of the case.

REC Watches TTT Knievel pricing and availability

The REC Watches TTT KNIEVEL is available to pre-order now, with deliveries expected in December 2023, limited to 736 pieces. Price: US$1,950 (pre-order), US$2,295 (RRP)

Brand REC Watches
Model TTT Knievel
Case Dimensions 43mm (D) x 12.3mm (T) x 46.5mm (LTL)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 50 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire front, mineral caseback
Dial Skeletonised
Strap Embossed black calfskin, steel pin buckle
Movement Sellita SW200-1 S b, automatic
Power Reserve 41 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, rotating dial
Availability Limited to 736 pieces
Price US$1,950 (pre-order), US$2,295 (RRP)