1 of 300 Platinum Jubilee ‘RaSP’ Tudor Black Bay
Despite the name ‘Platinum Jubilee’, this is not a platinum watch. No, it’s steel, and it’s far, far cooler than that. In celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, marking the first British Monarch to give 70 years service, a small run of 300 Black Bays were made. But not for her staff. These were made available to purchase for members of London Police Service’s Royalty and Specialist Protection unit. These are the officers tasked with protecting the Royal Family, Government VIPs, and visiting heads of state. Their motto is ‘The shield that protects the crown.’ Fitting, really, as that precise statement could equally be leveled at Tudor.
Signed Black Bays are today’s equivalent of old double-signed Subs. Rolex don’t really stoop so low as to adulterate their dials anymore. The last I can think of offhand was the Panama 16610 in ’99. Today, those efforts are subverted through Tudor. There are signatures for Ed Sheeran’s Divide, Undefeated, Hodinkee, Qatari government, various watch clubs, and, like this, a few special armed services. The RaSP is not only one of the cooler signatures, but one one of the cooler roles any Black Bay could be made to serve. I can’t imagine the US Secret Service having so much style, but would love to be proven wrong. Mostly they just wear Blackwater Breitlings, right?
Now, if you’ve been a Tudor fanatic for some time, you may be familiar with a previous iteration of this dial. This is not the fist RaSP Black Bay. That honor goes to a 75-example run from 2018, which was only made available to active personnel. This one is a little less strict. It differs only in its caseback engraving, which celebrates the occasion. Only a handful of those have come on to the market, I suspect it will be the same for these. Perhaps most importantly though, this edition comes with a hint of melancholy, made while the Queen was in her final year of service. A worthy tribute from Switzerland if ever there were one.
It’s basically new too. The engraving has its sticker. It comes with a full set. I see no visible wear. This one is offered, fittingly, through a well-regarded London retailer.
Find this Platinum Jubilee RaSP here from Subdial for 34950 GBP.
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