A few nights ago, I had an epiphany of omission. There has not yet been a single Black Bay in all the multitude of watches on this platform. For a watch which has contributed so much toward modern wrist culture, that seems an unforgivable sin. The vast majority of Black Bays simply do not align well with what I do here, despite being damn good watches they are ‘just’ damn good watches . . .but really not fodder for my meandering historic background, elaborations on rarity, protracted storytelling, or otherwise. This one, not so.
This is in fact an issued Black Bay. Issued by the British government to the Royalty and Specialist Protection team, those who protect 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.
This run is from 2018, with the in-house movement and shield logo at 12. These were only ever made for active and a few retired RaSP personnel. Just a scarce 75 examples were produced in total, in numbered series. There has been one Sotheby’s auction, but that’s it. This is the first secondary market example to surface not at a major auction house. Who knows just why it has surfaced at this time, but what a stellar watch to spot in the market. Doubtless, will not hang around.
The case on this is full, with light surface wear visible on the lugs. It comes with a full set including a letter from its original owner detailing his time in RaSP. This is something as precious as the watch itself to those who care about a watch’s history (IE me and, I’m guessing, all of you). It comes from a well-regarded retailer in SIngapore.
Find this RaSP Black Bay here from D-Timepieces listed as POA.