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Tudor’s famous sibling, Rolex, has a long history of creating special custom dials for corporate clients, jewelers, royal families, the military, and government departments. Some famous examples include the Rolex Domino watch, the Rolex Tiffany watch, and the replica Rolex Khanjar watch for the Sultan of Oman, the Rolex watch for the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, and many others. Rolex used to advertise this part of its business quite aggressively, which is probably why, in some eras, a gold Rolex watch bearing the company’s logo was an iconic retirement gift.
While Rolex no longer actively manufactures or advertises these special custom dials, Tudor seems to be happily taking over the opportunity. In recent years, we’ve found some very cool collaborations and custom Tudor watches, including Ed Sheeran’s Split Tour edition, Harold’s version, the Undefeated edition (worn by John Mayer), and the Air France edition.
Established in 2015, the Royal and Specialist Protection Unit is a branch of the Metropolitan Police Service in London that serves to protect royal and government officials. Their services include providing armed bodyguards to members of the British Royal Family, ministerial dignitaries – including the Prime Minister – as well as heads of state and foreign dignitaries visiting the U.K.
In addition to assigning bodyguard protection personnel, the unit is responsible for deploying armed security to the Royal Palace in London, Windsor Castle, and various royal residences in Scotland. In short, the RaSP is one of the most prestigious and highly skilled police forces in the U.K. This particular model is the Black Bay ref. 79220, part of the first generation of the Heritage Black Bay Diver, which debuted in 2012 and took the watchmaking world by storm. It features a 41 mm steel case topped by a blue unidirectional rotating bezel. The blue aluminum insert is marked with 60 minutes so divers can keep track of their immersion time.
It is rare to see these Tudor watches customized for the RaSP in the wild, and even rarer to have the opportunity to buy one. As we often say, it’s the story behind the replica watch that makes them extra special – and this one has a unique story to tell.