A Rare Tudor: The Tudor Black Bay State of Qatar
A very small number of Tudor Black Bay watches bear the State of Qatar insignia, which makes them sought after by collectors.
In the realm of watch collecting, it is well known that double-signed watches — watches with dials featuring the brand’s own logo as well as a second one from either a retailer or a special insignia — can command high prices depending on the rarity and prestige associated with the second signature. Some of the most famous dial signatures are from Tiffany & Co. (still stamped today small batches of Patek Philippe watches), Gübelin or Serpico Y Laino.
Another type of added element on a watch dial comes in the form of a logo or insignia, with the most famous one being the Khanjar crest, the national symbol of Oman, which was stamped on Rolex, Patek Philippe and IWC watches to name a few. Nowadays, these specially commissioned watches regularly achieve high results at auctions. If you want to learn more about the history of the Khanjar on watch dials, I suggest you read this story written by our UK Editor-In-Chief, Ross Povey. Special Tudors Ever since the “relaunch” of the Tudor brand in 2007, the company has done an incredible job separating itself from Rolex by distinguishing the brand as a luxury watchmaking brand for a younger generation of collectors. Enthusiasts can now equally enjoy both Rolex and Tudor watches in their collections without receiving negative comments about wearing “a poor man’s Rolex.” Paying homage to their naval history, Tudor released in 2012, to great acclaim from the community, their Heritage Black Bay collection. What is even more interesting for collectors is that the brand started using their vintage-inspired diver’s watch as the foundation for many unique pieces, limited editions and specially commissioned watches. A few examples of these special Tudor Black Bay watches are the unique pieces Tudor Black Bay One and the Tudor Black Bay Bronze One made for Only Watch 2015 and 2017 respectively; the Tudor Black Bay RaSP; the Black Bay “l’italiano” (50 pieces) made for the Italian forum “Orologi e Passioni”; or the regular special runs of the Harrods edition or the Bucherer Black Bay Bronze Blue.
The Tudor Black Bay “State of Qatar” In today’s watch industry, Tudor sets itself apart by being the only brand within the Rolex family willing to stamp their modern watches with another insignia or modify their dial. Heck, they even did it for our good friends at Hodinkee! Regarding the Tudor Black Bay “State of Qatar,” we can see that the dial customization has been done at 6 o’clock, in gilt print, with the words: State of Qatar, in both English and Arabic characters. Essentially, the watch is the 2016 ref. 79230, with the gilt shield logo. As much as we’d like to confirm that the watch was only issued in the burgundy Tudor Black Bay, a bit of research shows that the State of Qatar insignia has also been seen on the black version of the Tudor Black Bay, and also on the Tudor Pelagos. To see Tudor continue on with the practice of double-signed dials on modern Black Bay is fascinating, because it is creating a fringe collection of special watches that are sure to become hot commodities once they hit the market in the future. Please see here for the full Watchfinder assortment.