A Tudor Black Bay 58 for Inter Milan

A limited edition for the Nerazzurri.

To celebrate Inter Milan’s recent triumph in the Serie A – a 20th title for the Italian football club – Tudor has created the Black Bay 58 “Inter”. This limited edition Black Bay 58 (BB58) features a gradient blue dial with the club’s emblem above the six o’clock marker, flanked by two gold stars – one for each of the football club’s 10 league titles.

First presented to the club’s players, the watch will be also available to the public as a limited edition of 1,908 pieces, available only at Tudor boutiques and retailers in Italy. 

Initial thoughts

Football aside, the BB58 “Inter” is a good looking watch. The blue ombré dial is striking and different from the usual Tudor aesthetic, and it compliments the vintage-inspired aesthetic well.

At the same time, the Inter Milan logo and twin stars are also fairly discreet, while serving as visual balance for the Tudor logo above.

The rest of the watch is identical to the standard model, which means a compact, easily wearable case, high-spec in-house movement. Pricing is also comparable to the regular production model, which makes it a great value proposition.

The BB58 “Inter” presented to French footballer Marcus Thuram. Image – Inter Milan

I Nerazzurri

Already associated with the America’s Cup, Formula 1, and pro cycling, Tudor is now furthering its involvement with football. Already the official timekeeper for American soccer club Inter Miami C.F., Tudor is now partnered with one of the most famous football clubs in Europe. 

Short for Internazionale Milano, Inter Milan. Founded in 1908, the club is one of the most successful in Europe with its 20 Serie A domestic league titles as well as a trio of UEFA Champions League titles.

The dial is dressed in the blue and black colours of Inter, which is nicknamed I Nerazzurri, which translates as the “blacks and blues”. It’s features a gradient finish that darkens from blue to black on the edges.

The club’s logo and twin gold stars for its 20 league titles are printed in gilt above six o’clock to match the “gilt” finish on the dial. The club emblem is also engraved on the back of each watch, which also bears an individual serial number out of 1,908.

The Inter Milan emblem engraved on the case back. Image – Inter Milan

Apart from cosmetic changes, the watch is unchanged from the standard model with the same case dimensions at 39 mm in diameter and 11.9 mm thick. Inside is the MT5402, a COSC-certified in-house movement with a substantial power reserve of 70 hours, a non-magnetic silicon hairspring, and free-sprung balance wheel.

The BB58 “Inter” is delivered with two straps: a rivet-style bracelet and a black fabric strap in blue and black. Unlike the exclusive rainbow-coloured ceramic versions made for the Visa Cash App RB Formula 1 Team, this edition will be available to the general public, though exclusively through Tudor’s boutiques and authorised retailers in Italy.


Key facts and price

Tudor Black Bay 58
Ref. M79030N-0025

Diameter: 39 mm
Height: 11.9 mm
Material: Steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 200 mm

Movement: Cal. MT5402
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70 hours

Strap: Steel rivet-style bracelet or fabric strap with buckle

Limited edition: 1,908 pieces
Availability:
Only at Tudor boutiques in Rome and Milan, as well as authorised retailers in Italy
Price: €4,350 including taxes

For more information, visit Tudorwatch.com.


 

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Business News: Richemont Appoints Nicolas Bos CEO

And Jérôme Lambert becomes COO.

Alongside its results for the year ended March 2024 – with revenue at an all-time high but marked by slowing growth – Richemont announced a major management revamp with Nicolas Bos promoted to chief executive officer of the group that owns brands like Cartier and Piaget. His predecessor (but not exactly), Jérôme Lambert, will be the group’s chief operating officer.

Having led Van Cleef & Arpels (VC&A) for just over a decade, Mr Bos skilfully grew the jeweller’s revenue more than sixfold during his tenure. At the same time, he managed to established a recognisable identity for VC&A, one distinct from its bigger sibling, Cartier.

He has spent practically his entire career at Richemont, having joined the group in 1992. Prior to taking the top job at VC&A, he was its creative director, a role he retained even after becoming the jeweller’s chief executive.

Effective June 1, the promotion of Mr Bos lends credence to talk of retirement for Cartier boss Cyrille Vigneron, who at 63 is nearing the group’s retirement age. Having led Cartier since 2015, Mr Vigneron has transformed it into a reliably profit generator that accounts for about half of the group’s revenue and a great deal of its profits. And next most profitable brand in Richemont is of course VC&A.

Jerome Lambert

Some are more equal than others

Mr Bos’ new job implies a demotion of sorts for Mr Lambert, who was appointed chief executive officer in 2018, after having led Jaeger-LeCoultre and then Montblanc. However, he was chief executive of a different sort from Mr Bos. The announcement at the time of his appointment described Mr Lambert “as first amongst equals”, working “in partnership with… Cyrille Vigneron… Nicolas Bos… [and chief financial officier] Burkhart Grund”.

Now Mr Bos has been elevated above his peers. Mr Vigneron and Mr Lambert will technically report to Mr Bos, who will oversee “notably the Jewellery Maisons, Finance, and Human Resources [of the group]” according to Richemont chairman Johann Rupert.

Interestingly, the statement about his remit leaves out the Specialist Watchmakers, comprised of brands like Lange, IWC, and Panerai, which are led by Emmanuel Perrin, sometimes regarded as a contender for the top job at Cartier or even the group chief executive job. It’s worth pointing out Mr Perrin is the nephew of Alain Dominique Perrin, who helped create Richemont, first as head of Cartier and then the group.

This adds a twist to the drawn-out succession at the Swiss group – which has gained a reputation for particularly byzantine internal politics – long dominated by its creator and controlling shareholder, Johann Rupert. Now 74, the straight-talking South African tycoon remains chairman of the board. However, the non-executive deputy chairman role will soon pass to Bram Schot, formerly a senior executive at the Volkswagen Group.


 

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Krzysztof Płonka Built the Great Astronomical Skeleton Clock From Scratch

Made in Poland with perpetual calendar and zodiac indicator.

A mechanical engineer by trade, Krzysztof Płonka has been making elaborate clocks since the 1990s in his workshop in southern Poland, specialising in regulator-style standing clocks with astronomical complications.

One of his most complex creations is the Great Astronomical Skeleton Clock. Requiring a decade to complete – producing the components took six years and assembly a further four years – the clock is unique proposition that combines classical horology with more modern mechanics.

Initial thoughts

Large standing clocks are a niche of horology far from the mainstream of wristwatch collection. While wrist (and occasionally pocket) watches are well known to enthusiasts, the best clockmakers and their amazing works are mostly neglected.

The Great Astronomical Skeleton Clock is a good example of such a hidden horological gem. It’s both curious in construction and comprehensive in terms of complications, a combination that should interest horologists and engineers alike.

Built on a precision movement as the base, the clock features a complete perpetual calendar, sunrise and sunset times for a fixed location and even a sun declination indication. The mechanics are presented in a beautiful woodworked cabinet almost 3 m tall, with large glass panels generously showing the inner workings.

 

The clock is stark in its open working, with most of the mechanics within on show from all sides. The movement features both classical horological elements and general mechanical concepts, perhaps reflecting Mr Płonka’s engineering background.

The bicycle chain and sprocket transmission look a little out of place, but ultimately contributes to the authentic, hand-crafted feel of the timepiece. The finishing is clean but not overly lustrous, with components in brass, gilt, or steel that are either brushed or polished to a shine. Despite the complexity, the movement avoids decorative flourishes and instead has a restrained, utilitarian aesthetic.  

 

Arguably, the only thing missing in the movement is a moon phase with greater accuracy and a perpetual calendar with a greater period of perpetuity. Record-setting moon phase indicators and secular perpetual calendars have been installed to wristwatches despite the size constraints, so such specifications can be expected in a grand complication clock, given the large canvas for expression.

Multi complications

The time telling portion clock features a basic going train with a Graham-type escapement and temperature-compensating pendulum. The going train pivots on ball bearings while the pendulum is suspended from knife edge fixings, hallmarks of a classic precision regulator clock. When the weight-driven mechanism is wound, a Harrsion-style power maintaining system keeps the clock running. 

The main clock face presents a complete perpetual calendar, with the date, day of the week, month, and four-digit year. The open-worked dial also features a classic moon phase, which is disappointingly not of the very accurate kind. Co-axial with the moon phase sits a 24-hour second time zone hand, while additional sub dials show the leap year cycle as well as sunrise and sunset times. The result is a dial densely packed with information.

Underneath the main dial sits a secondary face, showing the seasons and the zodiac signs, which is driven by an annual gear that also controls the perpetual calendar indications.

The large size of the clock allowed the maker to depart from strictly classical watchmaking and employ worm gears for the adequate ratio transmissions. And at the very top of the clock is a revolving Earth globe that looks slightly out of place. 

Many of the clock’s transmission systems are subtle; the inclusion of Gall chains, akin to those in a bicycle transmission, is certainly unusual even in clockmaking.


Key facts and price

Krzysztof Płonka Great Astronomical Skeleton Clock (2011-2015)

Dimensions: 2.70 m tall, with base 1.00 m by 1.15 m
Material: Case in mahogany wood, panelled in glass

Movement: Unnamed calibre
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, second time zone, perpetual calendar with four-digit year, moon phase; indicators for sign of the zodiac, seasons, sunrise, sunset, and sun declination
Winding: Key-wound
Power reserve: Five days

Limited edition: Unique piece
Availability:
Direct from Krzysztof Płonka
Price: On request

For more, visit Zegaryplonka.pl.


 

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