Perhaps in some ways a follow-up to the Ranger of 2014, the North Flag, Tudor’s Baselworld 2015 release which I had the chance to see during a promotional Tudor ‘tour’ at The Hour Glass Sydney, has been perhaps their most talked-about watch this year.
Why? Well because of what is inside. It uses the new Calibre MT5621 movement which has been referred to both as in-house and on Twitter by a well-known journalist and Rolex historian as follows “The movement is NOT made at the Rolex Bienne factory, rather parts are made by several subcontractors throughout Switzerland when released. Including Tudor themselves and it is assembled by Tudor in Geneva. It will, soon, fund its way into other Tudor models”. It all adds to the whole ‘in-house’ definitional debate that continues to periodically surface.
In any event this is a pure and unadulterated tool watch, and in this sense also similar to the Ranger of last year (and in fact is inspired by their 1970s Ranger II), and targeted by Tudor at who they are calling “the modern adventurer”. Its lines are clean and the dial, with its lumed markers and hands, pretty much as legible you can get.
The new COSC-certified automatic Calibre MT5621, the first Tudor movement to be thus, has a hefty power reserve of seventy hours, a silicon balance spring (a first for Tudor), tungsten rotor, and is ‘optically finished’.
In terms of the exterior – it is in a 40mm stainless steel case (monobloc middle) with a steel and matte black ceramic bezel (see above), the latter a nice extra touch giving it an interesting (and low key, given its realisation) detail (or flourish, if you will) to what is otherwise a very traditional-looking utilitarian watch. To my mind it makes it a more aesthetically attractive propositon than its Ranger predecessor. In terms of general build, it also feels a bit more solid than the Ranger, and if I was to choose between the two, I would pick this one without hesitation.
Water resistant to 100m, the new Tudor North Flag is available in two versions, bracelet or a black leather strap with contrasting stitching and yellow lining. Whilst there are many fans of bracelets the strap, with its textured almost carbon-fibre like look, gets my vote both because of how attractive it is, and because of the sporty ‘lift’ it gives to the watch.
Australian RRP is $4,350.