By Rebecca Doulton
Designed for the modern-day adventurer, Tudor watches' new North Flag timepiece marks a milestone, as it is equipped with the first-ever Tudor in-house movement. This is a big step forward for Tudor, a sub-brand of Rolex, which has finally come of age with a defined brand personality, a realm operating in the £5,000 price niche, and a new, younger demographic of followers.
All the fireworks about this new men's watch are entirely justified. As the firstborn son to King Rolex, Tudor was granted permission to use the Oyster screwed-down waterproof case, but was destined to source its own watch movements. The reasoning was simple: in 1946, Hans Wilsdorf, the Bavarian founder of Rolex, announced that Tudor watches had been founded to "attain the standard of dependability for which Rolex is famous" at "a more modest price", making the use of the more expensive Rolex in-house movements impractical.
The new North Flag, depicted in icy conditions, is not Tudor's first watch designed for the "coldest and most remote extremities of the planet". The Oyster Prince watch of 1952 was a defining moment for Tudor watches and set the stage for the rugged, resilient and reliable timepieces that characterise the brand.
Tudor realised that testimonials are worth their weight in gold and supplied the British North Greenland Expedition of 1952 with 26 Oyster Prince watches. Nothing, however, can beat the latest testimonial, which came last year from 93-year-old Major Desmond Homard, who contacted Tudor to announce that he had found his Oyster Prince in the back of a kitchen drawer. Forgotten for 60 years, the watch had accompanied Major Homard on the expedition of 1952 and was still ticking.
Tudor's new North Flag watch is eager to set its own endurance records and comes in a rugged 40mm hybrid steel and black ceramic case, equipped with Tudor's very own mechanical automatic movement, MT5621 - certified by COSC as a chronometer - to keep the hours, minutes, central seconds, date and power reserve functions going for 70 hours, with water-resistance to 100 metres. Being the brand's first in-house movement, the caseback has a sapphire crystal to let you watch the bi-directional rotor swing back and forth as it provides energy to the barrel.
The easy-to-read black matte dial with white luminescent hour markers and hands features yellow details on the seconds hand, the five-minute intervals, and power reserve disc for a touch of colour. Ideal for gifting as best men's watches, and available with an integrated solid steel bracelet with a satin polish or a black leather strap with yellow stitching, Tudor's North Flag watch is ready to conquer the market.