Tudor: Decoding the North Flag

The most democratic watch brand in the business? Tudor sure seems to think so.

Tudor is without a doubt one of the most democratic horological brands, putting previously inaccessible luxury watches within reach. Tudor prides itself on ultimate accessibility; costs are lower than it’s sibling Rolex but the same level of craftsmanship remains. You’ll struggle to find a brand that offers beautiful design, hand-woven fabric straps, ceramic bead closure systems, hand painted dials and now in-house movements at a relatively affordable price. Tudor does just that, and does it with aplomb.

The North Flag family is no exception to this rule and, like all Tudor pieces, is produced at the brand’s own facilities in Geneva. The in-house MT5621 movement boasts a 70 hour power reserve (flying colours on ‘the weekend test’) and a Tudor silicon hairspring, giving it an ability to withstand temperature fluctuations, magnetism and shock. This same movement can be viewed through an open crystal caseback to reveal layer upon layer of laser etching, sandblasting, jewelling, gold plated wheels and a polished centre balance wheel.

The MT5621 is something of a mini revelation in itself. After a research and development phase of around 5 years, focus was on cost: the North Flag had to retain its price segment and maintain independence. The COSC certification is just a benchmark: the MT5621 at -2/+4 seconds a day is 40% more accurate than the requirement for this status and also offers a power reserve indicator at the 9 o’clock position.

Design wise, the North Flag takes much inspiration from the Ranger II model – a 1973 classic that pioneered a fully integrated bracelet and case design. At this time, the Ingenieur was launched by IWC whilst Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet released the Nautilus and Royal Oak respectively.

A double bezel forged from ceramic and steel gives the North Flag a real utilitarian approach – this is a ‘tool’ watch, and as such, everything from the monobloc 316L satin-finished case and polished steel facets reinforces this aesthetic. Additionally, a leather strap has been painstakingly treated to give a matt effect with coordinating yellow stitching.

Needless to say, both Tudor and the North Flag don’t do things by halves; out in the field but suited to a more rugged climate. Enjoy.