The Tudor North Flag was big news at Baselworld: a watch with the first in-house Tudor movement, the MT5612 that also appears in the Pelagos. Tudor, founded by the father of Rolex Hans Wilsdorf to provide lower-priced watches that Rolex dealers could sell, traditionally used ETA movements. This in-house movement shows that they are preparing for the watershed of 2020 when ETA (part of Swatch Group) will stop selling movements to brands outside Swatch Group.
Differently to the Pelagos, the North Flag has a power reserve indicator on the dial, and a sapphire caseback. Another significant feature of this piece is the competitive price (considering the brand name, the quality of the movement, COSC certification), 3,400 Swiss francs. Tudor present this as a “tool watch,” a reliable timepiece to accompany a modern adventurer, and this is heightened by the design, with all-matt finish, prominent screw-down crown, and bezel comprising a black ceramic ring below the top steel component. It is waterproof to 100 metres. Hands and dial markings are luminescent.
Considering that the watch has a 70-hour power reserve, the power reserve indicator is a useful function. Most mechanical watches have a power reserve of 38-42 hours, and so really you have to wear them every day to keep it fully wound. 70 hours means that it keeps on going if you leave it in your drawer for the weekend: if you take it off on Friday evening and put it back on on Monday morning, it will still be running, and you can see whether you have to add some power using the crown.
Case and dial
The 40 mm case in satin-finish 316L stainless steel has integrated lugs that give it a technical appearance; it looks good both with the steel bracelet and the leather strap. The design inspiration comes from the Tudor Ranger II (1973 – image at right is the preceding Tudor Oyster Prince Ranger, 1967, courtesy Tudor). The new case has the all-brushed finish that gives it the new Tudor all-matt look. There is a ceramic ring between steel bezel and the case. The crown is large and practical to use. The sapphire caseback represents another first for Tudor. The watch has two variants for the strap: a steel bracelet, satin-finished with polished inter-link surfaces, or a matt black textured leather strap with yellow top-stitching and lining. Both have a folding clasp.
The new calibre Tudor MT5612 has a power reserve of about 70 hours. It provides a date display that jumps instantaneously and that doesn’t have a time sector during which it can’t be adjusted. The watch has the stop-second function for precision time-setting. The movement runs at 4 Hertz (28,800 vph), and it has a silicon balance spring for improved resistance to magnetic fields. It is COSC-certified, another first for Tudor watches. The certification guarantees a precision of +/- 5 secs per day, but in actual fact, says the brand, it reaches +/- 3 secs per day.
Reference and price
The Tudor North Flag, reference 91210N, costs 3,400 Swiss francs with a leather strap, and 3,500 Swiss francs with a steel bracelet.