When Tudor released the North Flag last year, it caused quite a stir. On one hand, there was the in-house movement – Tudor’s first. The brand seemed to be announcing it had come of age – moved out of Mom and Dad’s (Rolex’s) house, as it were.
On the other hand, fans of the brand took to social media, expressing disappointment in the styling and claiming Tudor had strayed too far from its roots.
It’s true, the watch does have a certain ‘Gerald Genta’ vibe, with its semi-integrated bracelet (or optional leather strap) not unlike the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.
But this is not an avant-garde design. Quite the contrary, the North Flag is quite conservative. The loudest shouting feature is the yellow coloring used for the seconds hand, the power reserve scale, the secondary tick marks at the hour indices, and the stitching and lining of the optional strap.
The North Flag’s heritage is the Oyster Prince Ranger 2, which in turn traces its lineage back to a watch used by members of a British expedition to northern Greenland in 1952 (The British North Greenland expedition – where the current watch’s name comes from).
The crown is tapered, which seems a nod to visual design rather than function, but it adds to the sleekness of the watch’s overall look. And Tudor has used ceramic in some of its case components.
But all that almost seems secondary. The in-house calibre MT5621 movement, which is COSC certified, was the real harbinger of things to come. A year later, Tudor announced that more watches in their lineup (the Heritage Black Bay and the Pelagos) would carry in-house movements – brethren to this first one.
The Tudor faithful seem to be coming around. The North Flag is solidly in the lineup and it has spawned additional movements which inhabit other popular Tudor models.
It seems the little brother has indeed moved out of his parents house and into his own place.