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From The Cold, Came The TUDOR North Flag

By Gary Royston Cole

Though TUDOR in very recent years released their new motto BORN TO DARE, their history to push barriers goes back much further than that.
In 1952 a total of twenty six (26) TUDOR Oyster Princes would be included in the British scientific expedition to Greenland, organised by the Royal Navy. The number 26 may well of been a significant number for TUDOR’S founder Hans Wilsdorf. The reason I bring this to the forum is that the TUDOR company was founded in 1926.By coincidence if you add 26 to their foundation year that is 52, and 1952 we now know is the Year the British Scientific expedition to Greenland commenced.

1952 TUDOR Oyster Prince

Time to reveal now the first TUDOR timepiece to have an in house chronometer movement.. The “NORTH FLAG”

Take your time to have a real good look at this well tooled timepiece. The first thing you may pick up on is the subtle use of the colour yellow. Yellow is a colour rarely used on dials, or bezels. TUDOR cleverly minimise this to maximise the effect. It appears on the power reserve aperture,  the second hand, and 10 minute/seconds dial markers.

The North Flag is the first TUDOR watch to incorporate the power reserve feature. Just unscrew the winding crown, wind it up until you see the indicator reaches the top, and you will have a mighty 70 hours of power.

TUDOR also for a similar price offers up a detailed yellow stitched deployment leather strap of fine quality. I actually prefer to wear my North Flag with the strap. In fact I have to date not worn it with the steel bracelet. The decision to spend nearly £300 on the strap was rather exotic. However for a watch I wear regularly I will gladly put up with the deployment clasp designed to be put on your wrist in TUDOR’S own special way.

The North Flag is an interesting proposition for a watch enthusiast looking for a quality watch at under £3,000.
Visually the dial is clear, uncluttered, and justifies a power reserve for the usage it is likely to get. After all it is honed and built for exploratory conditions in extreme places. Power reserves were first designed by one of the greatest watch houses Breguet in 1933. This was devised as most watches have a reserve of power based on the full amount of time it has been wound. Generally this would be 35-48 hours. Power reserve eliminates the guesswork of knowing how long your watch will tick for. Essentially it knows how much tension is left in the watch’s mainspring. This is achieved through a small wheel detailed with a painted hand and a correlating scale given in hours, very effective and minimalistic. TUDOR use yellow graded segments counting downwards towards zero. In emergency situations where you may need to know elapsed time when your watch is off the wrist this could prove to be invaluable.

With all TUDOR’S now you expect to enjoy high quality with an affordable price. Key features for the North Flag are numerous, including the following:

The first TUDOR professional timepiece to have an exhibition back as illustrated below.

Going swiftly back to value for money, TUDOR by having an exhibition case back provide two virtually scratch resistant sapphire crystals. Calibre number, brand name and essential functions of the movement can be seen. This feature is a nice talking point for any watch enthusiast Or forum discussions.

The middle case has a very appropriate steel with matte finish throughout. Complete with a functional size crown with the Tudor logo in relief. Nice touch with the bezel, or should I say double bezel? It is crafted in both steel and matte black ceramic. This design cleverly enhances the look giving it a ‘specialist’ watch look. Which of course is exactly what it is.

The Tudor bracelet options

Both options whether you choose leather with yellow stitched piping with a presence on the inside of the  deployment clasp strap or steel bracelet work impeccably. The images give you a good idea of which one to choose, or like me why not have both.

The movement as one would expect for its price range has a bidirectional rotary system self winding officially certified (COSC) chronometer rating. TUDOR push the barriers even further by providing a worldwide five (5) year warranty, and superb quality presentation box with card.

This completes just a short journey into the TUDOR North Flag. Not a watch that is set in the past, but a credible watch that belongs in the future.