Tudor’s collection this year is one full of adventure, from the rugged and utilitarian North Flag to the free-spirited Fastrider. So we didn’t know exactly what to expect when we got an invitation from Tudor to have dinner and inspect their latest watches. We were only more intrigued when we noticed that dinner was going to be in multiple-Archibald prize-winning artist Vincent Fantauzzo’s studio.
We didn’t expect that getting there would be an adventure in itself. The address seemed simple enough, but Melbourne’s traffic, transport system, Google maps and a few laneways conspired to make what looked like a simple trip on our phone screens a bit of a mission.
Luckily we weren’t alone in the mean streets of south Melbourne. For the evening we had brought along two guests who were well positioned to provide some unique insight into the Tudor’s latest collection.
Lachie Watson works with leading Melbourne tailors Oscar Hunt. With his ability to quickly hone in on the smallest sartorial details, from hand-finished button holes to the perfectly rolled collar, Lachie is well equipped to judge the finer points of Tudor’s offerings.
Lex Mak is an architect specialising in that most Melbourne of spaces – cafes. The keen understanding of space and form that is immediately clear on his Instagram account means he’s well placed to talk about their latest designs.
We suspect that Tudor would be a little pleased to know that getting to dinner required some effort on our behalf (maybe not scaling icy crevasse a la North Flag –but still). It’s in keeping with the spirit of exploration that is at the heart of the brand.
And it’s no accident that we were in Vincent’s studio, as Fantauzzo (a long-time friend of the brand) is just back from an adventure of his own. The walls are covered with massive photorealistic portraits that are the result of Vincent’s journey to Alice Springs and exploration of indigenous art and culture. Portraits that will hopefully net him another Archibald prize.
After some truly delicious Peruvian cuisine courtesy of Harley House we settled into some serious exploration of the Tudor novelties. The colourful Fastriders and the new Blue Pelagos got a lot of attention but the star of the night was clearly the North Flag. There were only a few in the room, and I literally had to pry one off someone else’s wrist to get Lex and Lachie’s thoughts on the piece.
The Architect’s take:
I interrupt Lex as he’s admiring a Black Bay Blue that has magically found its way onto his wrist
Lex: …I love it – the navy dial really works. I’m a dressy watch kind of guy but I’d wear this, I don’t think it adds too much bulk.
T+T: Lex, can we talk about this North Flag? As an architect – if this watch were a designed space, what would it say?
Lex: It’s really clean; I love the little power reserve disc at 9. It’s a beautiful, solid piece of kit and 40mm is a perfect size. This is a very contemporary Tudor, with the very engineered lines and the ceramic details. It’s a totally different watch from something like the Black Bay, (he holds them next to each other) you can see the family resemblance, but the North Flag clearly saying that Tudor’s now going in a different direction.
T+T: Who would wear it?
Someone like me! This is a creative’s watch – we like simplicity and ‘less is more’. This ticks those boxes, without being too minimal. I can definitely see my friends and colleagues wearing this.
The Tailor’s take:
T+T: Lachie, if the North Flag was a suit, who would you recommend it to?
Lachie: This is a watch for your young professional, someone who’s got a got first year bonus and has come into a bit of money and is looking for a quality timepiece. It’s all about the modern, sleek features and slim design. But there’s a touch of colour, which makes it lively without being too over the top. I think this is a very comfortable and versatile watch; you could wear it with anything, all year round.
Things escalated quickly when Lachie and Lex discovered a display that held a small but immaculate collection of Tudor’s Museum pieces. It was soon decided that Lachie would be quite happy with the ‘57 Advisor and Lex took quite a shine to a ’54 Submariner with an impossibly mint Bakelite bezel. These guys are in trouble.
Thanks to Tudor and Vincent Fantauzzo for such a memorable evening.
Images by Michiel Rotgans.