MICRO MONDAYS: Wolf Creek’s North Star is a daily wearer that’s ready for adventureTime+Tide
You know how action movies sometimes include sleeper agents that nobody noticed and that can wreak havoc should they wish to? Well, we can also speak of sleeper watch brands that most enthusiasts have never heard of despite the fact that the brand makes some pretty neat watches. And when we hear of the brand for the first time and look at the specs sheet and design, we wonder why that’s the case. One such brand is Wolf Creek, a relative newcomer from Minnesota, USA. Quietly and inconspicuously, Wolf Creek created two models that look different from many others on the market and that come with a robust construction. In today’s edition of Micro Mondays we’ll take a look at the brand’s second and most refined model, the North Star.
At first glance, the case of the North Star commands a certain presence. It’s as if the tonneau shape is calling out for attention. Not only does it come with an UFO-style profile, it also is endowed with reasonable dimensions. The diameter is 38mm, the lug-to-lug 43mm, the case thickness 12mm including the crystal, and the lug width 20mm. This is pretty ergonomic given the following two tricks the watch has up its sleeve – the movement is protected against shocks by an Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (NBR) gasket and against magnetism by way of a soft iron cage. For reference, NBR is a material used in the aeronautical, automotive, and nuclear industries – but you can also find it in disposable non-latex gloves.
This means the North Star is robust. It has the protection against magnetism equivalent to that of an IWC Ingenieur and can withstand the most hazardous adventures thanks to the rubber gasket and 200 metrEs of water resistance. The unique profile of the case is highlighted by satin-brushed surfaces on the top and sides as well as a polished chamfer that runs the entire length of the case. The finishing is up there in terms of quality and complements the lines of the case at its price point. The screw-down crown is small but has deep knurling, making it easy to grab and operate. The case-back is engraved with a landscape scene showing the Northern Lights that can be observed in Minnesota.
The dial of the North Star is versatile. It comes with an air of German utilitarianism given its monochromatic appearance. The black lacquered dial contrasts intensely with the white-coloured BGW9 hands and markers, making the dial very legible. Legibility is a key word here. The long sword-shaped hands, paired with the Arabic numerals at the cardinal points ease reading the time, and the date aperture neatly tucked at the 4:30 preserves the dial symmetry. Although placing the date in this particular location tends to divide watch enthusiasts, I would argue it is well executed here, as the date wheel is colour-matched to the dial and barely noticeable in its rectangular aperture.
The rest of the dial is pretty much self-explanatory. The brand’s logo – a stylised wolf head – is crisply printed beneath the 12 and the words “North Star” and “Automatic” underneath the pinion. Wolf Creek aligned itself with the recent trend of removing brand names from dials and only printing the logo. This keeps the dial clean of extraneous text, and in the case of the North Star, clearly indicates what type of watch this is. In other words, an everyday robust timepiece that can be taken on all adventures and look the part in different scenarios.
The North Star is shipped with a ladder-style stainless-steel bracelet and a NATO-style fabric strap. The former comes with solid links and end-links, a 2mm taper from 20mm at the lugs to 18mm at the clasp. The links are held together by way of Hex screws which are, in my humble experience, the easiest way to add and remove links. There is a small gap between each link to allow air to circulate during the summer days which guarantees year-round wearing comfort. The clasp is of the double-pusher safety déployant variety and comes with a built-in foldable diver’s extension, a plus for those who like to dive with non-divers, or perhaps those who just like having the extra water resistance no matter what they do.
The provided NATO-style fabric strap is comfortable and comes with solid hardware. Unlike many straps of this kind, Wolf Creek provides a version that is short rather than long, which is perfect for those with smaller wrists like myself (6.25”/16cm). By this I mean there is barely any excess fabric to tuck back into the keepers – something that could be a problem for watch enthusiasts with larger wrists. A couple of things to note – given the short lug-to-lug distance of 43mm, the lug holes are close to the case. This means any NATO-style you would pair with the Wolf Creek should be thin. However, the lugs are drilled, making the North Star a strap monster and further accentuating its versatility.
The North Star is driven by a top-grade Sellita SW300-1 calibre that comes with 56 hours of power reserve. Top grade means the movement is adjusted to five positions to run at +/- 4 seconds per day. The sample I have been testing for the past month runs like a champ at -1 seconds per day even after having slept in the watch box for a couple of days. Moreover, top grade Sellita movements come with Incabloc, a shock-protection feature adding another layer of robustness and reliability to the movement.
Wolf Creek North Star pricing and availability:
The Wolf Creek North Star can be ordered from the Wolf Creek’s website here. Price: U$1,275 ($100 flat rate shipping fee worldwide which covers VAT and import taxes)
|Case Dimensions||38mm (D) x 43mm (L2L) x 12mm (T)|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Dial||Black or blue|
|Strap||Stainless steel bracelet, fabric strap|
|Movement||Top Grade Sellita SW300-1|
|Power Reserve||56 hours|
|Availability||Available for immediate purchase|
|Price||U$1,275 ($100 flat rate shipping fee worldwide which covers VAT and import taxes)|