Buzzwords like custom, precision, and status typically come to thoughts when mentioning the time-honored Swiss watch trade. This comes as no shock to anybody concerned within the trade, particularly with luxurious giants like Patek Philippe, Rolex, Omega, and different well-known names shining their brilliant lights over the entire horological panorama.
Having withstood trade shifts starting from the quartz disaster to the discharge of the Apple Watch, the world of Swiss watchmaking continues to face for long-lasting high quality, protecting loyal followers and collectors coming again for extra.
With watchmaking icons which were round for many years so firmly in place, it may be tough for younger newcomers to make a reputation for themselves within the elite world of “Swiss Made.” Nonetheless, placing itself on the watchmaking map after simply three years of operation, Nidau-based Norqain has proved that standing sturdy within the face of robust competitors is feasible in Switzerland.
Norqain is an unbiased, family-operated enterprise based in 2018 by then-30-year-old Ben Küffer, whose final identify is pretty well-known behind the scenes within the watch world. His father, Marc Küffer, not so by the way Norqain’s chairman, has greater than 45 years of expertise heading quite a few Swiss luxurious watchmaking ventures.
For 1 / 4 of a century, Marc Küffer served on the board of administrators for the Swiss Watch Trade Affiliation. Bringing further monetary help, watchmaking experience, and scope to the Norqain administration crew and board are Ted Schneider, son of earlier Breitling proprietor Théodore Schneider, and Mark Streit, Swiss ice hockey legend and Stanley Cup winner.
Right this moment, simply two years after its founding, Norqain prides itself on an in depth community of retail companions together with a number of the greatest and most well-known on this planet like Wempe, Tourneau, Westime, Govberg, and Seddiqi.
Within the mild of this background, it’s no shock that Norqain’s three present collections – Journey, Freedom, and Independence – have rapidly made their manner onto the guidelines of watch lovers’ tongues in addition to onto their wrists. Valuing transparency, the model targets a youthful viewers who enjoys a stroll off the crushed path, appreciating high quality with out wanting to interrupt the financial institution.
The options of the model’s sporty three-handed fashions and chronographs are fairly convincing: till now, the entire model’s timepieces have been outfitted with ETA computerized calibers and sapphire crystal case backs. With a water-resistance of 100 meters and a particular strong appeal, they’re fairly cool device watches.
As such, they’re geared towards those that yearn for the nice outside and like an lively life-style. Every timepiece might be custom-made to the wearer’s style, together with a variety of strap decisions and the “Norqain plate” on the left case facet, which might be engraved with a phrase or date price cherishing.
The Journey Sport is my favourite because it contains a distinctive stamped dial sample that’s fairly distinctive, resembling a daring however whimsical basket weave. The dial creates a robust backdrop for the instrument-style shows coated with Tremendous-LumiNova for glorious legibility at evening.
Partnership with Kenissi, motion provider to Tudor and Chanel
Norqain’s current choice to accomplice with mechanical motion producer Kenissi is an enormous step up and a step towards blazing a path to future success. Kenissi was based by Tudor to provide the Rolex sibling’s manufacture calibers.
And there may be one other large identify on this recreation: Chanel, which owns a 20-percent stake in Kenissi. The very fact, that these two first-string gamers supply calibers from Kenissi – and have allowed Norqain to do the identical – is a reassuring signal of approval.
Independence 20 – Scratched Forest Inexperienced Dial is Norqain’s first watch fitted with the C.O.S.C.-certified Caliber NN20/1 launched in February 2020. It’s time-only (no date) with a wholesome 70-hour energy reserve from a single spring barrel.
Its most notable technical characteristic is a traversing bridge with two-point fixation over the oscillator, a sturdy construction designed to enhance precision and efficiency. And it’s this element that reveals the NN20/1’s similarity to Tudor’s Caliber MT5601, proper all the way down to the ending.
Nonetheless, its rotor options an attention-grabbing cutout that’s fairly completely different from the 2 cutouts on the Tudor rotor. The rotor additionally gives house for the model’s emblem, a double N alluding to Swiss Alp summits.
Norqain’s motto – Journey, Freedom, and Independence –is mirrored within the assortment names which are additionally on show on a motion bridge and visual when the rotor is positioned on one facet.
Norqain Independence 20 with Scratched Forest Inexperienced Dial
A 42 mm 316L stainless-steel case frames a particular “scratched” inexperienced dial, guaranteeing that no two fashions are precisely the identical. This impact is created by manually brushing the dial after the blanks have handed by way of two galvanic baths, first black after which inexperienced.
Whereas the faceted hour and minute arms have Tremendous-LumiNova tricks to maximize legibility, the second hand’s pink tip matches the pink phrase “chronometer” printed on the dial, collectively highlighting the motion’s licensed precision.
Independence 20 – Scratched Forest Inexperienced Dial can also be customizable. The polished Norqain plate on the left facet of the case, a component on all Norqain watches, makes it easy for the wearer so as to add his or her personal contact by engraving one thing private.
The most recent timepiece within the Independence assortment additionally gives the selection between a chrome steel bracelet with brushed and polished hyperlinks and an built-in black leather-based strap.
It’s additionally reassuring that Norqain gives a four-year worldwide guarantee, which continues to be uncommon though extra manufacturers are upping their warranties.
I actually just like the aptitude of this younger, progressive model, which brings a contemporary impulse by respecting the standard values of the trade typically and Swiss codes particularly. And studying the time on the weird dial with its charming “scratches” is an actual pleasure.
Although Norqain continues to be a younger model, I feel that the 200 items on this restricted version are prone to be scooped up rapidly.
I’m additionally fairly excited for one more proprietary debut that was introduced together with the NN20/1 again in February and is due out later this 12 months on September 9: Norqain’s GMT Caliber NN20/02, which is about to characteristic a leap hour for the native time and a synchronized date.
For extra info, please go to www.norqain.com.
Fast Info Norqain Independence 20 with Scratched Forest Inexperienced Dial
Case: 42 x 12.eight mm, stainless-steel 316L, waterproof to 100 meters
Motion: computerized Caliber NN20/1, four Hz/28,800 vph frequency, energy reserve 70 hours, formally C.O.S.C. chronometer licensed
Capabilities: hours, minutes, seconds
Limitation: 200 items
Value: €2,750 / CHF 2,990 (bracelet); €2,620 / CHF 2,840 (Barenia leather-based strap)