Even though the brand is still young, Norqain appears as a brand to follow. Created in 2018 in Nidau, Switzerland, the brand has been unveiling multiple models to create a comprehensive and coherent collection of functional and adventure-inspired watches. And in terms of production and strategy, the roadmap is pretty clear and includes a strategic partnership with Kenissi to provide manufacture movements. An already mature brand that is today launching two new models in the Freedom collection, with new complications, sizes, materials and now fitted with COSC-certified manufacture engines. Meet the new Norqain Freedom 60 GMT & Freedom 60 39mm, including some bronze editions.
It takes more than just luck and ambition to achieve this level of integration and development after only 2 years of existence. Norqain has a solid strategy and comes with products that are coherent, well-executed and, more surprising, powered by powerful movements made by Kenissi – owned by Chanel and Tudor/Rolex. This partnership was announced earlier this year, with the Norqain Independence 20, and now the brand continues to expand its collection with some more manufactures movements, and an anticipated GMT model.
Both new models, the Freedom 60 GMT and Freedom 60 39mm, are part of a collection with a vintage vibe, clean designs and an overall adventurous styling.
The Norqain Freedom 60 GMT
The main highlight of this new sub-collection is the Freedom 60 GMT, a watch equipped with a classic yet practical traveller’s function. While the overall design remains true to other watches in the Freedom collection, such as the sleek polished bezel, the elegant dials and fecetted hands/markers and the retro-looking elements all over, some evolutions are to be noted.
An important update concerns the size of the watch itself. According to the brand’s CEO, Ben Küffer, “When we began designing these new Freedom watches, we listened closely to what customers and followers wanted.” And what the plebs wanted was smaller cases. While the previous Freedom watches were sized at 42mm and 43mm, the GMT has been reduced to a reasonable 40mm diameter. Clearly, we can only appreciate this move. Other than these new proportions, the case of the Norqain Freedom 60 GMT is identical in shape and finishing, with polished or brushed surfaces, and the signature plate on the side that can be personalized. The dial is protected by a domed sapphire crystal, reminiscent of 1960s watches.
Two editions of this new GMT model are introduced. The first has a classic stainless steel case, with black dial. The GMT track is white and grey-coloured, while the dial’s elements (hands and applied indexes) are rhodium-plated and feature cream-coloured luminous inserts.
The second Norqain Freedom 60 GMT, a limited edition of 300 pieces, is made of satined bronze with the typical yellowish colour. Made of bronze silicon-aluminium alloy, it will gain patina as it oxidizes over time. The caseback is stainless steel and treated with bronze PVD. This particular model has a “cedar brown” dial paired with applied indexes and faceted hands, which are also made of bronze, are set with Old Radium Superluminova markers.
The GMT function, which relies on an independent 24-hour and a local time function set by the crown with one-hour increments, is powered by the high-performance Manufacture Calibre NN20/2. This automatic movement, which is chronometer-certified by COSC, benefits from a comfortable power reserve of 70 hours and runs a modern frequency of 4Hz. It displays the time, a second time zone as well as the date. Visible through a sapphire caseback, the main bridge is engraved with the brand’s core values – Adventure, Freedom, Independence – and the oscillating weight is decorated with a golden logo.
The steel Norqain Freedom 60 GMT will be part of the permanent collection and priced at CHF 3,490 on leather strap or CHF 3,760 on steel bracelet. The limited (300 pieces) bronze version, worn on Norlando leather strap, will be priced at CHF 3,790.
Quick facts: 40mm diameter x 14.5mm height – 49mm lug-to-lug – stainless steel case or bronze case with steel caseback – sapphire crystal – 100m water-resistant – manufacture Calibre NN20/2, COSC-certified, automatic – 4Hz frequency, 70h power reserve – steel: leather strap or bracelet – bronze: leather strap – from CHF 3,490 to CHF 3,790
The Norqain Freedom 60 Three-Hand 39mm
The second watch to be added to the Freedom 60 is a nicely compact no-date edition. While the brand already has a time-and-date model in its collection, which is sized at 42mm, this new Freedom 60 Three-Hand has been scaled down to a reasonable 39mm, with a height of 11.7mm. The case retains all the 1960s-inspired elements of this collection, as well as the customizable plate on the side.
As with the GMT model, two editions will be available. The first one combines a steel case with an anthracite brushed dial, featuring applied indexes and “Old Radium” Superluminova markers. It is worn on a beige strap, closed by a pin buckle.
The second model is made of bronze, yet this time not limited in production. The case, made from bronze silicon-aluminium alloy with a bronze PVD-coated steel caseback, is entirely satined. This edition features a nice, old-school cream-coloured dial and is worn on a brown leather strap.
Inside the case is again a manufacture movement, the calibre NN20/1, also used in the Independence 20. This Kenissi-based engine runs at 4Hz and boasts a 70h power reserve. It is also chronometer-certified by COSC and is visible through the caseback.
The Norqain Freedom 60 Three-Hand 39mm in steel will be priced at CHF 2,720. The bronze edition will retail for CHF 2,990.
Quick facts: 39mm diameter x 11.7mm height – 48mm lug-to-lug – stainless steel case or bronze case with steel caseback – sapphire crystal – 100m water-resistant – manufacture Calibre NN20/1, COSC-certified, automatic – 4Hz frequency, 70h power reserve – Norlando leather strap with pin buckle – from CHF 2,720 to CHF 2,990
More details and orders at www.norqain.com.