Wanting on the model as we speak, it’s nearly unimaginable to imagine that Norqain has solely been round for a handful of years. Based in 2018, Norqain is a totally unbiased, family-owned Swiss watch firm that has firmly asserted itself inside the trade by producing high-end timepieces that embody a spirit of journey and a love for the outside. Along with having a really well-defined model id, Norqain additionally appears to have the ability to persistently align itself with some critically large names from the watch trade. The primary main occasion of this was when it secured Kenissi because the producer of its in-house actions, and the newest has been its partnership with watch trade legend Jean-Claude Biver, who as of earlier this 12 months in 2022, now serves as Advisor to the Board for Norqain.
Universally considered a real visionary inside the watch trade, Jean-Claude Biver has left an indelible mark on this trade from his involvement with quite a few main luxurious manufacturers together with Omega, Blancpain, Hublot, and TAG Heuer. Previous to retiring from his official place in 2018, Biver was the top of the whole watches and jewellery division for LVMH, and any watch firm could be thrilled to have Jean-Claude Biver’s involvement. The truth that he has chosen to work with Norqain implies that he legitimately likes the model and sees one thing in each the path that the corporate is headed and the people who find themselves operating it. Nonetheless, the collaboration between Norqain and Jean-Claude Biver dates again a bit additional than his latest Advisor to the Board title. For greater than two years, Biver has been working with Norqain’s groups and various Switzerland’s finest suppliers to create a brand new household of 100% Swiss-Made, next-generation mechanical sports activities watches often known as the Norqain Independence Wild ONE, which characteristic a brand-new proprietary carbon-based materials referred to as NORTEQ and an modern high-performance case design that guarantees unparalleled shock resistance.
Created solely for Norqain by Swiss artificial materials masters BIWI SA, NORTEQ is a proprietary carbon composite with a marbleized look that’s constructed from carbon fibers and a high-performance polymer matrix. On the subject of weight and sturdiness, NORTEQ is greater than six instances lighter than metal, 3.5 instances lighter than titanium, and it gives the proper mix of density, resistance, and elasticity to advertise most shock absorption. Along with being utterly anti-magnetic and impervious to corrosion, NORTEQ will also be produced in several colours, in comparison with conventional carbon composite supplies which are all grey/black. Whereas the preliminary batch of fashions showcases NORTEQ in black and burgundy, Norqain makes it clear that different colours are additionally attainable, and it’s extremely seemingly that we are going to finally see different colours of this materials seem sooner or later. Lastly, regardless of its high-performance qualities, the polymer matrix used to create NORTEQ consists of 60% bio-sourced materials (castor oil), and 100% of the fabric left over from the manufacturing course of will get recycled, which is a part of how Norqain has been capable of obtain a CO2-Impartial certification by Swiss Local weather.
Along with the brand new light-weight and extremely sturdy NORTEQ materials, the precise case design of the brand new Norqain Independence Wild ONE watches has been particularly designed to supply most safety towards shocks and impacts. The case itself measures 42mm in diameter by 12.3mm thick, with a lug width of 22mm and an general lug-to-lug distance of 49.4mm. The exterior part of the case is a protecting shell consisting of two items of NORTEQ that bolt collectively in 4 locations from the highest and backside to create the outer case silhouette of the watch. Inside this construction is a rubber shock absorber that encases a titanium internal container that’s fitted on both facet with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, with the dial, arms, and motion all tucked away safely inside. Whereas the overwhelming majority of the rubber bumper is roofed by the NORTEQ outer cage, each the crown guards and the small raised part surrounding the Norqain plate on the 9 o’clock facet of the case are fashioned fully by the internal rubber shock absorbing construction. Regardless of its slightly intricate impact-resistant design, water resistance stays greater than ample, and the rubberized screw-down winding crown helps present the brand new Norqain Independence Wild ONE with a depth score of 200 meters.
Given its unapologetically trendy and technical look, a standard dial would have appeared slightly misplaced amongst the entire carbon and rubber that kinds the exterior case of the watch. Consequently, the dials that Norqain matches to the Independence Wild ONE are manufactured by Montremo SA and so they characteristic a three-dimensional laser-cut sample constructed from tiny interlocking Norqain logos. The dial floor itself has three completely different layers which are separated by 0.05mm, and this offers the engraved sample a extremely sculptural impact. Skeletonized rectangular hour markers sit on prime of the floor of the dial and work with a set of centrally-mounted skeletonized arms to show the time, whereas the ideas of the arms and hour markers are all completed with X1 Tremendous-LumiNova for enhanced low-light visibility. Dial textual content is stored to a minimal, with the Norqain identify and emblem showing just under the 12 o’clock marker, whereas the one textual content on the decrease half of the dial is the phrase “Chronometer” and the compulsory “Swiss Made” signature positioned under the 6 o’clock marker.
Internally, the brand new Norqain Independence Wild ONE fashions are all powered by the model’s in-house Caliber NN20/1 automated motion, which is manufactured by Kenissi and runs at a frequency of 28,800vph (4Hz), whereas providing customers chronometer-certified efficiency with an influence reserve of roughly 70 hours. Kenissi at present solely produces actions for a handful of luxurious watch manufacturers, with the others being Tudor, Breitling, and Chanel. The truth that Norqain is ready to have Kenissi as its motion producer is arguably one of many single biggest elements that separates Norqain from lots of its opponents, and it permits the model to efficiently function at a value level that’s sometimes dominated by a lot older and bigger producers. Lastly, the rotor on the Norqain Cal. NN20/1 options the model’s emblem in gold, and the automated bridge is inscribed with the model’s core values with an engraving that reads “Journey – Freedom – Independence.”
On the time of launch, the Norqain Independence Wild ONE lineup consists of 4 watches, with two of them produced as restricted editions, and the opposite two becoming a member of the catalog as core fashions. The 2 standard-production variations each characteristic black NORTEQ outer circumstances, with one receiving a black dial, an olive inexperienced shock absorber, and the selection of both a black or matching inexperienced rubber strap, whereas the opposite model will get fitted with these similar elements in a vivid shade of blue (a black rubber strap additionally out there as an choice). As for the 2 restricted version fashions, one in all them shall be produced as a run of 200 items, and it contains a burgundy-colored NORTEQ outer case paired with grey accenting elements and pink gold completed arms, whereas the opposite restricted version model shall be produced as a run of 500 examples, and it’s created in collaboration with Swiss wildlife professional and Norqain model ambassador Dean Schneider. That includes a black NORTEQ outer case paired with a black dial, a sand-colored shock absorber, and an identical black rubber strap, the Dean Schneider restricted version model swaps out the Norqain emblem dial of the opposite three fashions for one with a lion fur-inspired texture that extends to the strap. Each the dial and caseback of the Dean Schneider restricted version mannequin characteristic the logo of his Hakuna Mipaka wildlife oasis in South Africa, and the fabric of the shock absorber has been infused with precise sand taken from the grounds of the oasis to straight join the watch to the land and animals that function its design inspiration.
The brand new Norqain Independence Wild ONE shall be accompanied by an official retail value of $5,290 USD for both of the 2 standard-production fashions, whereas the restricted version model with the burgundy-colored NORTEQ case is priced at $5,690 USD and the Dean Schneider restricted version mannequin is available in at $5,590 USD. Ever because it was first introduced that Jean-Claude Biver was going to be collaborating with Norqain to supply a totally trendy, high-tech sports activities watch, there was a number of hypothesis surrounding what the ultimate product may be. Now that the watch is right here, we lastly have our reply; nonetheless, this new launch would possibly simply be the start of one thing a lot bigger, slightly than simply the product of a one-off ardour venture. The identify of the mannequin is the “Wild ONE” — and in the entire model’s literature, the phrase “ONE” is at all times capitalized. Past the potential for future releases inside this line, Norqain has clearly made a big funding in its proprietary carbon-based NORTEQ materials, and I’d be shocked if we didn’t begin to see the model start to include it into the development of different fashions from its catalog. For extra data, please go to the model’s web site.