After years of relatively diminished popularity, the classic steel and gold two-tone case concept is beginning to experience a revival in the luxury watch industry. Swiss independent marque NORQAIN is the latest brand to jump on the recent two-tone trend, adding the masculine warmth of red gold to its classically styled Adventure NEVEREST sports watch line. By keeping its usage of gold tastefully restrained, the new NORQAIN Adventure NEVEREST GMT 41mm Steel & Gold Limited Edition adds a touch of luxury to its take on the classic sports GMT template without falling victim to the ostentation of many other two-tone designs.
As the name suggests, the stainless steel and 18K 5N red gold case of the NORQAIN Adventure NEVEREST GMT 41mm Steel & Gold Limited Edition measures in at a sporting 41mm-wide. Although this makes the design a touch larger than the 40mm-wide three-hand NEVEREST models, the size difference is not enough to disrupt the vintage-style proportions in initial images. The overall form is pure classic sports watch, with prominent squared-off crown guards, tapering athletic lugs, and a flowing polished chamfer running across the lug tops. The ceramic black bezel insert and its modern typeface for the engraved GMT scale help to give this classic combination a more contemporary feel, while the knurled edge of the gold bezel itself lends a tougher edge to this luxurious material in photos. Rather than liberally spreading gold around to elements like the crown or bracelet, NORQAIN keeps its use of gold limited to the bezel. With red gold’s saturated color, a more extensive gold treatment may well have unbalanced the design and visually overpowered the steel elements. Instead, this more judicious application of gold keeps the overall look sporting and masculine. Like its stainless steel counterparts, the NORQAIN Adventure NEVEREST GMT 41mm Steel & Gold Limited Edition offers a decent 100 meters of water resistance.
Compared to the more conservative use of gold for the case, NORQAIN gives the dial of the Adventure NEVEREST GMT 41mm Steel & Gold Limited Edition a more generous helping of the material. The full complement of dial hardware, from the faceted wedge indices to the pointed baton hands and the distinctive red arrow-tipped GMT hand, is rendered in 18K 5N red gold for a luxe and uniform feel. Beyond this, however, the two-tone 24-hour chapter ring abandons the usual combination of black and blue (or red) for a half-and-half mix of optic white and brushed red gold. The effect is dramatic and handsome in images, giving this two-tone design an added stylistic punch without crossing the line into visual excess. NORQAIN preserves its unique herringbone dial texture here in black, providing a familiar neutral base for the gold elements to play against.
NORQAIN powers the Adventure NEVEREST GMT 41mm Steel & Gold Limited Edition with the “manufacture” NN20/2 automatic GMT movement, produced exclusively for the brand by movement specialist Kenissi. Although broadly similar to the MT 5652 movement found inside the Tudor Black Bay GMT (also produced by Kenissi), the NN20/2 differs in several aspects, including a unique hairspring and custom finishing. NORQAIN’s finishing for the NN20/2 is clean and contemporary, with custom engraved matte blasted bridges flanked by a sunburst textured cutout rotor. The NN20/2 is a “true” GMT movement, offering a quickset function for the main hour hand, which allows for easy time zone adjustment while traveling. In terms of performance, the NN20/2 offers a hefty 70 hours of power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. To complete the design, NORQAIN offers the Adventure NEVEREST GMT 41mm Steel & Gold Limited Edition with either a textured black rubber strap or the brand’s unique split center link take on the traditional oyster-style stainless steel bracelet.
By maintaining a sense of tasteful balance and keeping its timelessly sporting core ethos alive, the new NORQAIN Adventure NEVEREST GMT 41mm Steel & Gold Limited Edition delivers one of the most thoughtful and attractive entries in the current wave of two-tone sports watch designs. Only 100 examples of the NORQAIN Adventure NEVEREST GMT 41mm Steel & Gold Limited Edition will be made, and the watch is available now through authorized dealers. Starting MSRP for this watch stands at $5,290 as of press time. 10% of the proceeds from the sale of each example will be used to fund the Butterfly Help Project, a charitable organization dedicated to supporting the families of sherpas who have lost their lives in the Himalayas. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.