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Though NORQAIN was only established in 2018, the brand has quickly emerged as a major force in Swiss watchmaking. Drawing upon decades of experience in the watch industry, the minds that created NORQAIN leveraged their knowledge and connections to create a brand that embraces the best of Swiss watchmaking. With versatile watches designed to be worn every day on every adventure (each watch features at least 100m of water resistance), NORQAIN emphasizes design and proportion while ensuring the best materials, fit, and finish possible. Add in COSC-certified manufacture movements and a competitive price point, and NORQAIN’s success comes as little surprise. Over the past year, NORQAIN has shown no signs of slowing down, with a host of new releases that share a unified design language but will appeal to all tastes.
NORQAIN has three collections: Adventure, Freedom, and Independence, and 2021 saw the brand introduce new models in each collection. However, the line that received the most attention this year was the Adventure, with the NEVEREST sub-collection launching seven new models in an array of colorways.
Since its inception, NORQAIN has been inspired by the mountains — even the brand’s side-by-side “N” logo portrays a mountain peak. While all NORQAIN’s watches are more than ready to take to the mountains, no line is more so than the aptly-named Adventure collection, and especially the NEVEREST watches. The NEVEREST series was named for the world’s highest peak, the intrepid souls who have braved its heights, and those that tragically perished on the mountains. To honor the Sherpas who died while guiding expeditions to the tops of the Himalayas, NORQAIN donates 10 percent of all earnings from the NEVEREST collection sales to the Butterfly Help Project, an organization that supports families of Sherpas who lost their lives in the Himalayas, ensuring their children gain access to education. NORQAIN has already been able to send 50 children to school in 2021.
Each model of the NEVEREST collection is powered by NORQAIN’s exclusive manufacture movements produced by the Kenissi factory in Geneva. Both the NN20/1 (time only) and NN20/2 (GMT) calibers are designed with a weekend-proof 70-hour power reserve and double point point bridge fixation for extra robustness. Better yet, each is movement has received COSC certification, ensuring extremely accurate timekeeping. Luckily, each watch in the NEVEREST series features a sapphire caseback, allowing the user to view NORQAIN’s exclusive movement.
NORQAIN’s newest release in the NEVEREST collection is the Night Sight 40mm DLC. The Night Sight was designed for users who live for nighttime adventures. With a full lume dial crafted from X1 Super-LumiNova, reading the time during the dead of night poses no problem. Coupled with a compass bezel, black DLC case, and oversized military numerals, the Night Sight is the most mission-focused watch in NORQAIN’s lineup, with prices starting at $3,490 USD.
If tracking multiple time zones is high on your list, NORQAIN also offers the NEVEREST in a GMT version with a bidirectional rotating bezel with a 24-hour ceramic insert, allowing you to track three time zones at once. Sharing the same case shape as the 40mm, the GMT is slightly upsized to 41mm in diameter (48.9mm lug to lug; 14.94mm thick) to accommodate the extra complication. The NN20/2 manufacture caliber powering the NEVEREST GMT is true GMT, meaning that the hour hand is independently adjustable (jump hour), allowing you to change the local time in seconds. Each NEVEREST model is available on a matching steel bracelet, rubber strap, or flex fabric strap, with prices starting at $3,690 USD.
Rounding out the NEVEREST collection is the versatile Adventure NEVEREST 40mm, finished with a mix of satin and polished surfaces, it hits the sweet spot on size for a wide range of wrists, measuring in at 40mm in width with a 48.3mm lug to lug and slim 12.55mm-thick. With a screw-down crown, crown guards, and 200m of water resistance, the NEVEREST 40mm was built to be robust, yet comfortably wearable in all situations.
The NEVEREST 40mm is available in three colorways, with the Glacier Dial featuring a soft white hue with texturing that evokes glacial snowfields as seen from above. Meanwhile, the Green Dial colorway features a bright forest green dial with a herringbone pattern. Rounding out the collection is a Limited Edition model in steel and gold. With a steel case, gold bezel, and gold hands and indices, the Limited Edition adds a degree of class and sophistication to an already versatile watch. Prices for the NEVEREST 40mm start at $3,180 USD.
For those looking for a GMT without the need to track a third time zone via a rotating bezel, the NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT is just the ticket. Available in both bronze and stainless steel, the Freedom 60 GMT is powered by the same manufacture caliber NN20/2 as the NEVEREST GMT, but in a slightly smaller (40.5mm diameter, 49.2mm lug-to-lug, 14.5mm thickness) and more elegant package.
The stainless steel model of the Freedom 60 comes equipped with an opaline dial set off by an inset 24-hour ring for the GMT hand executed in midnight blue and Bordeaux. Rather than a rotating bezel, the Freedom 60 employs a thin, polished bezel that allows the dial shine. The fully polished case is complemented by a large, easy to grip crown that eschews crown guards to create a slimmer, more elegant look. Like all NORQAIN watches, the Freedom 60 is also available on your choice of strap, including a Norlando strap, croco-style rubber strap, Perlon rubber strap, or a stainless steel H-link bracelet, with prices starting at $3,750 USD.
The NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Forest Green Limited Edition in bronze is a true statement piece that evokes a classic 60’s vibe. A forest green dial with a sunburst finish sets off the warm tones of bronze, especially when complemented by the gilt tones of the hands and applied indices. Though there is no bracelet option for the bronze model, NORQAIN provides your choice of Norlando strap, croco-style rubber strap, or Perlon rubber, with prices starting at $3,990 USD.
Rounding out NORQAIN’s 2021 releases is the Independence 21. Built to celebrate NORQAIN’s commitment to independent watchmaking, watches in the Independence series are meant to bold, unique pieces. The Independence watches are housed in 42mm cases with a 22mm lug width (wider than the 20mm lugs found on the NEVEREST and Freedom collections), suiting those who prefer a bit more wrist presence.
Following the success of 2020’s Independence 20, NORQAIN created the Independence 2021 in two limited edition iterations. The first is a stainless-steel case with a scratched midnight blue dial limited to only 200 pieces, created so that each dial is one-of-a-kind, with a texture and personality all its own. The midnight blue dial is set off by a black rehaut and just a splash of red on the dial and tip of the seconds hand. Featuring the NN20/1 manufacture movement, the Independence 21 provides excellent value, with prices starting at $3,110 USD, though following in the footsteps of the highly successful Independence 20, all 200 pieces are now sold out.
Next, in a first for the brand, NORQAIN introduced the Independence 21 with a skeleton dial, limited to only 100 pieces. Housed in a black DLC case, the dial highlights a skeletonized Sellita SW200-1 S movement that is uniquely suited to skeletonization while retaining high shock resistance. Despite its DLC coating, both the case and optional bracelet showcase the mix of brushed, polished, and sandblasted surfaces. Prices for the Independence 21 DLC Skeleton start at $3,990 USD, but unfortunately this model is now sold out.
There’s no doubt that 2021 was a busy year for NORQAIN and the brand shows no sign of slowing down. With the new year just around the corner, we’re looking forward to seeing all the new watches NORQAIN is sure to release in 2022. To learn more about NORQAIN’s Adventure, Freedom, and Independence collections, as well as the brand’s manufacture movements, be sure to visit NORQAIN’s website.
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