Norqain is still a young brand with regards to the Swiss watch industry… But in 3 years of activity, the brand has managed to consolidate a highly consistent collection of sports, adventure-oriented watches, as well as securing a partnership for COSC-certified movements made by Kenissi, manufacture jointly owned by Chanel and Tudor/Rolex. This was the occasion of the launch of two series of models, first with the Independence 20 and last year, watches from the Freedom collection equipped with two different versions of the manufacture movement; one with GMT function, and a compact, retro-looking no-date watch, the Freedom 60 39mm. The latter, available in bronze or steel, returns this year with a new colour. Here’s the Norqain Freedom 60 Bronze 39mm with a black dial.
Norqain still impresses with its strategy and collections. Norqain has a solid offering, with coherent, well-executed watches with reasonable prices, but also adds to that some powerful and higher-end movements produced by Kenissi, a manufacture owned by Chanel and Tudor/Rolex. Following the announcement of this partnership, the brand introduced the Independence 20 model followed by rather cool, slightly vintage watches in 2020 under the Freedom collection, including a time-only and a GMT watch – the latter has even been joined by new editions recently.
Now, it’s time for the time-only model to be offered in a new taste. Originally launched at the inception of the brand, the Freedom collection is the most classic expression of Norqain’s codes, with a restrained, exploration-like design and clear 1960s inspiration. Domed crystal, sleek dial, nice proportions, it ticks a lot of boxes. At first, it was only available with a 42mm case and an outsourced time-and-date movement, but also with a chronograph function, as we showed here. Last year, with the addition of the manufacture movements, the brand launched the Freedom 60 model with a time-only (no-date) display and a more compact case. Available in steel with an anthracite dial, or in bronze with a cream dial, it is now also available in the edition we present today.
Basically, the formula is the same, and only the combination of colour is new. The recipe is clearly explained by the name of the watch, Norqain Freedom 60 Bronze 39mm Black dial. Indeed, this edition comes with a case made of bronze, with a stabilized alloy that will only gain a restrained amount of patina over time. It shows a combination of satin-finished and polished surfaces and, as always with the brand, the case features a customizable plate on the left side, which can be engraved with a word/sentence of your choice.
Following the retro inspiration of the collection, Norqain decided to downsize the case here, with a comprehensive 39mm diameter and a height of 11.4mm (the Kenissi movement isn’t the slimmest…) The case is topped by a box-shaped sapphire crystal, reinforcing the vintage feel, but still features a screw-down crown and caseback (made of steel, with its sapphire crystal too), offering a comfortable 100m water-resistance.
What’s new this year is the addition of a black dial option to the collection, a sportier pendant to the creamy dial offered last year. The base is sunray-brushed and comes with applied markers and faceted bronze hands. Both feature Old Radium Super-LumiNova, so the contrast is high both night and day. The dial also features an applied brand’s logo as well as the “chronometer” mention.
Under the see-through caseback is a well-known movement, which has already been used in slightly different variations by Tudor or Breiling. The Calibre NN20/1 is a 3-hand automatic movement, which has been chronometer-certified by COSC. It is focused on reliability, with a transversal balance bridge, and runs at a 4Hz frequency. It also delivers a comfortable power reserve of 70 hours.
The Norqain Freedom 60 Bronze 39mm Black dial can be ordered on a “Norlando” leather strap with pin buckle or a Perlon rubber strap with pin buckle, as presented here. It’ll be available for orders from the brand’s website and priced at CHF 2,990 on leather strap and CHF 3,150 on rubber strap. More details at www.norqain.com.