Norqain might only be five years old, but it has managed to establish itself as a promising independent brand producing rugged, functional watches with enough personality to stand out from the crowd. Norqain’s latest watch is the result of a collaboration with wildlife ambassador Dean Schneider and flaunts a trendy leopard-print pattern on the dial and strap. As part of the Independence collection, the Hakuna Mipaka is a sporty 3-hand and date model but now comes in a smaller 40mm case and is marketed by the brand as a ladies’ watch.
With industry heavyweight Jean-Claude Biver on the advisory board, Norqain launched the Independence Wild One in 2022 with an innovative carbon fibre composite material and an eye-catching textured 3D laser-cut dial. The new Independence Hakuna Mipaka also features a striking textured dial with a leopard spot pattern. Designed with Dean Schneider, 10% of the proceeds will be donated to his Hakuna Mipaka wildlife sanctuary and animal rehabilitation centre in South Africa.
Featuring a smaller 40mm case size with a height of 12.05mm, the 316L stainless steel case has a black DLC coating and features a mix of brushed and polished surfaces. As a member of the Independence collection, the prominent crown guards on the right side of the case are balanced out on the left to produce a look that references an iconic luxury sports watch made by Patek Philippe. Like other Norqain watches, there is a screwed-down plaque on the left case flank. The screw-down crown and caseback ensure water-resistance of 100m.
The leopard print pattern on the dial, which extends to the velvety rubber strap, is the star feature of the watch. The diamond-cut rose gold-plated indices and hands are treated with white X1 Super-LumiNova to ensure legibility in low-light conditions. The rose gold spear-and-shield logo of Dean Schneider’s wildlife sanctuary is featured on the dial at 6 o’clock, and there is a discreet date window with a black background at 3 o’clock.
What is somewhat surprising, given the brand’s partnership with movement maker Kenissi, is the fact that the watch is equipped with an automatic Sellita SW200-1 movement. COSC-chronometer certified, the movement has a personalised Norqain rotor, beats at a frequency of 4Hz and delivers a power reserve of 38 hours.
The Independence 40mm Hakuna Mipaka retails for CHF 3,490. More information at www.norqain.com.