Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches
Women’s Watch Wednesday

Meet The Norqain Independence 40mm Hakuna Mipaka

A smaller 40mm Independence model with a leopard print dial.

| By Rebecca Doulton | 2 min read |
Norqain Independence 40mm Hakuna Mipaka

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.

Norqain Independence 40mm Hakuna Mipaka

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.

Ad – Scroll to continue with article

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.

Norqain Independence 40mm Hakuna Mipaka

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

3 responses

  1. The only surprising thing for you is the movement choice? The whole thing is surprising, and not in a good way; in a scratch your head, huh? way! It’s a knucklehead design, more like a cheap fashion watch. Which may explain using the cheaper movement. And yet, they’re charging a premium price! Yeah, that’ll work. Ha! I guess they’re banking on the old saying, “there’s a fool born every minute.”

  2. Norqain always deserves a solid ‘meh’.
    This one’s no different.

  3. NORQAIN INDEPENDENCE 40MM HAKUNA MIPAKA Is for Knuckleheads with a caveat: Is this watch for a female or male knucklehead? Second: Watch makers make a huge mistake when stating this is a women’s watch. The first thing I look at when I purchase a watch for my small wrist is: The diameter of the watch; if it’s over 38mm it ain’t for me. Second: the watch dial. Third: The movement including its properties. There are many alleged watches for women I would purchase because of their watch size. The monicker for women does not scare me, Omega makes many so called women’s watches in their Prestige line I would would purchase. There dials are striking, appear more like ocean wave patterns then some sort of feminine pattern.

Leave a Reply