Independence Day: NORQAIN Introduces Two New Independence 21 Models
These limited editions include stunning midnight blue and skeletonized dials.
Today, let’s celebrate independent watchmakers. Their passion for timekeeping is infectious, and for new collectors, who sometimes feel shut out from accessing luxury pieces either by waitlists or prohibitive price, new brands provide an excellent place to get into the game. Upstarts also challenge the older maisons to innovate. It’s the circle of life, and we love it.
Last year, the Nidau-based upstart NORQAIN made a big splash when it unveiled the Independence 20 Limited Edition – the first watch made as part of NORQAIN’s partnership with Kenissi – which makes movements used by Tudor as well as Chanel.
Now, this summer, NORQAIN is bringing us even more joy with two captivating additions to the Independence collection – one with a scratched midnight blue dial and the other with a skeletonized movement.
Declaration of Independents
Founded in 2018, NORQAIN is a fully independent, family-owned Swiss watch company located in Nidau (Bienne) in the heart of the traditional Swiss watchmaking country. Founder Ben Küffer and his team have used connections within the industry to explore new perspectives in manufacturing and marketing the brand’s watches. Moreover, this team is all about creating attractive watches with good bones and offering them up at a good price.
From the start, NORQAIN built an impressive network of established retail partners, including Bucherer and Kirchhofer in Switzerland, WEMPE in Germany, Watches of Switzerland in the UK, Tourneau, Westime and Govberg in the US, L’Oro in Canada, Seddiqi in Dubai, and over 30 points of sale in Japan.
Independence. Each family uses different materials for optimal performance, and each watch has its own unique design.
The first of the two new Independence 21 models, for example, features a hand-brushed, midnight blue dial. This results in a one-of-a-kind scratched texture. If you are one of those people who can’t stand a cluttered dial, rejoice! There is no date window to distract you from the hand-applied facetted and polished hour, minute, and seconds hands (coated in C1 Super-LumiNova) or the 12 minimalist markers. A black inner bezel box-shaped scratch-proof sapphire glass frames this face.
While each piece is unique on the surface, the timekeeping is uniformly reliable. The manufacture calibre NN20/1 movement with its 70-hour power reserve is a certified chronometer and produced in collaboration with Kenissi, which was founded by Tudor. This movement is decorated with distinct NORQAIN flourishes such as the golden “double-N” logo – which symbolizes the Swiss Alps – and the brand’s mission statement “Adventure – Freedom – Independence” engraved on the bridge. And all of these details are visible through a scratch-proof sapphire glass caseback.
Finally, NORQAIN’s know-how is showcased on its 42mm stainless steel case, which features brushed, polished, and sandblasted finishes. These three treatments lend the watch a dynamic and elegant appearance. As it is a limited edition, “ONE OF 200” is engraved on the caseback to confirm the exclusivity of this mechanical timepiece. Plus, the NORQAIN plate on the case’s left side can be customized with an engraving.
The NORQAIN Independence 21 Limited Edition is limited to 200 pieces and is priced at $3,290 on a brushed and polished stainless steel bracelet or $3,110 on an integrated black Barenia leather strap.
The Independence 21 DLC Skeleton takes a more maximalist approach to NORQAIN’s independent spirit. This timepiece is the family-run company’s first skeletonized offering, and it makes an impressive entrance.
Most traditional skeletonized movements use only one arm per support point, and these arms are not typically straight. The Independence 21 DLC Skeleton uses the more unconventional Sellita SW200-1 S skeletonized movement, which takes its inspiration from the architectural concept of beam construction, meaning that each support point is held in place by at least two arms. As a result, it offers exceptional shock resistance and has earned the watch a chronometer designation.
Of course, the skeletonized movement is the main attraction, but the case, bezel, NORQAIN plate, and bracelet are all fashioned from stainless steel with a very modern-looking DLC coating. It also represents another first for the brand – NORQAIN has never offered a DLC coated bracelet before.
The NORQAIN Independence 21 DLC Skeleton is limited to 100 pieces and is priced at $4,360 for the stainless steel bracelet and $3,990 for the integrated black Barenia leather strap version.