Is the New NORQAIN Wild ONE Collection the Ultimate High-Performance Sports Watch?
With the two-year collaboration of Advisor to the Board Jean-Claude Biver, NORQAIN’s design team, and some outstanding Swiss next-gen material and component suppliers, the answer may well be a resounding roar of “yes.”
An extension of the Independence line from upstart watchmaker NORQAIN, the watchwords of the new Wild ONE collection, revealed today, are ultra-light and ultra-robust.
Firmly aimed at hardcore sports enthusiasts, the four members of the collection lean heavily into the watchmaker’s proprietary carbon fiber composite material, NORTEQ, which is six times lighter than steel and 3.5 times lighter than titanium.
Let’s take a look at the new models.
Developed in partnership with manufacturer BIWI, NORTEQ provides a wonderfully protective case to surround the titanium container and rubber shock-absorbing system, which houses the NN20/1 automatic manufacture calibre introduced in 2020. Moreover, the watches weigh in at about 84 grams. So, lightweight, shock resistance, and durability boxes are checked-off with a nice big “X.
Plus, according to NORQAIN, the construction approach will cushion the movement during even the most extreme moments of mountain biking, skiing, trail running – whatever you might want to throw at it.
However, NORTEQ also plays well with color. And in addition to their lightweight and robustness needs, sporting folks tend to like a little pop of color in a timepiece, going beyond the classic blackness of carbon fiber composites. Hence, the case options for the three core Wild ONE models include a military green/khaki case and black shock-absorber colorway, a more maritime deep blue case and black story, and a muted, elegant burgundy-hued case and grey shock-absorber execution.
Furthermore, a fourth limited edition version, created in collaboration with brand ambassador, wildlife expert, conservationist, and YouTuber Dean Schneider, takes the presentation story into an even more eco- and wildlife-friendly realm.
“When I began working with NORQAIN, my first step was to challenge the team to innovate; to create a lightweight and shock-resistant timepiece that reflects the brand’s active DNA,” Advisor to the Board Jean-Claude Biver commented in a press release. “This watch concept is exactly the kind of revolutionary development I was hoping for.”
Beyond the Case
These new Wild ONE models are further enhanced by a very appealing dial approach that amps up the case material’s chromatic elements.
Featuring a three-layer, laser-cut dial created by Montreme SA, the new Wild ONE line offers a patterned “mandala” take on NORQAIN’s mountain-inspired “N” logo. Each of the three levels of the dial is separated by .05 mm, creating a rich 3D effect. But add to that skeletonized and lumed rectangular indices, as well as skeletonized hands by Waeber HMS SA, and the result is a sense of depth you simply won’t find in most high-performance sports watches.
This eye-catching dial design is used to great effect on all three models. The khaki/black execution has a black-themed dial; the blue/black version has a blue-patterned dial; and, finally, the grey/burgundy model has a textural grey dial (which pops even more due to this model’s red-gold hands and indices).
Color-matched vegan-certified Milanese-textured rubber straps keep these Wild ONEs securely and stylishly on your wrist.
The Wildest One
Teased as early as last year, the NORQAIN Wild ONE created in collaboration with Dean Schneider may be the most visually sedate execution of this wild bunch with a black/sand dial and case combination.
But let’s get back to that sand hue on the shock-absorbing portion of the case: Um, there’s REAL sand in it. Specifically, the sand is from Schneider’s Hakuna Mipaka wildlife sanctuary in South Africa, and it creates a nice speckling effect on those components.
The dial on this limited edition is also a special lion fur pattern as opposed to the mandala pattern on its sister timepieces. Plus, the lion fur pattern is continued on the silky vegan-certified rubber strap, as well. Additionally, the exhibition caseback carries the sanctuary’s spear-and-shield logo. According to NORQAIN, Schneider’s wildlife oasis will receive 10% of the proceeds from the sales of this timepiece.
Pricing & Availability
The khaki/black and blue/black versions of NORQAIN’s Wild ONE collection both retail for $5,290, and the grey/burgundy/red gold execution lists for $5,690. Meanwhile, the special Dean Schneider/Hakuna Mipaka Oasis limited edition goes for $5,590. You can find out more on NORQAIN’s website.
(Images © NORQAIN)