About Norqain Watches
Norqain is the prototype of a micro that has made it. Or at least, that is making it. That the watch market is flooded with microbrands literally popping up like mushrooms is nothing new. And many of these micros disappear precisely as they appeared on Kickstarter: into thin air. But others do make their way, and to make it, they must come up with something new.
Norqain was born in 2018, and already since its founding, it has been doing something different from others. It devotes itself, with conviction, to practical and sporty watches, with an “adventure” slant, and is not afraid to charge for this. However, it does not play down but offers watches of excellent quality and original design – as original as a modern watch can be – at an honest price, which does not mean “cheap” at all, but appropriate to the product, its level of quality and content. Although this puts it in a “premium position,” as opposed to several microbrands that instead take a different approach to the market, almost as if they represent the least expensive alternative to something else. Definitely a bold move for such a young company, but certainly fitting.
This brand makes automatic watches with a sporty edge, with some concessions to modern urbanite smart elegance. There are three men’s collections, Freedom, Adventure, and Independence, consisting of time-only, GMT, and chronographs. The same models are repeated, in smaller diameters, in the women’s watch offering.
Norqain Watches Review – Pros and Cons
The watches from the double “N” house impress with their quality and attention to detail, putting them in a much higher niche than one might think without really knowing them. And what we love is that they have a style, intangible but definite, that characterizes them and makes them unique.
What we love
- Brand independence
Since the Quartz Crisis, the watch market has seen the creation of huge groups that have swallowed many brands. And while this, on the one hand, has saved them from oblivion, it has often distorted them, bringing them into a group logic that has often altered their characteristics and limited their action. Norqain stands proudly outside this system, and we can only like that.
- Design that echoes the classic
The design of the house’s timepieces takes us back to the Golden Age of Swiss watchmaking. The Norqains look as if they were made then, although – and the details tell us so – you can know that they could not have been built in the 1960s. And this slight dystonia awakens attention and titillates it, catching the eye and keeping the interest of those who approach.
- Thoroughly high quality timepieces
To really understand how much work goes into a Norqain, you must handle it. You can suppose the quality in photos, but a test drive reveals how well these timepieces are made. Every single element shows the care that rivals Maisons of much higher lineage, with watches which often cost much more if we are to reduce the difference to pure economics.
- Great technological research
To get started, Norqain relied on the “usual suspects” to supply movements, namely ETA and Sellita, like many other watch companies. But it did not stop there. The latest collection produced, Adventure, mounts a caliber made by Kenissi, the company born out of a collaboration between Tudor and Breitling. Although it cannot be called “manufacture,” these calibers are pretty different from what equips many watches in the same price range produced by other brands.
What we don’t love
- Little variety
We know we are being pretentious, perhaps a bit too much so, but Norqain’s production lacks important pieces, like real diver watches, for example, as its watches seem dedicated to going high, not diving deep. Similarly, there is a lack of a more elegant and refined line in these luxury sports timepieces we see today, especially since there is a return to basics by the public, and dress watches are coming back in demand. But we are sure the company is working on it – all in due time.
Best Norqain Watches
Of course, this is a limited choice among the many models manufactured by the company, but it shows what caught our attention. Are they the best of the best? Fire away your thought in the comments!
Norqain Neverest GMT 41 mm BA11
A handsome GMT with electric blue details contrasting perfectly with the woven-pattern guilloche dial, on which Superluminova X1 treated hour markers stand out, 60 percent more effective than the standard version. The bidirectional bezel is ceramic, with outer knurling for a perfect grip. The watch mounts the proprietary caliber NN20/2, developed in collaboration with Kenissi, and can be seen in all its glory from the visible case back.
This watch participates in the Butterfly Project, a humanitarian project that donates 10 percent of sales proceeds to help the families of Sherpa porters who have died in the Himalayan mountains.
Norqain Adventure Sports Chrono 44 mm 10REC
A chronograph that, at first glance, echoes the style of the 1960s but instead reveals its modern and very personal heart as soon as you see it up close. The medium gray dial displays the Norqain pattern and the three contrasting subdials, while the hands are white and red, provided with adequate doses of Superluminova X1, and is surrounded by a ceramic bezel.
The watch also mounts a sturdy Kevlar strap equipped with a RECCO rescue chip, a passive transponder effective in case of avalanches, to tackle any challenge in the mountains safely.
Independence 21 DLC Skeleton 42 mm Limited Edition
If you are looking for this timepiece, you will not find it: only 100 were made, and it is now sold out. But its appeal stirs excitement loudly from enthusiasts. We really like this dark look, with the case finished in black DLC with three different surface treatments and the depth effect of the fully skeletonized Sellita base movement visible from both sides of the watch, on which the Superluminova-equipped hour markers and hands stand out, especially at night.
Bottom line – are Norqain watches worth it?
Undoubtedly, this Maison is doing egregious things, and it stands out from the mass of micros crowding into the world of contemporary mechanical watchmaking. With its style, which is becoming distinctive, and its sensitivity to environmental issues, Norqain is carving out an important place for itself among Swiss watch houses and not as anyone’s second choice.
So, if you are interested in watches with a great personality and built properly, and you are not afraid to make a choice that might appear controversial – at the same price, you can buy timepieces from far better-known brands – Norqain represents a name to keep in mind.