We like a manufacture movement; it shows that a watchmaker can actually call themselves a watchmaker, at least where it counts. We also happen to like the colour green; equally important, obviously. Between those twin tentpole attributes, we’re loving the new Norqain Independence 20 Limited Edition.
Norqain, for those who might pretend no watches have been made past the 1970s, were founded in 2018 in Switzerland and have since become a bit of a Biel-based darling for independent watch design. The sporty Freedom collection’s been a big part of that success with its rugged, stainless steel cases and notable side plate, added for a personal motto if you’re so inclined.
The Independence is the same silhouette as the Freedom 60 (Norqain apparently got their naming scheme from the American Constitution) with an additional crown guard to slightly even up the case shape and a 42mm diameter. It’s 48.75mm lug-to-lug if you want to know how it actually wears.
The first Independence model, the 20, has been graced with a particularly lovely dial in a forest green with a scratched pattern for that kind of rugged, mountainous feel. Otherwise it’s a simple, pared-back affair, with the real action happening underneath.
Earlier in the year, Norqain launched three in-house calibres in collaboration with Kenissi. Kenissi was founded by Tudor. So in a way, now that the first of the new Norqain calibres, the NN20/1, is in situ, you’re getting a Tudor movement in an independent Swiss watch. Granted it’s not strictly true as Norqain had a lot to do with it themselves, but there’s still a lot to love there.
The movement itself has all the relevant bells and whistles, including COSC certification, a 70-hour power reserve and a particularly sturdy construction for greater resistance to daily life.
So far the Independence 20 is restricted to 200 pieces of this be-greened limited edition, but given this is the launch of a new calibre you can expect to see it again pretty sharpish. That and the NN20/2, which is a GMT version – again a manufacture number in collaboration with Kenissi.
For a two-year-old brand, the Independence 20 is a big step up and comes with entry to the big leagues of in-house and manufacture movements. Given that it comes in at £2,290 on a bracelet, colour us impressed.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Norqain Independence 20 Limited Edition
Case/Dial: 42mm diameter x 11.8mm thickness, 316L stainless steel, Scratched Forest Green dial
Water Resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Norqain calibre NN20/1, automatic, 27 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 70h
Functions: Hours, minutes, central sweeping seconds
Strap: Black Barenia leather strap or steel bracelet with folding clasp
Price & availability: £2,290 GBP / $2,990 USD, limited edition of 200 pieces
More details at Norqain.