Norqain has been releasing new watches non-stop. The young Swiss brand has steadily extended its catalog over the past couple of years. Additionally, we have seen quite a few special editions produced in limited numbers. The latest special-edition releases are two of the brand’s popular Neverest models. Special dials inspired by the Khumbu Icefall on Mt. Everest bring a new aesthetic to these Neverest Golden Glacier watches. The first is a three-hander with a black and gold color scheme, and the second is a GMT with a gray and gold color combination. Both celebrate Mt. Everest and give back to the Nepalese people through the Butterfly Help Project.

When it comes to Norqain, I mostly enjoy the brand’s classic designs. I have said this before, but the Freedom 60 Chrono and the Freedom 60 GMT are my favorite models from the brand. Their styles take inspiration from some iconic classics and make sense visually. I’ve had the pleasure of taking the first-generation Freedom 60 Chrono for a spin and had a great time with the watch. While that version was 43mm, the brand has also released the same model in a 40mm size, the Ice Blue version of which looks particularly stunning. Additionally, the white-dial Freedom 60 GMT is another model I love. But there’s more to Norqain than the vintage-inspired looks of the Freedom 60 lineup.

Norqain Neverest Golden Glacier

The inspiration for the Neverest Golden Glacier models

But that’s also where sometimes it’s hard to connect with Norqain for me. While the brand’s Adventure Sport and Neverest models are neatly designed watches, they are not as outspoken as the Freedom 60 or the Wild One. Having said that, especially the Neverest seems to be a popular watch in the collection. That’s why the brand now introduces the new Neverest Golden Glacier models. As you can see, these editions have dials featuring golden cracks inspired by the jagged crevasses of the Khumbu Icefall.

Norqain Neverest Golden Glacier dial close-up

As part of the South Col route to the top of Mt. Everest in Nepal, the Khumbu Icefall is the first daunting challenge just above the Everest base camp. The Khumbu Icefall is located at the head of the Khumbu Glacier, the highest glacier in the world. To get through the icefall, climbers must cross huge crevasses with the help of ladders and ropes installed by the Sherpa guides. I suggest you look up footage of climbers going through the icefall to get an idea of what most people call the most dangerous part of this South Col route to the top. It’s a pretty terrifying start to your climb to the top of the world.

Norqain Neverest Golden Glacier GMT pocket shot

Watches to help the Butterfly Help Project

In addition to the special story, 10% of every watch’s sale goes to the Butterfly Help Project. As Nacho explained in this article, this organization was founded by Norbu Sherpa and Andrea Sherpa-Zimmermann of Wild Yak Expeditions. The Butterfly Help Project aims to help support the families and children of Sherpas who have lost their lives in the Himalayan mountains by giving their children access to education. Norqain has supported the cause since 2021, and with the Butterfly Help Project, has helped 50 children access a quality education.

Also, thanks to the support of the brand, The Butterfly Project has recently completed the construction of a hostel where these students can stay during school periods so they can attend their lessons despite the long journey from home. And with the hostel almost at full capacity, plans to build another one are already in place. This is in addition to Norqain’s support of the Butterfly Help Project through the sales of the Neverest watches.

Norqain Neverest Golden Glacier three-hand

The Neverest Golden Glacier three-hand model

So let’s look at both of these models as a follow-up to the debut Neverest Glacier model released in 2021. The first of these new editions is the Neverest three-hander with a stainless steel case measuring 40mm wide and 12.55mm thick. It also has a 48.3mm lug-to-lug, a 20mm lug spacing, and a 200m water resistance rating. The watch features a unidirectional bezel with a black ceramic insert and a 60-minute scale executed in a red-gold color. On the left side of the case, you will find the polished Norqain plate that you can engrave with purchase.

The big eye-catcher is, of course, the dial. It features a special Khumbu Icefall-inspired texture with some of the crevasses filled with a gold color. The hour, minute, and seconds hands are plated with red gold and filled with Super-LumiNova X1 to help you read the time in the dark. The watch is available on a stainless steel bracelet with a folding clasp and a 9mm micro-adjust for CHF 3,980 or a black rubber strap for CHF 3,650.

The automatic Norqain NN20/1 caliber

The watch comes with a sapphire crystal with a double antireflective coating on the front. The display case back also features a sapphire crystal, through which you can see the Norqain NN20/1 caliber. As most of you will know, this COSC-certified automatic caliber is produced by Kenissi. It operates at 28,800vph, has 27 jewels, and provides a 70-hour power reserve.

Overall, this is a solid addition to the lineup with a dial that will undoubtedly have its fans. I wasn’t necessarily a fan of the dial when we had the watches in the office. At first glance, the dial pattern did not remind me of the Khumbu Icefall. Rather, it seemed more like lava. Only after I started reading did the pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place. And I do appreciate the story behind the dial a lot. I had a period where I was intrigued by the entire story of conquering Mt. Everest. So that story certainly resonates with me, especially since 10% of the proceeds of the sale of the watch go to the Butterfly Help Project. It’s a great cause.

Norqain Neverest Golden Glacier GMT

The Norqain Neverest GMT Golden Glacier

The second of the two models is the Neverest GMT Golden Glacier. This one comes with a 41mm stainless steel case that is 14.94mm thick and 48.9mm from lug to lug. Just like the three-hand model, it has a 20mm lug spacing and a 100m water resistance rating as well. The watch features a gray dial, a bidirectional bezel, and a gray ceramic 24-hour GMT bezel insert with red-gold-colored numerals. As you can see, the rehaut of the dial also features a 24-hour scale with day and night indications. It adds a nice dynamic to the gray and gold combination of colors.

The anthracite dial also features the Khumbu Icefall pattern with some of the crevasses colored in gold. Because of the gray and gold color combination, the contrast is less stark than on the three-hand model. Hovering above the textured dial are four red-gold-plated hands. The GMT hand features a red tip, and all four hands are filled with white Super-LumiNova X1. A notable difference with the three-hand model is the presence of a date window at 3 o’clock. The date wheel is black with white printing, and it blends in nicely. Lastly, the watch comes with a sapphire crystal with a double antireflective coating.

Norqain Neverest Golden Glacier GMT case back

Norqain NN20/2 GMT caliber

If you turn the watch around, you are greeted by the Norqain NN20/2 caliber that is visible through the sapphire crystal. Kenissi also manufactures this caliber, and it’s similar to the one that Tudor uses for its Black Bay GMT models. The COSC-certified movement operates at 28,800vph, has 28 jewels, and delivers 70 hours of power reserve. As you can see, the finishing of the movement is straightforward and industrial, with the rotor featuring the Norqain logo in gold.

The movement also explains the rather thick case. We had the watches in the office, and I have to say that I was rather intimidated by the case’s chunky architecture. While it is nice that this is a traveler GMT that allows you to set the hour hand independently, I feel that the sheer thickness of the case detracts from its functionality. The watch comes with the choice of an almost-Oyster-like stainless steel bracelet for CHF 4,280 or a black rubber strap for CHF 3,950. If presented with the choice, the stainless steel bracelet would be the way to go for me. It balances out the watch nicely, and you always have the option to switch to a strap.

My thoughts on the Norqain Neverest Golden Glacier models

As we have come to expect from Norqain, the watches are built nicely and exhibit high levels of quality and finishing. The bracelet and the clasp feel super solid, which is crucial when it comes to watches at this price point. I do have a strong preference for the Neverest GMT model as it is a complication that I love, and on top of that, the watch feels more lively and exciting. Would I pick this dial, though? In all honesty, I would prefer a different dial.

While I understand the story and love the good cause that these Golden Glacier models support, at roughly €4K, I want a watch to be a daily wearer that fits my style. As I already explained, there are other Norqain models I would prefer. When it comes to the Neverest, I would choose a simpler dial to match the great color combination of anthracite and gold. But if you know something about Norqain, it’s that the brand does not shy away from lively dials for its Neverest range. And I think plenty of fans will probably love these two new models. I hope they sell well because they support a great cause, and I can only give compliments to Norqain for helping children in Nepal with the sale of this watch. That’s an even greater story than that of the dial.

For more information, please visit the official Norqain website. In the meantime, let us know in the comments section which of these two Golden Glacier models is your favorite.