Norqain Adds Two New Watches To Its Freedom 60 GMT Collection
It seems like only yesterday that Gerard and I had a chance to go hands-on with recent additions to Norqain’s Freedom 60 collection. And a quick check proved my gut-feel was right. It was only last December when I had a chance to check out the Freedom 60 39mm models. We’ve got some new updates to share with you already, and they are very welcome additions to an increasingly attractive collection.
Back in December, Gerard reviewed the brand new Norqain Freedom 60 GMT watches while I took charge of the time-only models. Today, the young Swiss brand releases two new Freedom 60 GMT watches. The first comes with a beautiful opaline white dial, and the second sports a vibrant green dial. These two watches are essentially the same but look completely different.
Norqain is following up its recent releases quickly with another strong addition to the core collection (and one more limited to boot!). By doing so, the brand has created quite a bit of momentum, and it’s kept the name in everyone’s mind. Within the brand’s offerings, the Freedom 60 collection is their retro-inspired series of watches. It’s my favorite collection because I prefer the vintage vibe over the more modern silhouette of the Adventure and Independence collection.
The Freedom 60 collection
I have to say I was intrigued by the Freedom 60 GMT models that came into our offices last December. Gerard wrote an extensive review about both the bronze and steel Freedom 60 GMTs. With a new design powered by a proprietary movement, these two new introductions showed that there is plenty of charm and technical progress to be found in the Freedom 60 line-up. And the stainless steel version with a steel bracelet was a nice break from the retro looks of the version on a leather strap.
Currently, the Freedom 60 collection consists of four different models. Norqain started the collection with a 42mm three-hander and the great Freedom 60 Chronograph. Late last year, the brand added the 39mm three-hander and the Freedom 60 GMT. On top of being new designs, both these models are also the first in the collection powered by Norqain’s own movements that have been developed in collaboration with Kenissi.
Freedom 60 GMT White Opaline
The two new GMT-models are once again a bronze version and a stainless steel version. Both feature a 40mm round case that is 14.5mm thick and measures 49.2mm lug-to-lug. And both feature the design that we have seen from the previous two Freedom 60 GMT models. The dials feature a center circle with 24-hour scale, applied indices, and a date at 3 o’clock. The stainless steel version comes with a beautifully understated white opaline dial. For a nice splash of color, the center ring with the GMT scale is made up of a Bordeaux red half-ring to indicate the daytime hours.
On top of that, the GMT-hand features a red tip that contrasts perfectly with the white dial. The midnight blue semi-circle indicates the nighttime hours. The date window is neatly placed at 3 o’clock without interfering. The watch will be available on a series of different straps. You can choose from a typical Norqain style Norlando leather strap, a Croco-style rubber strap, or a Perlon rubber strap (this is a rubber strap with a “Perlon-style” weave pattern, rather than the fabric strap you might expect). But on a stainless steel bracelet, this one becomes a winner for me.
Freedom 60 GMT Forest Green
The second features a satin-polished bronze case with a vibrant forest green dial. The watch is a limited edition that will be produced in a total of 300 pieces. The combination of bronze and green gives the watch a more classical aesthetic. The good thing is that the vibrant green color keeps it from potentially becoming a bit boring. And with the red tip of the GMT-hand, there are plenty of colors to make it stand out.
Because it is a nice colorful dial, the brand chose the keep the center ring with the GMT-scale a bit quieter. The daytime hours are printed in black on a white arc, and the nighttime hours white on a black half-ring. This version comes with a Perlon rubber strap, but it is also available with a Croco-style rubber strap and a Norlando leather strap.
Norqain NN20/2 GMT movement
Both watches are powered by the Norqain NN20/2 caliber that is visible through the screw-in glass case back. The automatic COSC-certified chronometer movement is built by Kenissi and operates at 28,800vph, and features 28 jewels and a 70-hour power reserve. The movement has a jumping hour functionality that makes it easy to adapt to seasonal time changes and different time zones without losing a second. The finishing of the movements has an industrial feel and is engraved with the companies key mottos: adventure, freedom, and independence.
The Norqain Freedom 60 Chronograph that I reviewed in the summer of last year was my favorite release of the brand so far. I was very impressed by the overall quality of the watch and how good it looks. After wearing it for a week, it felt like I had been wearing it a lot longer. The watch felt familiar and wears very comfortably. And it turned out to be one of those watches that sticks in your mind for quite some time after.
Because of the positive Freedom 60 Chronograph, I am particularly interested in the steel version on a steel bracelet. It’s a nice break from the leather straps on the Freedom 60 models. That isn’t to say I don’t like them on a leather strap. There is, however, something special about a stainless steel bracelet. I feel like it is the ultimate proof of concept— both in terms of design and execution. And I have to give Norqain credit for creating a bracelet that perfectly fits the style of the Freedom 60 GMT. As Gerard explained in his review, the quality and finishing of the bracelet are top-notch. With brushed center links and polished side links, it perfectly matches the finish of the case. And overall, it makes the Freedom 60 GMT looks great.
Conclusion and prices
When it comes to pricing, the Freedom 60 GMT White Opaline is available with a stainless steel bracelet for CHF 3,790, a Norlando leather strap for CHF 3,550, and on both the Perlon rubber strap or Croco-style rubber strap, the watch is CHF 3,690. The limited-edition Freedom 60 GMT Forest Green is CHF 3,950 on a Perlon rubber strap or a Croco-style rubber strap. On a Norlando leather strap, the watch is CHF 3,790.
Personally, I am impressed by the stainless steel version with the Opaline white dial on a stainless steel bracelet. Honestly, I can’t wait to find out how it feels on the wrist. It is a nice break from the two dark dials the brand introduced the Freedom 60 GMT with at the end of 2020. After talking to Gerard, I was reminded of how enthusiastic he was about the Freedom 60 GMT models.
And have to say these two new additions to the Freedom 60 lineup are logical additions. The Freedom 60 GMT is a watch that has the potential to become one of the brand’s most successful pieces. It features an immediately recognizable design. Additionally, the jumping hour GMT is a very nice complication to have, especially if you are a frequent traveler.
At the speed Norqain is releasing watches, the brand is keeping curious followers on there toes. At the same time, Norqain building a very solid collection of watches. And we definitely have to give the brand credit for that. And personally, I am looking forward to reviewing the Freedom 60 White Opaline. It doesn’t often happen that I am drawn to a watch with a white dial, but this one is a potential winner. Learn more about the brand here.