Norqain Independence 21 And DLC Skeleton Limited Edition Watches
The first scratch hurts the most. To ease your pain, the Independence 21 Limited Edition comes pre-scratched. Just kidding. Still, scratches play a big role in the appearance of this new sports watch. And that’s because each one of the 200 midnight blue dials is brushed by hand, which results in 200 uniquely scratched patterns. The superlative of scratching is skeletonizing. If you keep taking away material, light will eventually seep through. It doesn’t exactly work like that, but the Norqain Independence 21 And DLC Skeleton Limited Edition watches still have a lot in common.
Norqain might not be the biggest or the oldest watch brand, but that doesn’t say anything about the brand’s collection. We’re living in the present and every new watch is a new individual product that needs to be judged on its own merits, not on its (famous) predecessors. Only three years ago CEO Ben Küffer founded Norqain and to get the ball rolling he brought on Ted Schneider, a member of the family that owned Breitling for nearly 40 years.
Küffer’s ambition, Schneider’s expertise, and Streit’s winner’s mentality is the driving force behind the fully independent watch company…
Also part of the team is Swiss ice hockey legend and former Stanley Cup winner Mark Streit. The ex- Pittsburgh Penguins defender helped found the brand and now functions as a member of the board, just like Schneider. Küffer’s ambition, Schneider’s expertise, and Streit’s winner’s mentality is the driving force behind the fully independent watch company located in Nidau (Bienne).
Strategic movement partnership with Kenissi
More evidence of Norqain’s big plans is its strategic long-term partnership with movement manufacturer Kenissi. And Kenissi is a Geneva-based manufacturer that is partly owned by Chanel and Rolex/Tudor. The first results of this movement alliance for Norqain are two exclusive calibers, the three-hand NN20/1 and the GMT NN20/2 that both feature a 70-hour power reserve. And these automatic movements are both chronometer certified too. Of the movements that beat inside the Norqain Independence 21 and DLC Skeleton Limited Edition watches that are assembled in the brand’s production site in Tavannes, one is the NN20/1 and the other is a Sellita SW200-1 S. The one with the scratches is in-house, the open-worked model uses a movement from a third party.
Engraved AND scratched makes for double the uniqueness
Before we can look at the many differences, we have to point out a remarkable feature both the Norqain Independence 21 (NN3000S03A/A301) and DLC Skeleton Limited Edition watches have in common. And that is the “Norqain” plate on the left side of the case. It leaves room for an engraving. A date, a name, an inspiring motto, an extremely short poem, you name it, Norqain engraves it. And if this isn’t unique enough, if you choose one of 200 Independence 21 models with hand-scratched dials, you’re choosing unique times two.
… since that watch, my world got turned upside down, I now love scratched surfaces!
The special surface of the blue dial reminds me a bit of the lively gray “Zifferblatt” of the Sinn 358 Sa PILOT DS. And since that watch, my world got turned upside down, I now love scratched surfaces! They just look so alive. Just take a look at the midnight blue dial underneath the box-shaped scratch-proof sapphire glass. It looks dynamic and vivid. And what also helps to bring the whole composition alive is the black inner bezel, and the facetted and polished hour, minute and seconds hands are coated in C1 Super-LumiNova. That material is also glows up the twelve 12 indexes.
A movement with a message
Underneath the dial is the aforementioned caliber NN20/1 with a 70-hour power reserve. This movement is visible through the scratch-proof sapphire glass case back. The movement is stylishly decorated with stand-out Norqain touches, such as the golden “double-N” logo – symbolizing the Swiss Alps. The brand’s core values are engraved on the bridge and read “Adventure – Freedom – Independence.” Caliber NN20/1 talks the talk, but it also walks the walk. The COSC certification, its sturdy construction that shows a traversing bridge with two-point fixation to make sure the movement won’t suffer from the active lifestyle of the wearer of the Independence 21.
… you could go water skiing with the Independence 21 but diving, maybe not.
The Independence 21 – yes, Norqain is truly proud of its independence – is a true sports watch. The 316L steel case measures 42 × 11.8mm, has a lug-to-lug length of 48.75mm, and a 22mm lug width. The water resistance is 10 Bar (100 m / 330 ft) so you could go water skiing with the Independence 21 but diving, maybe not. Other features are the screwed crown with engraved Norqain logo, and a scratch-proof sapphire glass case back.
The version with a black Barenia leather strap and pin buckle has a price of €2,800. On a steel bracelet, the Independence 21 costs €2,950.
The architectural Independence 21 DLC Skeleton Limited Edition
Still sporty, but also touching on the ancient watchmaking art of skeletonizing. The Independence 21 21 DLC Skeleton is the first-ever open-worked Norqain, and it’s a tribute to Swiss artisans. Just 100 pieces will be made. The 4Hz Sellita SW200-1 S movement in the 42 × 11.8mm DLC black case (exactly the same dimensions as the Independence 21), is based on the architecture principles of beam constructions. The construction does away with exes material while remaining stable and rigid. The airy movement offers great shock resistance and a high level of robustness. And that’s not necessary a characteristic of traditional skeletonized movements.
… it’s not just pretty, it’s also chronometer certified …
The lack of a dial gives you a clear view into the heart of the timepiece. You can easily see how the movement components in a metallic ruthenium color create a contemporary look. And it’s not just pretty, it’s also chronometer certified. The movement has 38 hours of power reserve, and the rotor has a personalized Noqain design. To use the full potential of the skeletonized design, the Norqain logo has been put on the scratch-proof sapphire glass.
On a black barenia leather strap, the Independence 21 DLC Skeleton Limited Edition will set you back €3,480. The version with a black DLC steel bracelet costs €3,790.
Extended warranty or a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey?
Norqain is an ambitious watch company, and it’s very confident about its watches. So when you buy a Norqain and register to join the NORQAINER Club within one month after your purchase, you won’t get a Norqain hockey jersey. No, instead you get something a bit less sporty, but way more useful, and that is an additional year of warranty for a total of five years. The Pittsburgh Penguins jersey with Streit on the back you’ll have to get yourself
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