Norqain Wild ONE – a new addition to the Independence Collection

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Norqain launches a new sports watch line called Wild One. Four new models are released, with one limited edition piece designed with wildlife ambassador Dean Schneider.

Press Release details with commentary in italics.

Norqain Wild ONE – a new addition to the Independence Collection

The Norqain Wild One – LtoR: Black & Khaki, Black & Blue and Burgundy & Grey.

The retail prices of the Wild One are as follows:

  • WILD ONE HAKUNA MIPAKA – Limited Edition, 500 pieces on Black Lion Fur rubber strap buckle: CHF 5,250/USD 5,590
  • WILD ONE BURGUNDY & GREY – Limited Edition 200 pieces on GreyMesh rubber strap burgundy buckle: CHF 5,350/USD 5,690
  • WILD ONE BLACK & KHAKI on Khaki mesh rubber strap black buckle: CHF 4,950/USD 5,290Price on Black Mesh rubber strap black buckle: CHF 4,950/USD 5,290
  • WILD ONE BLACK & BLUE on Blue Mesh rubber strap black buckle: CHF 4,950/USD 5,290Price on Blue Mesh rubber strap black buckle: CHF 4,950/USD 5,290


The watches in this new collection is part of Norqain’s Independence Series. The collection currently has only one watch – the Independence 22 Skeleton Special Edition. The Wild Ones collection is executed in a different material to the 22 Skeleton.

As noted below, the movement is held in a titanium container, then wrapped in rubber shock absorber which appears in the shape of the case and completely enveloping the container, leaving only the crystals on both sides. This rubber shock absorber construction makes a rather interesting technical solution to the age old problem of shock resistance. Norqain states 5000G, which sounds impressive, but is rather standard shock absorbtion tests in the lab. Even A. Lange & Söhne tests their luxury non-sports watches to this level.

A front plate which is a piece forming the bezel and half of the dial side horns is attached via screws through the rubber shock absorber to the back plate which includes rear bezel and the other half of the lugs. These plates are made of a new (?) material known as Norteq, a carbon fibre composite material which is claimed to be proprietary to Norqain. The material is is claimed to be six times lighter than steel, 3.5 times lighter than titanium and available in different colours.

This sandwich case design is reminiscent of those found in various Hublot watches. It is of course with interest, and perhaps expected that in addition to construction similarities, we see the elements of “fusion”. An attribute to the involvement of Jean-Claude Biver.

The dial carries a rather interesting texture. Norqain does not state the dial material, but goes to some length to explain that the texture/pattern. The effect is rather like a filigree lace pattern laid over a base dial, but is in fact, a single piece of material which is laser cut to present itself at three different levels. The hands and appliqué indices are rhodium plated and filled with SuperLumiNova on the tips.

Norqain states that the movement is a “Manufacture Caliber” NN20/1, and carefully avoids to say that it is in-house. The movement is made by partner Kenissi, who also makes the movements for Tudor, Breitling and Chanel. From our visual comparison, the NN20/1 is used in the Adventure Neverest and is very similar to the Kenessi made Tudor MT5402 found in the Black Bay Fifty-Eight and the new Ranger 39). The movement is also used in other Norqain models, for e.g. the Adventure Neverest which we reviewed recently.

The 42mm case diameter presents itself with a 12.3mm thickness, which is a bit on the large side of today’s “ideal” size, but should still wear nicely, especially as this is pitched as an ultimate sports watch.

The Wild One Hakuna Mipaka Limited Edition.

The two limited editions carry a small premium over the standard release models. The model designed with the brand’s ambassador Dean Schneider is known as the Hakuna Mipaka. It is limited to 500 pieces only, and carries only a small price premium, despite 10% of the earnings being pledged to the Hakuna Mipaka Oasis. As noted in the pricing list, the series also carries another 200 piece limited edition in Burgundy and Grey, which is even more pricey than the Schneider one. But overall, both limited editions are only a small premium over the regular catalog watches. If we compare the Wild Ones to the sole member of the Independence Collection – the Skeleton 42mm, featuring a standard stainless steel case and carries a retail price of SGD 6k, the value of the Wild Ones seem even clearer.

Additional notes: Hakuna Mipaka is Swahili and means ‘’No Limits’’. The Hakuna Mipaka Oasis is located on around 400 hectares (four million m2) in the wilderness of South Africa. It is home to thousands of different wild animal species. The oasis also serves as a life-long home to a few rescued wild animals, which were born in captivity. Additionally, some animals are rehabilitated at Hakuna Mipaka before being released back into the wild. Hakuna Mipaka is not open to the public or tourists and does not organise any animal activities. No animals are bred or traded. In additional to the lions and hyenas that are featured on Dean Schneider’s social media channels, the oasis is also home to giraffes, zebras, leopards, reptiles, and birds, all of which are part of the sanctuary’s diverse ecosystem.

Release details

The family-owned Swiss watch brand presents Wild ONE and NORTEQ – a completely new high-performance sports watch concept that features a proprietary material that is six times lighter than steel, 3.5 times lighter than titanium and available in different colours. Marking a world premiere in the watch industry, NORTEQ conquers the standard black carbon fibre tint by introducing a ground-breaking process that creates different composite colours.

The trailblazing watch concept was sparked by Jean-Claude Biver, NORQAIN’s Advisor to the Board. He supported the team in innovating and introducing a revolutionary product for sports-enthusiast NORQAINERS around the world. The result: a family of high-performance watches made with next-gen material and spectacular design.

“When I began working with NORQAIN, my first step was to challenge the team to innovate; to create a lightweight and shock-resistant timepiece that reflects the brand’s active DNA. This watch concept is exactly the kind of revolutionary development I was hoping for. The Wild ONE collection is the result of close collaboration between the best of the best Swiss suppliers and NORQAIN’s passionate, knowledgeable team. This collection is a 3-in-1 because it combines unique design, a revolutionary new concept and high-tech material. NORTEQ is the optimal material on every level: aesthetics, light weight, robustness and ethical production”, Jean-Claude Biver says.

The Wild ONE: The ultimate sports watch

What immediately stands out about the 100% Swiss-made timepieces in the Wild ONE collection, aside from their incredible lightness, is their innovative construction. The case has separate top and bottom NORTEQ parts, developed by strategic partner BIWI, which serve as a protective cage and are connected and secured with custom-made screws. Between these parts is a rubber shock absorber that surrounds a titanium container in which ticks the NN20/1 Manufacture Calibre. The BIWI rubber bumper reliably absorbs shocks during even the most extreme activities – like when a wearer rides a mountain bike, skis an exhilarating downhill slope or runs an ambitious trail. This special case concept makes the Wild ONE the ultimate high-performance sports watch by exceeding industry standards for shock absorption. The watches’ robustness and shock-resistance are proven by withstanding stringent laboratory tests, which are conducted at 5000 and guarantee the timepiece will be safe during all kinds of sport activities.

Water resistance to a depth of 200 metres expands the range of sports that the Wild ONE is suited for. In total, the case is made of 25 parts, including four screws which are engraved with a mountain-peak design. Each watch weighs just 84 grams, which is 50% lighter than a stainless steel NORQAIN watch.

“There is no better way to describe the Wild ONE than the ultimate sports watch for every NORQAINER. It’s the culmination of over two years of close collaboration between Jean-Claude Biver, our team and the best Swiss suppliers. The Wild ONE is 100% Swiss-made. From the entire development process to the production of every component of the watch – it all came to life within a small radius from Jura to Bienne and Neuchâtel. Our motto throughout the project was ‘zero compromise’ and we delivered on this by always opting for the highest-quality solution. I am incredibly proud of the final result”, says NORQAIN CEO Ben Küffer.


For the development of the Wild ONE collection, NORQAIN partnered exclusively with premium Swiss suppliers including BIWI SA for the design, concept and material; MRP SA for case assembly and container production; Montremo SA for the laser-cut dial; and Waeber HMS SA for the skeletonised hands.

The three-level laser-cut dial features an intricate mandala- like pattern of NORQAIN’s mountain-inspired double-N logo. Each level is separated by 0.05mm giving the pattern an eye- catching 3D effect. The rectangular indexes are skeletonised and enhanced with a spot of X1 Superluminova®. The hour, minute and seconds hands of the Wild ONE timepieces are also skeletonised, a distinguishing and much-loved design feature of all the watches in the Independence collection.

The Independence Wild ONE, though presenting a design that is undeniably unique, strongly displays the brand’s DNA. The brand’s NN20/1 three-hand Manufacture Calibre produced by Kenissi has an impressive 70-hour power reserve. Its sturdy construction features a traversing bridge with two- point fixation that ensures the timekeeping performance will not be hindered by powerful activity.

Wild One Black & Khaki.

Affirming the exclusivity of this movement is the unique NORQAIN decorations visible through the transparent caseback such as the golden “double-N” NORQAIN logo, symbolising the Swiss Alps, on the oscillating weight and “Adventure – Freedom – Independence”, the brand’s core values and NORQAIN collection names, engraved on the bridge.

A vegan-certified rubber strap with a petite-Milanese structure makes it appropriate for virtually any activity on land and water. A NORTEQ buckle securely fastens the Wild ONE to the wrist. The straps are integrated into the case and underline the Wild ONE’s ultra-sporty character.

The NORQAIN Wild ONE is available with a black NORTEQ case, khaki rubber shock absorber, black dial and khaki rubber strap (CHF 4,950.00); with a black NORTEQ case, blue rubber shock absorber, blue dial and blue rubber strap (CHF 4,950.00); or in an edition limited to 200 pieces with a burgundy NORTEQ case, grey rubber shock absorber, grey dial with red gold indexes and hands, and grey rubber strap (CHF 5,350.00). The NORQAIN plate on the side of the Wild ONE matches the colour of the case. As with every NORQAIN wristwatch, the plate can be personalised and engraved with a reminder of an important moment, like the date of an unforgettable victory.

Wild One Burgundy & Grey.

This is NORTEQ

NORTEQ is an ultra-light, ultra-robust material that was created exclusively for NORQAIN and its watches and is the result of a close collaboration between NORQAIN, Jean-Claude Biver and BIWI SA. This high-performance material has a striking marble effect. This carbon fibre composite is made of carbon fibre, which is commonly used in the aerospace industry, and a high-performance polymer matrix containing 60% bio-sourced material (castor oil).

The NORTEQ composite offers the perfect balance between density, elasticity and resistance for optimised shock- absorption. NORQAIN is the first watch brand to offer a mass- dyed carbon fibre composite case allowing a variety of colours in addition to the standard black carbon look. Today, NORQAIN presents the NORTEQ material in black and burgundy.

This revolutionary material is also anti-magnetic and will not corrode over time. Additionally, the material left over from the production process is 100% recycled and upcycled – an important example of how innovation can lead to a smaller ecological footprint and part of the policy that led to the brand’s CO2-NEUTRAL certification by Swiss Climate.

Wild One Black & Blue.

“Thanks to the impulse from NORQAIN, we developed a revolutionary sports watch concept with a unique material resulting in an innovative collection with one of the best quality-for-price ratios for a 100% Swiss-made watch in the industry. The true strength of the NORTEQ material is in its potential for variation. I am proud to have had the opportunity to collaborate with NORQAIN and Jean-Claude Biver and believe that this unparalleled concept and material will have an enormous positive impact on the brand’s reputation.”


Dean Schneider’s Wild ONE

The fourth model in the NORQAIN Wild ONE collection has been designed together with the brand’s international ambassador, Dean Schneider. As teased in 2021, this black NORTEQ creation, limited to 500 pieces, incorporates a piece of Dean’s wildlife: the vegan sand-coloured rubber shock absorber has been mixed with sand from his Hakuna Mipaka oasis in South Africa, which creates a unique speckled design. The black dial is decorated with a lion fur pattern as well as the sanctuary’s spear-and-shield logo. This dynamic pattern is also found on the black vegan-certified rubber strap. Dean’s powerful message about humankind’s relationship with animals is engraved on the caseback: “We need to learn to love them exactly the way they are and not the way we wish them to be!”

Dean Schneider Norqain

“Creating this timepiece alongside NORQAIN showed me how much passion and effort goes into the development of their watches. It’s not only the wild, robust and modern style of the Wild ONE Hakuna Mipaka Limited Edition that makes it unique, but also the Hakuna Mipaka lion energy that flows through it”, says Dean Schneider.

Wild ONE represents wildlife without harming wildlife because it is completely free from any animal products – an extension of NORQAIN’s promise in July 2021 to discontinue its use of leather goods for all its new product launches and phase-out leather straps for all existing models.


The Wild ONE Hakuna Mipaka Limited Edition (CHF 5,250.00) comes in a special Hakuna Mipaka watch box along with a signed card from Dean. Ten per cent of the earnings from sales of this watch will be donated to the Hakuna Mipaka Oasis.

Wild One Hakuna Mipaka.

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