Quick takes: Norqain Adventure Neverest – a new brand arises

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We take a quick look at the Norqain Adventure Neverest.

A new Swiss watch brand in the entry level luxury segment, NORQAIN finds its place making otherwise generic looking timepieces but with an edge in case finishing and execution. The Neverest collection draws a connection to Mountaineering and has with it a partnership with the Butterfly Help Project, ten per cent of the earnings from the sales of Adventure NEVEREST watches help families of sherpas who have lost their lives in the Himalayan mountains and give their children access to education.

Quick review: Norqain Adventure Neverest

Retail price for the Norqain Adventure Neverest is SGD 4,780 inclusive of GST. A steel bracelet, not reviewed is available at a SGD 400 premium.

The case and dial

This 40mm automatic-winding Adventure NEVEREST timepiece bears the fundamental design of a sports/dive watch, with a ceramic insert dive bezel, fluted grip, crown guard and a screw down crown.

The dial takes on the iconic NORQAIN embossed design, with a pattern in forest green and black. X1 Superluminova covers the indexes and hands for low light visibility. The stainless steel case has a mixture of brushed and polished surfaces, with a polished bevelled edge skirting the lugs.

Applied indices mark the hours surrounding a red CHRONOMETER specification and the pressure rating of 200m. The polished ceramic bezel is done in the style of Rolex’s Submariner, with cut out numerals and stick indicators, as well as the classic luminous ‘pearl’.

The hue of the dial appears different under different incident lighting angles and can appear as the bright green of fresh leaves or as more mature dark green tones. Both are rather attractive.

The watch is available with a variety of strap options, including this featured nato strap, a rubber strap or the more expensive steel bracelet option.

The movement

The NORQAIN Neverest uses the Manufacture Calibre NN20/1, an automatic movement developed by movement manufacturer Kenissi. It features a 70 hour power reserve, chronometer accuracy and a 4Hz frequency. For those who might find the movement design familiar, Kenissi is Tudor’s manufacture arm, and produces the MT movements for the brand. In particular, the NN20/1 is very similar to Tudor’s MT56, which is also manufactured in the same facilities at Kenissi.

The watch is well built, with the fit and finish appropriate to the market segment that Norqain is targeting. The obvious comparisons are to Tudor and perhaps even Breitling. These do not come as surprises as the brand draws it’s heritage from both these maisons. The founders of NORQAIN were formerly from the pre-Kern Breitling. And as mentioned, their manufacture movements like the one used in the Neverest are sourced from the same factory that produce the Tudor movements.

The Neverest wears nicely on the wrist, no surprise as the case is 41mm and a somewhat proven design.

Concluding thoughts

NORQAIN’s Neverest bears similarities in their go to market strategy with Breitling, IWC and uses a Tudor movement. It positions itself accordingly with its legitimacy of the higher specced movement and its Swiss Made provenance. Through sponsorships, CSR initiatives, it appeals to select target markets and differentiates itself with clever marketing. For example, the watches feature a monogramming module via a customizable side plaque on the watch case. And one of their celebrity endorsers is “lion whisperer” Dean Schneider (@dean.schneider) who brings with him some 9.9 million followers in Instagram, should provide a powerful visibility for a new brand like Norqain. The watch itself is well-designed and executed, but as a newcomer brand with an otherwise generic theme, this access to eyeballs may just do the trick, or perhaps it may need a bigger wow factor to build mindshare with its potential customers. Time will tell, and we will keep watch.

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