Introducing The Independence Wild One: Norqain Develops Innovative Sports Watch Concept and High-performance Material With Industry Legend Jean-claude Biver and Leading Swiss Suppliers
NORQAIN launches the ultimate sports watch with its own groundbreaking material: NORTEQ. Four models introduce the new Wild ONE line, including one limited
edition piece designed together with wildlife ambassador Dean Schneider.
Biel, Switzerland - 21 September 2022: 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 g 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.
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.
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.
“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”, says Pascal Bourquard Jr. , CEO of BIWI SA.
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!”
“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.
Unveiling the Wild ONE collection in Zermatt
Through September 21 - September 22, NORQAIN will be hosting over 100 international guests in Zermatt for the official launch of the Wild ONE collection. Together with Jean-Claude Biver and Dean Schneider, NORQAIN will present the revolutionary and ultimate high-performance sports watch collection in a jungle-atmosphere at the historical Vernissage cinema in Zermatt. The event will be moderated by Swiss actress Melanie Winiger.
“It is fantastic for the watch industry that a young, passionate, and independent brand like NORQAIN invests so heavily into innovation. The Wild ONE collection marks a highlight in NORQAIN’s history and also in the history of Swiss watchmaking. I am very proud of the team and look forward to climbing the next summits together”, Jean-Claude Biver says.
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Founded in 2018, NORQAIN is a fully independent, family-owned Swiss watch company located in Nidau (Bienne) in the heart of the Swiss watch industry. Driven by the excitement that comes with exploring the road less travelled, NORQAIN has three collections – Adventure, Freedom and Independence – that are exclusively equipped with mechanical automatic movements. In 2020, it introduced two Manufacture Calibres produced in collaboration with movement manufacturer, Kenissi. NORQAIN is a proud partner of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the Official Timekeeper of the Spengler Cup Davos. In July 2020, the brand organised its second NORQAINER Challenge together with On. Available throughout Europe, Japan and the US, NORQAIN has an expansive network of retail partners that includes Bucherer and Kirchhofer in Switzerland; Wempe in Germany; Watches of Switzerland in the UK; Tourneau, Westime and Govberg in the US; L’Oro in Canada; Seddiqi in Dubai; and over 30 points of sale in Japan.