This article was originally published in the March/April 2022 Issue of the WatchTime print magazine.
This successfully designed timezone watch belongs to Norqain’s new Neverest collection, which takes its name from a combination of “Never rest” and “Everest.” What does this line of sports watches have to do with Mount Everest? First, these models are built for adventurers who don’t shy away from extreme challenges, such as climbing the world’s highest mountain. And second, Norqain donates 10 percent of the proceeds from each watch sold to the Butterfly Help Project in Nepal, a charitable organization that helps the children of Sherpas who were injured or killed in mountaineering accidents. The charity pays tuition so the children can attend school, among other assistance.
The Butterfly Help Project was founded in 2016 by Norbu Sherpa and Andrea Sherpa-Zimmermann, whose company Wild Yak Expeditions organizes mountain treks in Nepal and neighboring countries. In 2021 alone, Norqain supported 50 children and will continue to do so in the years to come. And through sales of Neverest models, the watch brand aims to enable more children to attend school in the future.
With this high-quality, robustly constructed, 41-mm-diameter stainless steel watch — we tested the blue version of the Neverest GMT — adventurers can climb the world’s highest peaks while also keeping an eye on the time in their home country. Manually turning the crown advances the main hour hand in hourly increments, thus making it quick and easy to set the watch to show the hour in any desired time zone. Meanwhile, the additional hour hand with a colorful tip continues to indicate home time on a 24-hour scale. If you also need to see the hour in a third time zone, you can rotate the bezel with its scratch-resistant ceramic inlay in either direction in hourly increments to correspond with the additional hour hand. The date can be quickly reset by moving the main hour hand forward or back. We were pleased to see that the date disk is black like the dial. Another special feature of the sports watch from this brand, which was only founded in 2018, is a little plaque screwed onto the side of the case at the 9, opposite the crown. For a surcharge of $140, you can have the standard “Neverest” inscription replaced by a personalized engraving with a maximum of 30 characters.
The functions of our test watch, all of which are clearly legible, are carried out by automatic Calibre NN20/2, which was launched in 2020 and built in partnership with Swiss movement manufacturer Kenissi, which also produces movements for Tudor. It has a long power reserve of 70 hours and a rate certificate from official Swiss chronometer testing agency COSC. Like the entire watch, the movement is distinguished by its robustness. However, like Tudor’s movements, the caliber is mostly undecorated. Visual highlights include the four finely crafted hands, a two-tone time-zone scale on the edge of the dial and an elastic textile-look rubber strap, which comes with a high-quality buckle with a pin that’s milled rather than merely bent.
The only drawback, except for the less-than-ideal rate performance (see Specs), is that when we turned the bezel in hourly increments, its hour indexes didn’t snap into position exactly above the 24 markings on the dial’s two-tone outer ring. Otherwise, this new Adventure Neverest GMT impressed us with its successful design, high overall quality and convenient operation.
Norqain Adventure Neverest GMT Specs:
Manufacturer: Norqain HQ, Hauptstrasse 7, Nidau 2560, Switzerland
Reference number: NN1100SC1GCG/BA111
Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds, GMT, date display
Movement: Kenissi Calibre NN20/2, automatic winding, chronometer certification, 70-hour power reserve
Case: Stainless-steel case, ceramic bezel, water resistant to 100m
Strap and clasp: Textile-look rubber strap, buckle with milled pin
Rate results: Average daily Largest difference among
Dimensions: Diameter = 41 mm, height = 15 mm
Variations: With textile wristband or black rubber strap ($3,690); with stainless-steel bracelet ($3,900); with green accents and textilelook rubber strap (Ref. NN1100SC1CG/BE111, $3,760); with orange accents, metal bracelet and DLC-coated case (Ref. NNB1100BBCG/BO116, $4,500)
Strap and clasp (max. 10 points): 8
Case (10): 8
Dial and hands (10): 9
Design (15): 13
Legibility (5): 5
Operation (5): 5
Wearing comfort (5): 4
Movement (20): 16
Rate results (10): 7
Overall value (10): 8
TOTAL: 83 points
To learn more about Norqain, click here, and to subscribe to the WatchTime print magazine, click here.