Last year, young Swiss watchmaker Norqain introduced the Independence 20, which was its first timepiece fitted with an exclusive manufacture caliber produced in partnership with Tudor-founded movement maker Kenissi. Now the brand follows it up with the introduction of the Independence 21, the next generation of watches within the original model’s design family.
The release encompasses two distinct models, the midnight blue-dialed Independence 21 Limited Edition, and the skeletonized Independence 21 DLC Skeleton Limited Edition. Together, the models are intended to breathe fresh life into the Independence family after the initial launch of last year’s model sold out just days after its launch.
Norqain Independence 21 Limited Edition
Focusing first on the version with the solid blue dial, we find a 42-mm by 11.8 mm steel case which, like the 2020 edition, features a sturdy, sport-oriented construction, with thick lugs, crown guards protecting its screw-down crown, and a left-side shoulder. The watch’s combination of polished, satin, and sandblasted finishing provides for a well-thought, contrasted look, which also echoes that of the matching steel bracelet.
Under a domed sapphire crystal lay the deep blue dial, surrounded by an outer minute ring in black. According to the brand, each of these dials is one of a kind, with the brushed finishing for each completed by hand to produce a unique scratch pattern that can’t be duplicated. Its other features are fairly straightforward, with applied and lume-filled markers for each of the hours, matching the skeletonized style of the hour and minute hands, and a red arrow-tipped pointer used to count the seconds and matching the color of the “chronometer” script toward the 6 o’clock position.
Inside the watch is Norqain’s manufacture Caliber NN20/1, the same movement used in the Independence 20, which is the result of the brand’s collaborative efforts with Kenissi. The movement is chronometer-certified, holds a 70-hour power reserve, and beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph. The movement features a personalized bridge with Norqain’s core values of “Adventure,” “Freedom,” and “Independence,” as well as a signed rotor, all visible via a sapphire exhibition caseback.
Norqain Independence 21 DLC Skeleton Limited Edition
Turning to the more experimental of the two new releases, the Independence 21 DLC Skeleton, we see the same overall case shape and dimensions but with a wildly different colorway from others in the Independence line thanks to its black DLC coating. Norqain continues to use a mix of polishing, satin, and sandblasting for the watch’s finishing.
Like the blue dial of its sibling, the Skeleton model features a curved outer minute ring, lume-filled and applied hour markers, and the same recognizable handset, but here these elements overlay an eye-catching skeletonized surface, with the watch’s exposed, inner mechanical workings serving as a background to the time display.
The movement inside the Skeleton is the Norqain Caliber NN08S, which is based on the Sellita SW200-1 S. Storing a 38-hour power reserve, and beating at a frequency of 28,800 vph, this chronometer-certified caliber is notably not one produced in partnership with Kenissi, which signals Norqain’s continued use of calibers outside of the relationship, one likely to persist for the foreseeable future.
Price and Availability
Both Norqain Independence 21 models are available now, directly through the brand. The blue-dialed version is limited to 200 pieces and priced at $3,290 on a steel bracelet and $3,110 on a leather strap. The skeleton version is limited to 100 editions, with its pricing marked at $4,360 on a DLC-steel bracelet and at $3,990 on a leather strap.
To learn more and inquire for purchase, visit Norqain, here.