Hands-On: Norqain Adventure Sport Automatic N1000 What happens if watch industry vets start a brand? by Robert-Jan Broer May 07, 2020 MIN READHands-On: Norqain Adventure Sport Automatic N1000
By now, you probably have heard about Norqain. The brand that was founded in 2018 by Ben Küffer, is gaining popularity and appreciated by many enthusiasts. But what makes them so special? In this hands-on review, I will take a closer look at the Norqain Adventure Sport Automatic reference N1000.
A young brand that gets the support of Swiss watch industry vets like Ben Küffer’s father Marc (+25 years at a private label watch manufacturer) and Ted Schneider (former Breitling), probably knows what it is doing and therefore I am curious to give one of their watches a try. On my wrist is the Norqain Adventure Sport Automatic reference N1000, on a black rubber strap.
Norqain Adventure Sport Automatic
If you wonder what Norqain means, the characters represent the following: New Open-Minded, Rebelliousness, Quality time, Adventure, Independent, and Niche. These are the codes that this Swiss-based brand lives by. Norqain does a lot of work in-house, such as design, development, and assembly. Norqain has a strategic partnership with movement manufacturer Kenissi, a company founded by Tudor and of which Chanel is a 20% shareholder.
It is the same company that created the MT5601 and MT5652 movements for Tudor, for example. We reported on it in detail, in this article. Kenissi will produce the caliber NN20/1 and NN20/2 for Norqain. However, the Adventure Sport Automatic does not use one of these new movements yet. Instead, it has the NN09 movement, based on the ETA2824.
The rotor of the NN09 movement shows the Norqain wordmark and logo. The logo, by the way, consists of the first and the last character of the brand name.
You can easily say it is a no-nonsense movement that does what it should do.
As you can see on the picture of the rotor, the two Ns have a shape like a mountain peak from the Swiss Alps. The caliber NN09 is a solidly built movement, with a huge track record. It has a quick-set date, 38-hours of power reserve, and ticks at 28,800vph. You can easily say it is a no-nonsense movement that does what it should do. For the enthusiasts, Norqain decided to put a sapphire case back on it, so they can enjoy the inner workings of their Adventure Sport Automatic.
Stainless Steel 42mm Case
On the wrist, the Norqain Adventure Sport Automatic is not a small watch. The lug-to-lug size is 50mm, and it has a thickness of 12.8mm. On my 19cm wrist, it is perfect, though. The case has a brushed finish, with polished facets on the lugs and center part. The signed crown is screwed-in, helping to ensure water-resistance to 100 meters. The lug width is 22mm and you can select from a variety of straps. I picked the rubber one because I think it works with the dial very well.
Details Make The Watch
You’ve noticed the little plaque on the center case for sure. Ours says “Norqain”, but for €140 you have 30 characters to have something nice engraved. You can choose from two different fonts. Another design feature I love is the hobnail motif on the diving bezel. The knurled bezel is easy to grab and operate, which is one of the most important requirements. The steel bezel has a ceramic inlay with a 60-minute scale.
Even more details can be found on the dial, with its Norqain pattern. You can immediately see that Norqain puts a lot of effort into the dial. Not only due to the motif, but also the applied markers. The date disc is in black, with white printing. A touch of red is used for the second hand’s tip and the “Automatic” writing. The markers and the hands have this polished and faceted finish, ensuring perfect readability. The time is easy to read in low-light conditions as well, as Norqain used C1 Superluminova for the hands and markers.
Comfortable Rubber Strap
The Norqain Adventure Sport Automatic N1000 is available with a stainless steel bracelet, a fabric (Nordura) strap, and a rubber strap. The rubber I selected is super comfortable on the wrist, as it is very soft and flexible. For the stainless steel bracelet you need to pay an additional €130 and for the Nordura (in blue or black), you can deduct €20 from the retail price of €1,760 for the watch we have here. The strap has a steel buckle with Norqain wordmark and logo engraved. On the inside, you will find the Norqain wordmark on both pieces.
Some thoughts on the Norqain Adventure Sport Automatic
This watch is value for money, without a doubt. The people at Norqain know what they are doing, and that shows. As always, it is the experience of wearing and examining a watch in the flesh to underline that you do get a lot of value for money.
I pity those who purely purchase a watch on specs and not on emotion
Besides all the specs (that we listed in the chart below this review), the Norqain Adventure Sport Automatic is also a good looker on the wrist. And that’s the most important thing. Specs are just specs, and I pity those who purely purchase a watch on specs and not on emotion. A luxury watch is not a laptop or a dishwasher. It is not simply a tool. It is a long term investment. So it should trigger some emotion from you.
All the elements at Norqain add up: the story, the specifications, the price, and the quality of the watch. I am more in favor of the Freedom 60 collection, as it fits my style a bit better, but the market for a solid sports watch with a diving bezel is huge. Kudos to Norqain, for having the guts to start a new watch brand from scratch and for delivering a good watch for a very fair price.
More information via Norqain online.
Brand Norqain ModelAdventure Sport AutomaticReferenceN1000DialBlack with Norqain pattern (herringbone), C1 Super-Luminova used for markers and hands, hand-applied markers and hands, polished and faceted finishCase Material316L Stainless SteelCase DimensionsDiameter: 42mm, Thickness: 12.8mm, Lug-to-Lug: 50mm, Lug-width: 22mmCrystalDouble AR-coated slightly domed sapphireCase BackScrew-down case back, sapphire crystalMovementCaliber NN09, self-winding, ETA2824 base, 38-hours of power reserve, 28800VPH, 25 jewels, quickset date, Norqain signed rotorWater Resistance100 meters / 10 ATMStrapRubber strap with pin buckle. Other options: Stainless steel, fabric (Nordura) in blue or black.FunctionsTime, date, uni-directional diving bezelPrice€1760WarrantyTwo years of international warranty Watch of the Week
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About the author
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in… read more
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