Many of our articles on NORQAIN have sparked curiosity among readers about its classification as a micro brand. As the definition of a microbrand becomes more fluid, we can’t overlook NORQAIN’s origins in that category. More than just a label, NORQAIN stands as a symbol of excellence for us, lighting the path for emerging watch brands to reach their zenith. The introduction of NORQAIN’s latest timepiece, the Wild ONE Hakuna Mipaka Limited Edition, further underscores its exemplary craftsmanship and its distinguished position in the horology domain.
Wild ONE Hakuna Mipaka Limited Edition: The Story Behind The Watch
Swiss watchmaker NORQAIN, established in 2018, has swiftly risen in prominence not just for its horological innovations but also for its heartfelt commitment to wildlife preservation. Under the advisory of Jean-Claude Biver, the brand unveiled the Wild ONE series last year, which showcases the innovative lightweight material, NORTEQ. Beyond their technical prowess, NORQAIN’s dedication to giving back is commendable. They have a significant alliance with Hakuna Mipaka, a sprawling 400-hectare wildlife sanctuary in South Africa that thrives primarily on charitable donations. This collaboration has birthed a unique timepiece, the Norqain Wild ONE Hakuna Mipaka Limited Edition, crafted in partnership with Dean Schneider, the driving force behind Hakuna Mipaka. Impressively, a dedicated 10% of the proceeds from this watch will fuel Schneider’s noble wildlife conservation endeavors.
Drawing from traditional designs, the Norqain Wild ONE Hakuna Mipaka takes a bold turn with its earthy hues, nodding to “King Dexter from the Hakuna Mipaka pride”—a lion that has grown within the sanctuary’s care since he was just a cub. An intriguing detail is the infusion of oasis sand into its rubber shock absorber, adding a touch of the wild.
Wild ONE Hakuna Mipaka Limited Edition: The Specs
The watch boasts a meticulously designed case with a 42mm diameter and a height of 12.3mm, complemented by a 49.4mm lug-to-lug dimension. Crafted from NORTEQ carbon fiber composite blended with bio-sourced materials, this timepiece promises both durability and a nod to sustainability. The glare-proofed sapphire crystal adds to its luxury, providing a clear view of the time, while the sapphire caseback offers a glimpse into the intricate mechanics of the watch. A screw-down crown ensures the watch’s integrity, and its robust build allows for water resistance up to 200 meters, making it as functional as it is fashionable.
The dial of the watch exudes a distinct character, embracing a sand-colored backdrop reminiscent of desert landscapes. What truly sets it apart is the meticulously stamped “lion fur” pattern, bringing a touch of the wild right to the wrist. Complementing the backdrop is the unmistakable Hakuna Mipaka logo, which asserts the watch’s unique identity. The diamond-cut, flat skeleton indexes and the faceted hour and minute hands gleam in a rich shade of red gold plating. Further enhancing the timepiece’s elegance and functionality, the flat seconds hand is also red gold plated. To ensure visibility in low light conditions, all these elements are coated with white X1 Super-LumiNova, offering a luminescent glow.
The caseback of the watch holds a profound sentiment, bearing an engraved message from Dean Schneider. He is a testament to resilience and passion, having survived a harrowing encounter with a lion named Muwanga in 2021. Despite the ordeal, Schneider’s commitment to wildlife conservation remains unwavering. His inscribed words resonate deeply, urging us to embrace wild creatures in their true essence. The message eloquently states, “We need to learn to love them exactly the way they are and not the way we wish them to be.” This poignant reminder on the caseback sets the watch apart, linking it to a greater purpose.
Concealed behind the watch’s distinctive caseback is the heart of the timepiece: the Manufacture Calibre NN20/1 movement, crafted in collaboration with Kenissi. This automatic movement is not just a marvel of engineering but also a testament to precision, as evidenced by its COSC certification. With dimensions of 26mm by 4.99mm, it is intricately assembled with 28 jewels. Operating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (vph), this movement ensures accurate timekeeping. Its impressive 70-hour power reserve ensures that the watch can run for nearly three days without needing to be wound. This movement seamlessly drives the hours, minutes, and seconds hands, making it both a functional and horological masterpiece.
The watch strap is a harmonious blend of aesthetics and comfort, crafted from a supple beige rubber. What makes it stand out is the distinctive “lion fur” pattern etched onto it, offering a tactile and visual homage to the majestic creature. Ensuring the strap stays securely on the wrist is a brown pin buckle, which not only offers a seamless fit but also complements the overall earthy palette of the watch.
NORQAIN’s new timepiece, reference NNQ3000QNX1LA/X001/3W1XR.20NQ, is a limited edition of 300 units, prices at CHF 5,250, and, as always, you can order the watch directly from NORQAIN’s website.
To Sum It Up
In embracing the spirit of the wild, the Wild ONE Hakuna Mipaka Limited Edition stands as a testament to NORQAIN’s dedication to both horological excellence and wildlife conservation. Drawing from the rugged beauty of nature and the resilience of animals, this timepiece fuses intricate craftsmanship with a deep-seated respect for our natural world. Beyond its elegant aesthetics and precise mechanics, its collaboration with Dean Schneider and commitment to the Hakuna Mipaka sanctuary cements its status not just as a watch, but as a symbol of hope and harmony between man and nature. This is a timepiece that truly captures the heart of the wild, reminding us of the importance of preserving it for generations to come.