Norqain Adv Sport DLC

Norqain Adv Sport DLC

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Manufacturer: Norqain | Price: £1,680 GBP ($2,200 USD, €1,980 EUR approx)

As most people who read my reviews, they should know by now that I love affordable watches. Affordable being under £1,000. This doesn’t mean that I’m not keen to review watches that are on the more ‘out of reach’ (for me anyway) side of things. I love to compare what a $2,000+ watch gets you compared to something that costs say, $600 for example. I chat on a regular basis to other reviewers like The Time Bum, Watch Clicker, WatchitallAbout and Relative Time to name but a few and Mike from The Time Bum recently mentioned his review of the Norqain Adventure Sport DLC. After reading the review, I decided to reach out to Norqain to see if they would send me one for review. So, the watch has been here now for around a month and I’ve wore it regularly to get a good feel of it. So, does it justify its price? Let’s find out shall we…

Specifications

  • Dimensions: Case Diameter – 42.1mm, Thickness – 12.4mm, Lug to Lug – 48.7mm, Lug Width – 22mm
  • Movement: Norqain NN09 (ETA 2824), Automatic, 28,800vph (4Hz), Hackable, Self Winding, 38hr Power Reserve
  • Case Material: DLC 316L Stainless Steel with Polished Accents
  • Strap: Nordura Fabric, Leather Inner
  • Crystal: Double Domed Sapphire, Underside AR Coating
  • Bezel: 60 Click Unidirectional, DLC 316L Stainless Steel
  • Water Resistance: 100m / 10ATM / 330ft
  • Lume: Swiss Super Luminova® Old Radium
  • Crown: Screw Down, Signed     Caseback: Screw Down, Sapphire Exhibition Display
  • Warranty: 2 Years     Where to Buy: Norqain
  • Options: Strap: Black Rubber, Black Nordura, Kaki Nordura | Engraving (+£160)

Norqain - The Company

"Family-owned and independent, Norqain is a watch brand that dares to go its own way. Based in the heart of Swiss watchmaking, in Nidau (just outside of Biel/Bienne), we’re driven by the excitement that comes with exploring the road less travelled. Our three collections ­– Adventure, Freedom and Independence – feature our exclusive mechanical movements and original striking design elements. Every Norqain watch is Swiss made with absolute attention to detail and ready for whatever adventures await. For us, “Swiss made” is more than a designation on our watch dials. Norqain itself is Swiss made, and it was built on a solid foundation of family tradition. For more than four decades, our family has been creating and developing watches. Now, with Norqain, we have united our experiences and expertise – an exciting adventure for all of us. This know-how allows us to offer top-quality watches that meet the highest Swiss watchmaking standards. Norqain was founded by Ben Küffer in 2018 and he brought on his father, Marc Küffer, as Chairman of the Board. Marc has over 45 years of experience in manufacturing Swiss luxury watches and spent 25 years on the Board of Directors for the Swiss Watch Industry Association. Ted Schneider, a member of the family that owned Breitling for nearly 40 years, and Mark Streit, the Swiss ice hockey legend and Stanley Cup winner, are also part of the management and board. The fact that Norqain is independent means that our unique values will continue to distinguish our brand, and our customers will always be our inspiration."
Ben Küffer
Founder, Norqain

Case & Crown

The case of the Adventure Sport DLC has a diameter of 42.1mm. The lug to lug is 48.7mm and the overall thickness, including the sapphire crystal, I measured in at a very nice 12.4mm. The entire case, caseback, bezel and crown are all DLC coated 316L stainless steel. The finish of the watch is mostly brushed with a rather gorgeous chamfered polished edge that runs along the side of the case and down over the end of the lugs. You should be able to see in the pictures, a small polished lip around the edge of the bezel too. I have to say, I like these little attention to details a lot, as not only does it look fantastic, but also gives the watch a very premium look & feel. I can only imagine it looks great on the normal stainless steel version too.

The Adventure Sport DLC has a water resistance rating of 100m, thanks to the screw down caseback & crown. This rating is perfectly acceptable for a sports watch, so no complaints there. The proportions of the watch, in my opinion, are great for my 7″ wrist, with it’s more than acceptable lug to lug length of 48.7mm, any bigger though, and I think it’d be too large. The Adventure Sport DLC wears very well on wrist and it is very comfortable, although not on the supplied strap (more on that later in the review).

The signed crown is very nice, looks great with it’s deep stamped Norqain logo, and there is absolutely zero wobble when the crown is pulled out to any position. You also feel a very nice pop as you unscrew the crown and you can see and feel the amount of work that has gone into the crown, making it feel very premium when in use. The caseback is great too with it’s sapphire exhibition display showing off the Norqain NN09 movement, which is basically a modified ETA 2824. There is also the usual various specifications of the watch around the edge as you can clearly see in the picture below.

Strap

The strap that comes fitted to the Adventure Sport DLC is quite disappointing if I’m honest. It’s very stiff and isn’t comfortable whatsoever. I’ve tried it for weeks, thinking that the strap would break in over time, but having tried the standard strap yet again today, it’s just as stiff as it was on day one. If I bought this watch, the first thing I’d do is change the strap to something much more comfortable. I would however, change over the buckle & tang to the new strap as it’s fantastically made and suits the watch perfectly. That’s if you change the strap to something that can accept the buckle.

The strap that comes fitted to the Norqain Adventure Sport DLC kind of reminds me of the optional strap offered with the Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro Mk3, as they are both manufactured with the same kind of fabric. I however, swapped out the standard strap for an all black Nick Mankey Designs Hook Strap with DLC hardware as shown below, and holy sh*t, what a massive difference! It totally transforms the watch, not only aesthetically but makes it very comfortable.

Movement

ETA Logo
The chosen movement for the Adventure Sport is the Norqain Calibre NN09 (ETA 2824). The NN09 is self-winding, has 25 jewels and the oscillating weight spins up giving a 38 hr power reserve. The balance runs at 28,800vph (4Hz) and the movement is also hackable. Checking the accuracy after running the Norqain Adventure Sport for a few weeks, both on wrist as well as in my winder, I was very pleased with the results, with the Norqain Adventure Sport showing an average of just +3.9 seconds per day.
Norqain Logo

Dial & Bezel

The Adventure Sport DLC has a 60 click unidirectional bezel with a lumed pip. It is of outstanding quality with everything lining up absolutely perfectly. The bezel action is one of the best I’ve experienced and there is zero backplay. I’m pretty sure, although not confirmed on the Norqain website, the bezel utilises a ball-bearing system giving that premium feel when in use. The text on the dial is very nice and simple, showing the words NORQAIN & AUTOMATIC with the depth rating of 100m just underneath. The Swiss Made logo, is done at the usual position, flanking either side of the 6 o’clock marker.

The version that I have here, sports a very clean dial with a carbon fiber style weave done to it. In my opinion, it looks fantastic and really suits this DLC version of the Adventure Sport. Additionally, the hour markers are all applied and do have a fair amount of lume applied to them. The hour and minute hands have also been executed very well finished in black with a strong lume application running more or less the full length of the hands. The matching black seconds hand is fantastic too with a nicely lumed red arrow head with an extended tip that reaches right out to the minute track. Norqain also chose a date complication at the 3 o’clock position, which looks fantastic, although I personally would loose the white border. Bonus points from me though, for being colour matched!

Lume

The lume application on the Adventure Sport is pretty good and is definitely better than most sports watches I’ve reviewed. The actual lume that has been used on the Norqain is Swiss Super Luminova® Old Radium. I’m not usually a fan of Old Radium but it does work very well on the Adventure Sport as you can clearly see in the lume shot below.

Conclusion

As previously mentioned, I’ve had the Norqain Adventure Sport DLC here for pretty much almost a month, so I’ve had plenty of time to find out what it’s actually like and how it wears etc… I have to admit I didn’t think I was going to like the watch as much as I do. I’m finding that I go to wear it a lot more than expected. It is, at the end of the day, a truly beautiful watch with fantastic finishing and attention to detail. I do feel however, the supplied strap most definitely lets the watch down and it’s not something I expect to see on a $2000+ watch.

The solution; maybe a matching bracelet would have been a better choice for the Adventure Sport DLC? I know I’d love to see it with one, although I’m more than happy to wear it on the Nick Mankey Designs Hook Strap until I need to send the watch back. I’m not looking forward to that day though, as I do actually really love everything else about his watch and wear it a lot. Would I pay over $2k for it though? No. Mainly due to the fact I’m Scottish and a bit of a tight-arse! 😀

NorqainA gorgeous watch for sure! I would however re-think your choice of strap, or atleast offer a bracelet as an option. Other than that, I would most definitely recommend the Adventure Sports DLC.

Design
9.5/10
Quality
9/10
Value
7.5/10
TOTAL
8.6/10
8.6/10 - RECOMMENDED
A massive thank you to Brian at Norqain for sending me the Adventure Sport Automatic DLC out for review so quickly.
 
To view the Norqain website, or join their mailing list to be informed of new models etc, visit Norqain.
 
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