Pastel Colours for the Norqain Freedom 60 Chrono 40mm

Ben Küffer hit the ground running with the launch of his start-up watch brand Norqain in 2018. Thanks to a good network of family and friends associated with the watch industry, Ben counted on the support of his father, Marc Küffer, who owned and managed a prominent Swiss private label manufacturer, Ted Schneider, a member of the family that owned Breitling for decades and other heavyweights like Jean-Claude Biver. With just three families of outdoor adventure-style watches, Norqain has managed to secure a solid footing in the market with its well-designed, more contemporary and fashionable models. Just ahead of Watches & Wonders 2024 and warmer weather, Norqain releases a trilogy of 40mm Freedom 60 chronographs with attractive pastel dials. The Freedom 60 Chrono sub-collection is Norqain’s slightly retro, 1960s-inspired chronograph. It was first released in 2020 with a 43mm case and two years later in a more compact 40mm diameter. The trilogy released today comes in compact 40mm diameter stainless steel cases with a thickness of 14.9mm and a lug-to-lug distance of 49.2mm. The case is mostly polished with brushed flanks and features a domed sapphire crystal that offers retro distortions at angles like old acrylic. Twin vintage pump-style pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock operate the chronograph functions, while the large screw-down crown contributes to the 100-metre water-resistance rating. On the left side, there’s a plaque with twin screws that can be personally engraved (or just have the brand’s name) and a recessed pusher at 10 o’clock for date correction. Three-strap options are offered with the new Freedom 60 Chrono models: a stainless steel bracelet, a black Perlon rubber strap, and a Nortide linen strap in either grey or ivory made from recycled plastic recovered from the ocean. The trilogy’s calling card is the new dial colours, although beady-eyed readers might remember that a Freedom model with a lovely Ice Blue dial was released last year. It was a limited edition of 300 units and sold out. Inspired by the warm colours of summer in Toscana, the dials come in Sky Blue, Pistachio and a limited edition of 300 units in a pretty Peach colour. Using a traditional tricompax layout, the sub-dials – black for the Peach and Pistachio and dark blue for the Ice Blue – are recessed and snailed with the 30-minute elapsed chronograph times at 3, the 12-hour totaliser at 6 and the small seconds at 9 o’clock. Snuck in between 4 and 5 o’clock, the date window features the same colour background as the dial and is relatively discreet. All three dials are decorated with a silky sunray-brushed finish and a black tachymetre scale on the periphery. The flat diamond-cut and rhodium-plated indices and hour and minute hands are treated with luminescence; depending on the colour of the dial, the Super-LumiNova varies. The Peach and Pistachio dial have Old Radium SLN on their indices and hands, while the Sky Blue dial has white SLN. Powering the watch is the calibre N19 (Sellita SW510a), an automatic, cam-type integrated chronograph based on the 7753 architecture. It has 27 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) and delivers a slightly longer 62-hour power reserve than the calibre NN18 used in earlier editions of the Freedom Chrono 60.