Norqain is wrapping up an eventful year with a new limited edition version of their Freedom 60 chronograph featuring a bronze case and a classic reverse panda dial layout. This release comes on the heels of the debut of the much discussed Wild One collection, Norqain’s tech forward sports watches with proprietary carbon fiber cases. While that watch was certainly the splashiest new entry into the catalog this year, many enthusiasts would likely point to the updated Freedom 60 chrono in a smaller 40mm case as the most successful overall. The more svelte dimensions of the 40mm case provide for a dramatically different wearing experience compared to the 43mm version that’s been available for a few years now, and now collectors (well, 200 of them) have the option of going for a somewhat flashier bronze version of the three register chrono.
It’s actually interesting to juxtapose the Wild One with a watch like the Freedom 60 chronograph as it illustrates the wide ground Norqain covers in terms of style and design, but also how the brand’s fundamental DNA is present throughout the product line. While the cases are made of different materials, they share a silhouette that is very much rooted in midcentury watch design. The Freedom 60 seen here has a sturdy, vintage inspired look in bronze that has been both polished and satin finished, clearly evoking classic sports watches from the 1950s and 60s. Small details like the pump pushers and a lack of crown guards enhance the vintage look that Norqain seems to be going for here.
The dial is a classic three register layout with running seconds at 9:00, a 30 minute totalizer at 3:00, and an hour totalizer running to 12 at 6:00. The reverse panda, black and white execution doesn’t break any new ground, but mixing these colors with bronze is a little less common. The bronze hour markers and hands certainly aid in legibility (the bronze tones jump out from the black dial base) even if they seem a little incongruous on a watch like this. Black and gold is of course a similar aesthetic and fairly common in dress watches, but the addition of white dial elements here in a sporty format feels like something altogether quite different. The dial itself is constructed on two levels and is slightly domed to complement the curvature of the sapphire crystal.
The Freedom 60 chronograph runs on the Norqain NN18 movement, a rebadged ETA 7753. It runs for 48 hours on a full wind and has a date display at the 4:30 position, which is conveniently operated by a push button on the side of the case. For a 4:30 date window, Norqain has done a great here of integrating it into the rest of the dial with a black, color matched, background.
The new watch is available on either a black alcantara strap at a retail price of $4,020, or a black “perlon rubber” strap for $4,190. It’s a limited edition of 200 pieces, and is available now through Norqain authorized channels. Norqain