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The NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Opaline is one of two new variants of the GMT watch from NORQAIN’s Freedom collection. With a dial reminiscent of a white opal and the best Swiss quality, the new timepiece aims to build on the success of the first GMT models…
Two new models for the Freedom 60 GMT series
NORQAIN added a GMT version to its Freedom collection last year, which was enthusiastically received by the fans. The reason is easy to explain: the Freedom models represent freedom-loving people with an awareness of good vintage design. What type of watch could be more fitting than a model with a world time function?
In 2021, the Freedom 60 GMT watches are still popular and in high demand. And so it is only logical that NORQAIN has now doubled the number of GMT models. In March of this year, the independent Swiss watchmaker, founded in 2018, unveiled two new design variants to build on its previous success. While the limited edition version features a green dial and a trendy bronze case, the NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Opaline is certainly more of a vintage variant – and my test watch today.
Unchanged from the previous models are the inner values of the GMT watch. A powerful automatic caliber with innovative technology sets real standards – at least on paper. How the new NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Opaline performs in everyday life, I found out for you in the test.
The first impression
The design of the NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Opaline is vintage inspired and I like it right away. The kinship to the NORQAIN Freedom 60 Chrono is noticeable on the world time watch, even though NORQAIN’s new model is a bit smaller with a diameter of a moderate 40.50 millimeters. The Swiss company has implemented the ‘world time’ theme in a classic way. On the white dial, reminiscent of an opal, I notice the GMT ring, whose color scheme is inspired by the colloquially called “Pepsi” design. A burgundy half-ring from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for daytime, a dark blue one from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. for nighttime. NORQAIN definitely were not exaggerating when they said the new watch “picks up the spirit of classic ’60s watch design.”
I turn and turn the NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Opaline and look at the stainless steel case. If you already know the typical design elements of a NORQAIN watch, you will find some cherished details here.
My NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Opaline wears the black rubber strap called “Black Perlon Rubber”. For this combination, the manufacturer calls a price of 3490, – euros. This is higher premium segment. But why this price is more than justified in my opinion, I would like to explain in detail…
The NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Opaline on the wrist
The classic look with highly polished stainless steel and a white dial makes the NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Opaline a watch you can wear for any occasion. The flexibility it gives you is what freedom is all about. And that’s what the watch with the name ‘Freedom’ is supposed to stand for, after all. Freedom is also embodied in the diameter of 40.50 millimeters. This is a size that fits many wrists. I would even go so far as to say that this is not a designated men’s watch. The NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Opaline is also suitable as a ladies’ watch – also thanks to the not-too-masculine design.
I like the proportions of the GMT watch. With a case height of 14.50 millimeters, the NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Opaline still looks quite sporty.
The case – with great attention to detail
While the Freedom 60 GMT Forest Green Limited Edition is equipped with a bronze case, NORQAIN relies on timeless stainless steel for the Opaline. Which look you prefer is a matter of taste. However, there is no denying that high-quality 316L stainless steel has a number of advantages. The special properties such as hardness, robustness and durability guarantee that the watch will still be a reliable accessory on the wrist in years, if not decades. Nevertheless, this timepiece should be treated with care. This is especially true of the case surfaces, which are alternately polished and satin-finished, giving the NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Opaline a dynamic appearance.
In length, the case measures 49.20 millimeters. For me one of the design highlights of the case is the so-called NORQAIN Plate. When you buy online in the manufacturer’s store, you can have the screwed stainless steel plate on the opposite side of the crown engraved according to your wishes for an additional charge. This definitely makes the watch more personal. The crown itself is screwed down and is uncomplicated to operate. NORQAIN also shows attention to detail here. The logo, the “double N” representing the Swiss Alps, has been beautifully engraved on the top of the crown here.
The caseback of the NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Opaline
However, the chocolate side, especially for real watch lovers, is the back. In the six-screw, steel caseback, the Swiss manufacturer has installed a rather large, circular viewing window made of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. It provides a view of the heart of the NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Opaline, the automatic movement and the oscillating weight. I am especially impressed by the size of the viewing window! You don’t see that very often in the premium segment either. Sapphire crystal is also used on the front. Here it protects the dial from pressure, shocks and sharp objects. To my delight, it’s anti-reflective, which looks visibly more premium.
According to specifications, the case is water resistant to a depth of 100 meters (10bar). That’s enough for water splashes, but I wouldn’t take the watch on dives.
Innovative and enduring – the automatic caliber NN20/2
Since the two new Freedom 60 GMT watches are largely identical in construction to the 2020 models, except for the design, it’s hardly surprising that they are also equipped with a high-quality manufacture caliber. The NN20/2 was developed in cooperation with the manufacturer Kenissi and is quite a bit ahead of the competition. Certified as a chronometer by the COSC, it offers a power reserve of 70 hours, which is far above average. In theory, that’s even enough to put the watch aside for just under three days without having to rewind it. NORQAIN itself calls this “weekend-proof.”
Mybe the most exciting innovation of the automatic caliber is the so-called jump hour GMT function. It makes it possible to change the date and world time without having to stop the clock. A successful and useful feature!
NORQAIN has also taken care to make the movement as unique as possible. This is clear from the engraved bridges and the oscillating weight with the iconic logo.
Like an opal – the dial
Looking at the white and classically designed dial, you can understand why the Freedom 60 GMT has the name suffix “Opaline”. With its simple, yet chic design, it knows how to convince all along the line. The focal point of the design is the 24-hour GMT ring in a red-blue “Pepsi” look. Matching the burgundy half-ring that indicates the half of the day, the GMT hand also has a tip in this color. Mainly because of this, the reading is straightforward and easy to follow. Since no one should have trouble setting a second time zone. For travel enthusiasts, the world time function is an extremely useful gimmick. At least as indispensable: the date window at 3 o’clock.
The beautifully implemented illumination of the dash-shaped indices has a 60s look. They are coated with special “Old Radium” Superluminova. This brings the dial of the Freedom 60 GMT Opaline to life in the dark.
The strap – made for every use
NORQAIN sent me the Freedom 60 GMT Opaline with the “Black Perlon Rubber” strap. It is one of six straps to choose from in the store of the Swiss manufacturer. There should be something for everyone. The “Black Perlon Rubber” strap is just right if you want to wear the watch all the time and everywhere. Mud, rain or salt water – the black rubber strap can withstand it all. Visually, it goes surprisingly well with the chic watch, where you would actually expect a leather strap at the lugs.
In everyday use, the “Black Perlon Rubber” rubber strap stands out for its good wearing comfort. The lug width is 20 millimeters.
My conclusion about the NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Opaline
The NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Opaline confirms my good impression of NORQAIN watches. With the best Swiss watchmaking, innovative technical solutions and a lot of attention to detail in the design, it offers exactly what I have appreciated about NORQAIN in the past. As part of the Freedom collection, the GMT watch will especially make people happy who appreciate the value of freedom. For example, travel enthusiasts who still want to keep track of the time in their home country when in faraway places.
The other core values of the company, “Adventure” and “Independence” are not neglected either. Note, for example, the case, which is equipped for sports activities, or the bracelet, which can be worn regardless of the occasion.
My final conclusion: the NORQAIN Freedom 60 GMT Opaline lives up to the claim of a premium watch. In this version, the model costs 3490,- Euro. You can extend the two-year warranty up to five years by registering in the NORQAINER Club. If you want to know more about the NORQAIN itself, you can read all about the brand here.