Practical debut: Norqain Wild ONE All Black (plus 18k gold pound)
When Norkin introduced the Wild ONE in the fall of 2022, it was its first watch after industry legend Jean-Claude Biver joined the company. In just one year, it became the brand’s flagship model, with numerous variations and limited editions. The brand displays at showrooms place the Wild ONE models right in the middle, with the other models taking a clear back seat; At those shows, people want to see WILD ONE. It’s probably received as much criticism as it has praise, but it’s clearly a success for the brand, and it’s here to stay. Now, the brand is giving the model two additional variants, both decidedly niche, with the introduction of the Norqain Wild ONE All Black and Wild ONE Gold. Ahead of his debut today, I had the opportunity to play the All Black game.
We’ve reviewed four different versions of the Wild ONE before (here and here), so I’ll dispense with the specs up front. The truth about Wild ONE All Black is that she’s like all the others, but she’s black. The 42mm case is 12.3mm thick and 49.4mm lug-to-lug and uses the same combination of the brand’s NORTEQ, the now-familiar carbon fiber composite, and a polymer matrix. The rubber case inserts on the sides, including the edges (Norkin elements that predated Beaver’s arrival), still feature the Norkin nameplate, which can be customized. The crown is screwed down, and the watch features a water resistance of 200 meters and a flat sapphire crystal. The watch is paired with a black rubber strap with a black NORTEQ buckle. Oof. Yes. Let’s go.
The Wild ONE All Black wears great on the wrist. It’s not your average 42mm watch: the lightweight material makes it easy on the wrist, and the form-fitting strap allows it to be wrapped around effortlessly. The pivoting clasp (see gallery) keeps the watch steady at all times. The crown has a rubberized texture that gives it an easy grip that sometimes feels slippery despite itself. My favorite detail on the case is one of the smallest: the inserts in the lugs (I don’t think they’re practical) with part of the Norkin mountain logo. The lugs are fairly short, but the lug holes are positioned at their ends. This means that despite their stubbornness, the lugs can accommodate almost any type of strap, including pass-through straps.
Well, an all black watch. I never understood them, and this did not enlighten me further. I assumed it was all about adding some sass or modern flair, but it’s beyond my capabilities. In practice, there is no practical application, but it is actually much better than you might think. You can see in many of the photos that Norkin used contrasting finishing to provide some semblance of readability. The polished black hands and markers light up fairly easily, and so, although they don’t lend themselves to the quick reading of a typical dial, they don’t require any effort to check the time, just an extra fraction of a second. I love the laser-cut Wild ONE dial and its scattering pattern, which adds beautiful texture and depth.
There are a couple of laughable things about the disc (beyond it being completely black). The first is the minute markers on the chapter ring. In the photo above, I made sure it caught the light perfectly, but in everyday clothes, it’s almost impossible to see; Marking the time each day (as I do) requires only a small amount of tilting to pop out the markers. The second is blame. Yes, there’s black SuperLuminova, and yes, the brand used it here, and no, it doesn’t work very well. Again, in the image below that I edited, you can at least be seen It’s to prove that he’s there. But it’s so faint in the metal that I would have left it out completely.
The Norqain Wild ONE All Black, like all Wild ONE models, is equipped with the Swiss manufactured Norqain NN20/1 automatic caliber. This chronometer movement has been at the heart of debates about what can be considered a “manufacture” caliber. Normally, it would involve a real level of exclusivity or interior customization, but neither seems to be present here. Built Kenesi caliber It seems To be the same as Tudor’s MT5402 from Kenissi (which Tudor owns), with a 70-hour power reserve at 28,800 vph, the same dimensions and design, and the same finish. All that seems different is the vertigo. But the problem lies in the name, not the movement itself – it is a great movement.
I’m a big fan of the Wild ONE design. They wear well, they look great, and whatever parallels may be drawn, the watches are not exactly like anything else out there. It’s hard to justify an all-black watch in any way other than some flexible approach, so I won’t try. What I will say is that if you’re a fan of the black look, the Norqain Wild ONE All Black is a great option. I personally will continue to look forward to one of the other colors. In addition to the All Black, Norqain also introduced the Norqain Wild ONE Gold watch, with 18-carat rose gold case components, the first Wild ONE watch to feature the precious metal. The price of Norqain Wild ONE All Black is $5,290 USD With no production limits, while Norqain Wild ONE Gold is priced at US$12,990 (or $14,690 if you want it with a matching red gold buckle) and is limited to 99 pieces. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.