Over the centuries, many timepieces have been created for queens and kings. Now, it appears that Swiss horology house Norqain is taking things a step further, by creating a watch that pays homage to the King of the Savannah: the lion. The Wild One 42mm Hakuna Mipaka Limited Edition takes inspiration from the famed lion ‘King Dexter’, living in the Hakuna Mipaka Oasis. This new timepiece is the third watch to be launched by Norqain in collaboration with the brand’s ambassador, Dean Schneider. Ten percent of the proceeds from the sale of the watch, which is limited to 300 pieces, will support lions as well as many other wild animals in the reserve and rehabilitation centre in South Africa. The reserve, which was founded by Dean Schneider and spans over 400 hectares, is not open to tourists and therefore relies upon donations, making the proceeds from the watch of great importance.
As strong as a lion: The case
The dark brown 42 mm case of the Wild One 42mm Hakuna Mipaka Limited Edition has a height of 12.3 mm, and consists of no fewer than 25 components. The sports watch is characterised by its shock resistance of 5,000 g and its ultra-light weight of only 84 grams. This makes it not only 6.25 times lighter than steel, but also versatile.
A hardy watch
The watch case boasts these qualities thanks to the use of the material ‘Norteq’. This material was developed in collaboration with Jean-Claude Biver and BIWI specifically for Norqain. The composite material is made of carbon fibre and a high-performance polymer matrix, sixty percent of which consists of biological material. In addition to its corrosion resistance and lightness, the material is anti-magnetic and can be created in any colour. This makes Norqain the first watch brand to be able to offer a coloured carbon fibre composite case in large quantities that is not simply black.
Complexity in all its forms
The dark brown case stands out not only because of its material, but also because of its complexity. Paying attention to the smallest details, the sand-coloured rubber shock absorber incorporates real sand from the oasis, encircling the sandblasted titanium case. In addition, the watch has a screw-down crown with a sand-coloured rubber offset including the Norqain logo on the right side. Last but not least, the watch is water-resistant to a depth of 200 metres, and the ‘Norqain’ plate on the left side of the case can be personalised upon request.
Both the dial and caseback are protected by scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides. On the back of the case, the sapphire crystal bears the golden lettering ‘Hakuna Mipaka’, which means ‘no limits’ in Swahili, as well as displaying the logo of the reserve. In addition, the production number of each of the 300 pieces is also inscribed onto the Wild One 42mm Hakuna Mipaka Limited Edition.
The open caseback does not only serve as an expression of the collaboration between Norqain and Schneider. It also carries an important message in the case setting, featuring an engraving with Dean Schneider’s statement on his mission: “We need to learn to love them exactly the way they are and not the way we wish them to be!” With this, Schneider wants to remind the wearer to love and accept wild animals as they are, and to put aside wishful thinking. In this way, the timepiece is not only a reminder of the complexity of time, but also of the respectful interaction between humans and nature.
The dial: Inspired by a lion’s mane
As a tribute to the majestic ‘King Dexter’, the dark brown dial is reminiscent of a lion’s mane. As a harmonious contrast to the dark brown, the diamond-cut faceted indexes as well as the hands are plated with red gold. This makes them reflect the evening light that bathes the Hakuna Mipaka Oasis in red at sunset. Both the indexes and the hands are treated with white X1 Super-LumiNova at the top, making them visible even in low light. A sand-coloured Norqain logo at 12 o’clock and a Hakuna Mipaka logo with shield and locks at 6 o’clock visually complete the dial.
The Wild One 42mm Hakuna Mipaka Limited Edition is powered by a COSC-certified NN20/1 manufacture calibre from Kenissi. The automatic movement has a power reserve of 70 hours and oscillates at a frequency of 4 Hz. The bridge is engraved with the brand’s three core values: Adventure, Freedom and Independence, complementing the quote from Dean Schneider on the case frame. In addition, the oscillating weight bears the engraved logo of Norqain.
Strap, price and availability
In keeping with the Norqain collection’s policy of not using components of animal origin, the integrated sand-coloured strap of the Wild One 42mm Hakuna Mipaka Limited Edition is made of vegan-certified rubber. In keeping with the pattern on the dial, the strap is also infused with a lion skin pattern and bears the Hakuna Mipaka lock-and-shield logo.
As already mentioned, this model is limited to 300 pieces and available for 5,250 Swiss francs. Ten percent of the proceeds go to the Hakuna Mipaka Oasis to help the reserve with the costs of animal food, treatments and the payment of wages to the keepers, amongst other things. Those who purchase the model will receive the timepiece in special packaging and also be given a sand-coloured cap.
|MODEL||Wild One 42mm Hakuna Mipaka Limited Edition
|CASE MATERIAL||Brown Norteq cage, Sand colour rubber shock absorber, Sandblasted titanium container and case back with engraving
|DIMENSIONS||Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 12,30 mm
|WATER RESISTANCE||200 m (~20 bar)
|DIAL||Brown dial with stamped “lion fur” pattern and “HAKUNA MIPAKA” logo
|STRAP/BRACELET||Vegan rubber strap
|POWER RESERVE||70 hours
|FREQUENCY||28,800 vph (4 Hz)
|FUNCTIONS||Hours, minutes, seconds
|PRICE||CHF 5,250 (limited to 300 pieces)