BY MARK KEAST

This past weekend’s NHL’s Allstar game and activities was as good a time as any to roll out an exciting new partnership between Swiss watch maker NORQAIN and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), with the stars of the game all in one place (this year in St. Louis).

NORQAIN is producing an exclusive NHLPA limited edition model, of which only 500 pieces will exist worldwide. Mark Streit, a member of the 2017 Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins, and also a big name in Swiss pro hockey circles, is a member of NORQAIN’s board of directors, and was involved in the development of the timepiece. It’s a two-year partnership between the two parties. As part of the arrangement, NHLers will attend NORQAIN events in North American and Europe, both during the season and off-season.

Related: Glashütte Original Spezialist SeaQ Panorama Date is a diver’s dream come true

Related: H. Moser & Cie elbows its way into the luxury steel sports watch segment with “The Streamliner”

NORQAIN has three collections – Adventure, Freedom, and Independence – equipped with mechanical automatic movements. A full assortment of NORQAIN timepieces are available via L’Oro Jewellery in Canada, both in their stores and via online (ranging in prices from $1,995 to $5,495). Each of the watch’s movements are assembled by hand. The NORQAIN collections are made with 316L stainless steel, solid 18K gold, and robust and stylish ceramic. They are also all water resistant to 100 metres. The “NORQAIN plate” adds a one-of-a-kind touch to each model.

“Watches and professional sports have always been closely linked,” says Haigo Derian, president of L’Oro Jewellery. “This is because both these worlds are always pushing the limits to achieve news standards and levels of success. It happens to be a perfect fit for us with hockey being the most popular Canadian sport.”

Derian pointed to NORQAIN’s focus on adventure and freedom, making the designs not only robust but versatile, a good fit with their line of luxury watches.

Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators is also a shareholder in NORQAIN, along with Streit.

“Mark Streit, who has had an incredible career in the NHL and is also a big watch enthusiast, has built a close relationship with the NHLPA throughout his career. This is how this strategic partnership came about and NORQAIN’s roots will always be related to this great sport,” says NORQAIN CEO and founder Ben Küffer. “Ice hockey, just like watchmaking, requires precision, dedication and hard work. These are strong values we also share at NORQAIN and combined with the down-to-earth mentality of the players it results in a great partnership of mutual character.”

Besides L’Oro Jewellery in Toronto and Markham, NORQAIN watches can be purchased at Time & Gold in Vancouver, Richardson’s Jewellery in Lloydminster, Dimitra’s Jewellery in Winnipeg, and Hemsleys Jewellers in Montreal.

The NHLPA-NORQAIN watch will be released either in the third or fourth quarter of 2020. No pricing is available as yet.

NORQAIN’s exclusive NHLPA model

NORQAIN’s exclusive NHLPA model

Mark Streit and Anze Kopitar (LA Kings)

Mark Streit, Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Roman Josi (Nashville Predators)

Roman Josi (Nashville Predators), Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars) and Mark Streit

Emmanuel Bütler (NORQAIN US) and Brady Tkachuk (Ottawa Senators)

Emmanuel Bütler (NORQAIN US) and Connor Hellebuyck (Winnipeg Jets)

Ryan O’Reilly (St. Louis Blues), Daniel Aellig (CCO NORQAIN) and David Perron (St. Louis Blues)

David Perron (St. Louis Blues) and Emmanuel Bütler (NORQAIN US)

Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Daniel Aellig (CCO NORQAIN)

Emmanuel Bütler (NORQAIN US), left, David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins) and Daniel Aellig (CCO NORQAIN)

Daniel Aellig (CCO NORQAIN) and Mitchell Marner (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Mark Streit and the Stanley Cup