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How Two Friends Built a Hot Swiss Watch Brand in Just Five Years

Norqain’s founders leaned on family connections—and cash—to quickly build a popular brand.

Norqain Wild One Hakuna Mipaka watch.

Norqain Wild One Hakuna Mipaka watch.

Source: Norqain

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When Ben Küffer started Norqain SA in 2018, he knew it wouldn’t be an easy sell. “We did it when nobody wanted another watch brand,” says the 35-year-old chief executive officer. His family is Norqain’s majority shareholder.

At the time, the industry was just recovering from a multiyear decline. In 2017 the chairman of watchmaking giant Richemont, Johann Rupert, lamented that retailers were being “force-fed” timepieces wholesale “like geese producing foie gras” and that stores were choking on the volume.