When time runs out

When time runs out

Recently, an era of classic watches ended with the closure of Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) factory. Launched in the 1950s, HMT was one of the pioneering public sector industries in Bengaluru.

With its head office and main factory based in the City, HMT started its watch manufacturing division at Jalahalli in 1961. Since then, it developed popular brands of mechanical and quartz watches in collaboration with Japan’s Citizen Watch Company. In the 1980s, HMT’s wrist watch brands like Janata, Jawan, Sona, Rajath, Pilot, Kanchan and Jawahar became popular for their technical excellence and classic look.

HMT remained the country’s leading watch manufacturer for more than 30 years. To meet the demands of an ever growing market, it established two subsidiary units in Tumakuru and Ranibagh (Uttarakhand). Set up in 1978, the Tumakuru unit manufactured 8,000 watches per day till 1995. Set up in 1985, the Ranibagh unit manufactured mechanical and analog watches and marketed watches worth Rs 300 crore every year.

Along with wrist watches, HMT designed floral clocks, tower clocks and solar clocks. It has designed and installed many public display horologic wonders like the floral clock of Lalbagh. HMT’s time pieces remained Desh Ki Dhadkan (pulse of the nation) for many decades. After years of its ticking, now time stands still for this iconic watch factory.

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