Inspired by HMT, techies start watch co

Inspired by HMT, techies start watch co

Nirupesh Joshi and Mercy grew up in the 1980s, with their parents wearing HMT watches to work. Over the years, that brand declined, and with it Bengaluru's reputation as a watch-making city.

Another watch company, Hegde & Golay, was also based in Bengaluru before it shut shop.

So the couple decided this city was the place for them to start their watch-making venture as well. They named it the Bangalore Watch Company.

"Mercy and I were working in the tech industry for 15 years and we lived in the USA, South Korea and Hong Kong. I was fascinated by the independent watch industry in Hong Kong and loved spending time at the boutiques there. It made me wonder why fine watches never took off in India, whereas fine jewellery has always been a big deal," says Joshi.

When the two took a sabbatical for a year, they heard the news that HMT was shutting down.

"Since no one else came forward to bring back the tradition, we decided to do it. And this city has had many firsts, so the first microbrand also had to be in the city," he explains.

In his words, the target market is urban Indians with refined taste. The company believes their market comprises people who are well-travelled, well-read and aware of where and how everything they use gets made, be it their suits, bags, whiskey or, in this case, their watches.

The Bangalore Watch Company's offerings start at Rs 35,000.

Its debut collection is called 'Renaissance' and draws inspiration from an earlier era. Joshi says he sketched the designs, and sourced the parts from across the globe - crystals from Switzerland and movements from Japan. The raw material is brought to Bengaluru for the assembly.

Bangalore Watch Company isn't too worried about the competition, he says.

"Here's something we've learnt since we started doing this - all the fashion brands belong to the same group of manufacturers. A third party goes to their headquarters, wherever it is in the world, browses through their catalogues, picks some designs and asks them to add the company's logo," says Joshi.

Vintage look
Bangalore Watch Company is launching its second collection later this year. It wants
to "tell stories from across the country" through the watches. It will be a vintage story collection.

 

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