In 2018, Bangalore Watch Company released the Renaissance Automatic watch, covered on aBlogtoWatch. While that collection was a mid-century inspired dress watch, the brand’s follow-up piece — the Bangalore Watch Company MACH 1 — takes the company in a new direction with a collection inspired by an icon from the history of the Indian Air Force.
In December 1971, the Bangladesh Liberation Movement was at its peak. The Indian Government’s stance was to provide tactical support for the creation of a separate state for ethnic Bengalis — a position that didn’t sit well with India’s estranged neighbor. What followed was a series of preemptive strikes on Indian Air Force (IAF) bases both on the western and eastern fronts.
During these strikes, the IAF MiG 21 FL Type 77 fighter plane passed into legend, forcing the enemy air force to ground its planes. The Type 77 was the first supersonic fighter jet of the Indian Air Force built by India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (headquartered in Bangalore). These planes served the Indian Air Force for 50 years until retirement in 2013. It is this iconic plane that Bangalore Watch Company pays tribute to with the release of its first pilot watch collection.
The MACH 1’s design is that of a modern pilot watch; one that makes an intentional departure from the ubiquitous German fliegers. Despite the integration of more up-to-date elements, however, the brand takes care to keep the look subtle and understated.
The standout features of the MACH 1 collection are the Indian Air Force fin-flash at 9 o’clock, a MiG 21 fuselage-inspired (long and narrow) handset, a MiG 21 afterburner nozzle-inspired crown, and deeply engraved caseback showing 3 MiG 21s in a V formation.
On the dial, the Arabic numerals are made up of multiple layers of Swiss C3 Super-LumiNova. Not only does this result in a very strong glow in low-light conditions, but it also adds a very pleasing three-dimensional effect to the display, as the numbers seem to jump out from the matte black background. The color-matched date wheel and red triangle at 12 o’clock (traditional features of Pilot’s watches) complete the look.
The MACH 1 is available in two versions: the MACH 1 Civilian (with hour markers represented by numbers 1-12), and a MACH 1 Aviator (which uses double-digit minute markers instead of hours, such as 05, 10, 15 and so on). Each style is available in a stainless steel case, or a PVD matte black case, making a total of four options.
With a case dimension of 42mm, 48mm lug-to-lug, 11mm in height, and 22mm lugs, powered by a Sellita SW220-1 with a screw-down crown that protects the 10ATM case, and a flat sapphire crystal with triple-anti-reflective coating on the underside, the MACH 1 not only tells a story of an iconic fighter plane that served the Indian Air Force, but also makes for a compelling aviator-styled watch.
With prices starting at approximately $680, the MACH 1 collection is now available for pre-order on the brand’s website. Worldwide shipping is due to commence during November 2019. Learn more about the brand at bangalorewatchco.in.
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