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Far from glorifying outdated clichés about its country, Bangalore Watch Company (BWC) is in the business of producing world-class watches that tell stories about modern India. And few contemporary endeavors invoke as much national pride as a quest to explore space. Enter the Apogee collection, which was launched by BWC in 2019 to celebrate India’s space program. Fast-forward to today and the Apogee lineup now welcomes two new models to commemorate India’s relatively recent Moon missions: the Manzinus watch and the Earthshine watch.

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Taken from the Sankrit word for “moon craft,” Chandrayaan is a series of lunar space probes by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). So far we’ve witnessed the Chandrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-2 missions, where the first played a significant role in the discovery of water on the Moon in 2008, and the second (despite its lander crash) confirmed water-ice on the permanently shadowed regions near the south pole of the Moon. ISRO is currently preparing for the July launch of the Chandrayaan-3 mission with the objective of putting a lander and rover on the lunar surface.

The Manzinus watch is named after the crater located at the South pole of the Moon, which was the planned landing site of the Chandrayaan-2 mission. Meanwhile, the Earthshine model draws inspiration from the faint-brown glow that appears with the crescent moon.

The cases of both watches are fashioned from a Bangalore Watch Company proprietary material called Cerasteel. Cerasteel™ is a combination of a unibody surgical steel inner core, with a specific coating of Cerakote. The brand has come up with this coating after about 30 trials of the correct color combination, coating thickness, and coating conditions like temperature and humidity to achieve the required outcome. Cerasteel™ allows the brand to maintain a high level of build quality and surface hardness while being creative with case colors.

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The BWC Manzinus watch includes a white Cerasteel case while the BWC Earthshine watch features a grey Cerasteel case. Similar to other Apogee watches, the new Manzinus and Earthshine sport super cool seventies-era tonneau-shaped cases. They measure 40mm in diameter, 44mm lug-to-lug, and 12mm thick, and are water resistant to 100 meters. The cases are also furnished with domed sapphire crystals and include two prominent crowns on the right side of the case — one at 2 o’clock to control the internal rotating bezel to display a second time zone and the other at 4 o’clock to set the local time.

The Earthshine model includes a circular date window at 6 o’clock on its attractive brown fumé dial, while the Manzinus includes a striking 9mm Muonionalusta meteorite disk on its black dial instead to remind us of the connection to space. Both dials feature 11 diamond cut, rhodium-plated indices, filled with C3 Grade-A Super-Luminova, along with lumed rectangular hands at the center. When the lights go out, the watches glow green in the dark.

Powering the BWC Apogee Manzinus and Earthshine watches is the Swiss Made Sellita SW200-1 standard-grade automatic movement with about 38 hours of power reserve. The screw-down closed caseback serves as a canvas for a three-dimensional embossed depiction of Aryabhata, India’s first satellite built by ISRO and launched in 1975. The watches are paired with genuine black leather straps, fitted with 316L steel tang buckles signed with the BWC logo. 

Commenting on using India’s lunar aspirations as inspiration, Nirupesh Joshi, Co-founder and Creative Director of the brand, said, “India’s space ambitions started in the 1970s, our Moon missions did not take off until the 2000s. Unlike USA or USSR, India did not have powerful rockets to take a straight path to the moon, but ISRO’s ingenuity led to the Chandrayaan missions using Earth’s own gravity to slingshot to the Moon. This was a genius move, and an inspiring story!”

On the Bangalore Watch Company clientele, Mercy Amalraj, Co-founder and Head of Ownership Experience, added, “Our Owners Community spans 35 countries worldwide. They’re young professionals who are well-traveled and well-read. They seek out brands that are special and mean something to them emotionally. Our watches are not just high-quality timepieces built to last a lifetime, they also tell stories that allow our Owners to connect with these watches and make them conversation pieces.”

With this pair of new Apogee models, BWC continues its mission to produce solid watches with thoughtful material choices and intriguing designs that speak to the India of today. The Earthshine watch is priced at $1,100 USD and the Manzinus watch is priced at $1,470 USD, and both can be pre-ordered online as of today. For more information, please visit the brand’s website. 

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