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Bangalore, India is a city famous for many things: India’s first garden city, the significance to India’s contribution to the technology industry, and salubrious climate all year round. An oft-forgotten fact is that it is the first city in India to house two famous watchmakers from the subcontinent; the now-defunct HMT, and Hegde & Golay. It is in honor of these memories of Bangalore’s watchmaking past, that couple Nirupesh Joshi and Mercy Amalraj have launched the debut collection of their new brand, Bangalore Watch Company.

Inspired by the world of fine watchmaking overseas, Nirupesh and Mercy returned leaving their tech-careers behind in Hong Kong to start what is perhaps the world’s first Indian origin watch microbrand. Urban Indian gentlemen today have refined tastes. They are upwardly mobile, well-traveled, well-read, and increasingly aware of where and how everything they use gets made, be it their suits, their bags, their whiskey, or their watches.

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The founders’ view of the horology scene in India is that the market is bipolar. There are the luxury watchmakers on one side, with their extensive distribution channels, and then there are the mass-produced brands in different segments at the other end. Ironically, what the industry calls as the “bridge-to-luxury” is a lost opportunity in India. This segment is supposed to help customers moving from the contemporary brands upwards; educate them on what they’re buying, and create a memorable ownership experience. India lacks serious contenders in this space and affluent customers are left with no choice but to buy also-rans from one of the many shopping mall watch brands with no originality.

Bangalore Watch Company’s debut is the Renaissance Collection’s Automatic lineup – a set of dress watches in six examples: three dial variants, each encased in a choice of Stainless Steel or PVD Rose Gold.

The 40mm cases are machined out of 316L stainless steel, and constructed for a water resistance rating of 10 Atmospheres or 330 feet. The top bezel and the caseback are finished with a high polish, while the sides are finished in an elegant satin-brushed pattern. The dual-finished case is aptly suited with a signed crown with their etched and polished shield logo. The satin-brushed lugs with a polished chamfer are set 20mm apart. Lug-to-Lug width is at 48mm, complementing the 40mm case diameter.

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The Argentum, Grand Ivory, and Deep Anthracite dials are finished with a circular brushing pattern with applied indices for the hour markers, minute markers, and an elegant date window at 3 o’clock. Seventy-four individual elements including the hour indices, minute markers, date window, and the signature shield logo have been hand applied to the dials. They’ve been consciously stripped of extravagant markings, allowing the viewer to appreciate the surface finishing and the applications in full view.

The brand has chosen the Miyota 9015 as their movement of choice owing to the unbeatable reputation that it has garnered with microbrands worldwide over the past few years. The Miyota 9015 is a 28,800bph, 24 jewel, 42-hour power reserve movement, with three hands, and they’ve chosen to place the date window at 3 o’clock. The attention to detail on the watch has carried on to the movement too: the stock labels from Miyota have been removed, and the brand’s signature shield motif has been laser engraved on the rotor, making it worthy of the view through the flat sapphire crystal on the back, and possibly a great party trick for when you’re among the uninitiated.

The watches come with a domed sapphire crystal front treated with anti-reflective coating underside, and a flat sapphire crystal back. The watches come paired with a deep brown, or black croc-patterned genuine calf-leather bands with a nubuck lining providing increased durability in India’s generally humid conditions, and fitted with quick-release spring-bars for convenience.

The founders have plans to launch collections in the future that all tie back to stories from India. The Renaissance Automatic is open for pre-orders on their website at approximately $590 USD. Deliveries are expected to begin early May, and they ship worldwide by FedEx from India. bangalorewatchco.in

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