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Bangalore Watch Company (BWC) is expanding its popular line of MACH 1 pilot watches with the new MACH 1 Admiral, featuring dials made from the Indian Navy’s first aircraft carrier — the INS Vikrant R11. Limited to only 70 pieces and accompanied by a digital non-fungible token (NFT) for ownership tracing and validation in the blockchain, the Bangalore Watch Company MACH 1 Admiral watch is the company’s newest creation inspired by a significant moment in India’s modern history.

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The INS Vikrant R11 served the Indian Navy between 1961 and 1997 as the country’s first aircraft carrier and stood as a symbol of India’s naval aviation capabilities and resilience. In 1984, the INS Vikrant R11 became a Vertical/ Short Take Off and Land (V/STOL) carrier for the then-new state-of-the-art aircraft Sea Harrier. After 36 years of service, the INS Vikrant R11 was decommissioned from active service; now BWC is bringing back parts of it with dials made of metal recovered from the warship’s anchor chain.

Regarding the MACH 1 Admiral dial creation, Nirupesh Joshi, Co-founder and Creative Director of the brand, says, “Watch dials are usually made of brass. When we tested the metal recovered from the anchor chain of the INS Vikrant R11, we learned that it was hardened steel. It was a challenging process to cut, machine, and produce dials that met the tolerances required for the watch. The most critical operations involved punching holes for the logo index, the date window at 6H, and the center hole for the handset. We’re proud of what we’ve been able to achieve through a challenging 10-month production process for the dials alone.”

The resulting dial is gray in color, echoing that of the aircraft carrier’s hull, while a depiction of the starboard side view of the INS Vikrant R11 sits at the 9 o’clock position. The hour markers and matte black handset are coated with C3 Grade-A Super-LumiNova for clear legibility in the dark. When the lights go down, we see the Arabic numerals and hour and minute hands glow green whereas the tip of the seconds hand and lume plots adjacent to the hours radiate a blue color meant to honor the high seas. There’s also a date window at the bottom portion of the dial, positioned above the horizontal baton that stands in for the 6th hour.

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Mercy Amalraj, Co-founder and Head of Ownership Experience, says, “For the past few years, we have been offering limited-edition watches that contain special materials like Meteorites, or other military assets. Validating the authenticity and provenance of these watches is important given the rarity of the materials being used. Hefty Art Inc. has been working with brands to offer a solution to protect and validate the authenticity of rare art pieces. Working with Hefty Art Inc., we are now able to offer every owner of a MACH 1 Admiral the opportunity to mint a Utility NFT that is digitally tied to their watch. This makes their watch unique and provides an irreproducible digital identity for their watch that lives permanently in the blockchain.”

The MACH 1 Admiral’s dials are housed inside 316L stainless-steel cases, coated with matte black PVD. Case measurements clock in at 40mm in diameter, 46.5mm lug-to-lug, and 10.8mm thick, while water resistance is 100 meters (330 feet) deep. There’s also a minute/seconds track on the rehaut and the dial is shielded by a flat sapphire crystal that benefits from two layers of anti-reflective coating. The case of the MACH 1 Admiral wraps around the wrist by a genuine leather strap that’s secured via a steel tang buckle, engraved with the Bangalore Watch Company logo.

The caseback of the MACH 1 Admiral watch is decorated with the INS Vikrant R11 anchor chain that supplied the metal used to create the dials of the watch. Beneath that screwed-down caseback is the Swiss Made La Joux-Perret G100 automatic movement, supplying the watch with 68 hours of power reserve — a notable increase from the brand’s other automatic watches that run on Sellita SW200-1 movements. The choice to go with the La Joux-Perret G100 movement for the new MACH 1 Admiral timepiece illustrates BWC’s commitment to continuously improving its collection of watches.

The limited-edition Admiral joins a fleet of other Bangalore Watch Company MACH 1 pilot watches that center on Indian aviation. For instance, the MACH 1 MiG 21 watch draws inspiration from the first supersonic fighter jet of the Indian Air Force, the MACH 1 Synchro pays tribute to the Indian formation aerobatics team, and the MACH 1 Officer’s Blue borrows the design of the uniforms of Indian Air Force officers. “When we had the opportunity to create watches from steel recovered from the decommissioned INS Vikrant Aircraft Carrier, we were excited about being able to extend MACH 1’s story to India’s Naval Aviation,” said Mercy Amalraj.

With its uniquely crafted dial, Utility NFT, and upgraded self-winding movement, the MACH 1 Admiral signals a new chapter for Bangalore Watch Company while remaining true to the brand’s mission to tell stories of modern India. Limited to 70 units worldwide, the Bangalore Watch Company MACH 1 Admiral watch is priced at $2,500 USD and can be reserved online now. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.

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