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Bangalore Watch Company Revitalises Watchmaking in India

Bangalore Watch Founders

Five years on from their initial launch, BWC is brining in-house watchmaking back to Bangalore. To put it bluntly, Indian watches generally don’t have the best reputation in the world. On the one hand you have the mass-produced, cheaply-made reprinted dials you can find on eBay, on the other the Mumbai Specials, the unholy Frankenwatches cobbled together in facsimiles of legitimate timepieces. All in all, not great. Which is where the Bangalore Watch Company comes in.

Built on the bones of legendary (and prolific) watch producer HMT, the Bangalore Watch Company have made it their mission to give Indian watches the makeover that they so very desperately need. That’s a pretty tall order for any single company, but five years on from their initial launch back in 2018, it’s one that BWC have made a solid job of.

Bangalore Watch Renaissance


When they first launched, the Bangalore Watch Company did so with the aptly-named Renaissance, a simple, classical dress watch. Honestly, there wasn’t a huge amount to it other than that. It was – and still is – a clean, crisp, boardroom-to-bar dress watch with Japanese automatic movements. They’re lovely but lacked the kind of hook a shiny new brand needs. That’s why a year later, the MACH 1 came out.

Bangalore Mach 1 Synchro

Mach 1 Synchro

The MACH 1 as you might have guessed from the name is a pilots’ watch, specifically one inspired by the Indian Air Force, a patriotic slant that’s since been core to what BWC do. After all, if you’re calling yourself the renaissance of Indian watchmaking, you’d best wear your colours – in this case technical black and the bright blue of an Indian Air Force officer’s uniform.

Bangalore Watch Cover Drive

Cover Drive

This embrace of Indian culture continued with the superb Cover Drive in 2020, an allusion to cricket that not only looked like the cool sports watch it was, but was packed with cricket-centric touches. Said touches included dials the colour of the pitch, wicket-shaped indexes, a knurled crown and, best of all, a tachymeter-style bezel that allows you to keep track of overs. Where you could swap the colours of the MACH 1 and mistake it for any other modern pilots’ watch, the Cover Drive is completely unmistakable.

Bangalore Watch Apogee


Since then, BWC has been on a roll. The Apogee took things beyond the stratosphere with a titanium case and fittingly space-age style inspired by the Indian Space Programme, while the Synchro took the aviation theme and ran with it, celebrating the Indian Air Force formation aerobatics team, the only nine-aircraft display team in Asia. That means a high-contrast red-and-black colourway with a formation flight on its dial.

It’s been an impressive rise for the Bangalore Watch Company, and their nods to Indian culture definitely set them apart from the crowd. But design only gets you so far, especially if you’re aiming to change perceptions of your country’s watchmaking as a whole. That’s why their next step has been their most important.

Bangalore Watch Company Studio

At the beginning of the year BWC apparently made the New Year’s resolution to bring watchmaking back to India, properly, as they celebrated the opening of their first studio in Bangalore. While the space is of course a place to design their watches, it’s much more than that. It also houses a Witschi certified lab – a mark of quality assurance – used for testing the accuracy of and regulating BWC watches. It’s also now where all BWC watches will be assembled – in-house and under one, tightly-controlled roof.

The Bangalore Watch Company was built from the idea that India should have a watchmaking industry to be proud of, filling the hole that HMT left. There was only so long cool designed made elsewhere were going to do that; now BWC is bringing true horology back to the region. Given they’ve only been going for five years, that’s an ascendency to celebrate.

More details at Bangalore Watch Company.

About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.

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