An Indian Air Force inspired Pilot Watch.
I was -maybe- five years old. I vividly remember sitting on my dad's shoulders trying to peer through the crowds, to get a glimpse of the Indian Naval Ship 'INS Vikrant' just across the coast of Madras. Sea-harriers were demonstrating vertical take-off and landing, and navy-special-ops displaying in-sea rescue.
I've always been fascinated by aircraft carriers, fighter jets, and space science since — specifically, those from India.
Years later, in Hong Kong, I was close to pulling the trigger on a four thousand dollar IWC Mark watch only to walk away at the last minute.
My gripe? I couldn't relate to any of them — not the Mark series, not the Top Gun, and indeed not the Le Petit Prince. This sentiment of buying only watches that I could relate to at a personal level is also why I never put my money on a Moonwatch.
I never put my money on an Omega ‘Moonwatch’ Speedmaster as I could not relate to it at a personal level.
A pilot watch was clearly on the radar when Mercy and I started Bangalore Watch Company™; we wanted our debut to be an India inspired pilot. So we set out on a journey of R&D that has now stretched for two years. Last year though, we launched the brand with our mid-century inspired dress watch instead: our Renaissance Automatic.
Our hunt for inspiration lead us to three choices:
1. The 'Tejas LCA' (Light Combat Aircraft). It is a multirole light fighter indigenously developed in India by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited).
2. The Sukhoi SU-30 MKI, a multirole fighter built in India under license from the Russian Federation by our very own HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited).
3. The MiG 21 FL Type 77, originally meant to be an interceptor but took on a rather bold air superiority role in many situations in the 70s, and until recently. Again, built under license by our very own HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited).
We made our pick from this shortlist and have been working on a design over the past year.
For now, we will leave you guessing what our pick was, and we’ll come back in a few days to share the next segment of the story on how the design has come about.
Over and out, until Part 2.