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.

Image Credit: Arun Prakash, CC BY-SA 3.0, Creative Commons.

Image Credit: Arun Prakash, CC BY-SA 3.0, Creative Commons.

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).

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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).

Image Credit: Alan Wilson, Wikimedia Commons.

Image Credit: Alan Wilson, Wikimedia Commons.

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).

Image Credit: India Today.

Image Credit: India Today.

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.