Leaving behind their tech careers, the husband and wife team of Nirupesh Joshi and Mercy Amalraj started India’s first an online watch brand, the Bangalore Watch Company in 2017. Their first collection, the Renaissance Automatic, a vintage-inspired mechanical automatic dress watch was produced in a limited edition of 500 pieces. Soon they plan to launch a women’s watch too. Nirupesh Joshi, Founder and Creative Director of Bangalore Watch Company in a chat with Hiren Kumar Bose on the company’s future plans
Why the name Bangalore Watch Company?
We, Mercy and I have been living in Bangalore for almost two decades now. Also, Bangalore has, perhaps the most interesting associations to India’s watchmaking past, namely HMT and Hegde & Golay headquartered here. Besides Titan’s majority operations are run out of here. There was no better way to identify ourselves than having our city’s name proudly tied to our brand.
How are your products different from what is available in the market?
Small, independent watchmakers from around the world have garnered interest from enthusiasts that are looking for unique pieces to add to their collections and non-enthusiasts who are drawn to the stories that the brands tell. Bangalore Watch Company™ was founded with the desire to bring world-class watches of Indian origin, and bring stories from India through our watches, be it history, automotive, or others.
What value do you offer your customer?
Customers today are very knowledgeable about the products they buy. They’d like to know where the products are made, how they’re made, who is behind the brands, and what stories the brands want to convey. This can be observed with a new breed of Indian origin brands all around us. Be it leather goods from Nappa Dori, or Single-origin coffee from Blue Tokai, customers today prefer the small-batch-production, independently owned brands. Bangalore Watch Company™ is perhaps the first in the Indian wristwatch scene to share this ideology. Owners of our debut collection have all highly regarded the quality, the story, and the access to the founders that are hard to come by in any large multi-national brand.
What movements are you using?
Our debut, the Renaissance Automatic collection uses Citizen Miyota movements. Our upcoming Renaissance Stri (for women) will use Swiss Quartz movements.
Do tell us something about your collection? How is it priced?
Our first collection, the Renaissance Automatic, is a vintage-inspired mechanical automatic dress watch produced in a limited edition of 500 pieces. There are six examples to choose from, each made with surgical-grade stainless steel cases, sapphire crystals, Citizen Japanese Miyota 9015 automatic decorated movement, genuine leather straps, and intricate circular brushed dials. The watches are priced at Rs 39,000.
What has been the response to your watches?
We’ve had very positive responses since launch. Watch enthusiasts in India and Indian origin folks that live overseas have shown us a lot of love. We’ve since shipped our watches to 28 countries.
Is it only available online?
At the moment, Bangalore Watch Company™ is an online-only brand. We have no plans to retail our watches with multi-brand retailers. We do trunk-shows in major cities from time to time. We recently did a trunk-show in Singapore and plan to do more in the future. We have plans to attend specific, enthusiasts run shows around the world in the near future.
In future, what do we see coming from the brand?
Since launch, we’ve been asked by the owners and patrons to produce a collection for women. In just a few weeks we will launch Renaissance Stri: a vintage-inspired classic watch for women. It will borrow the same understated design aesthetic from our Renaissance Automatic collection for men. There will be five models in the collection, made with surgical grade stainless-steel, sapphire crystals, and powered by Swiss Quartz movements, the cases will be adorned by Swarovski Crystals. Pricing will be in the Rs 30,000 range. In September, we plan to launch another collection.