Introducing the Bangalore Watch Company MACH 1

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When we think of a pilot’s watch, a very specific image likely pops into our heads. The watch we imagine is almost certainly something inspired by the timepieces worn by pilots (on both sides) during World War II. These designs have permeated our collective watch consciousness to such a degree that it’s refreshing to read about the new watch from Bangalore Watch Company, based, naturally, in India, and how it puts a new spin on a very traditional style. While there are some similarities to a German style flieger here, the new MACH 1 is absolutely it’s own thing. Let’s take a closer look.


Bangalore Watch Company MACH 1

  • Case Material: Stainless steel; black PVD 
  • Dial: Black, with Type A and Type B layout options
  • Dimensions: 42mm x 48mm x 11mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire 
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters 
  • Crown: Screw down 
  • Movement: Sellita SW220-1
  • Strap/bracelet: Textile 
  • Price: $680 
  • Expected Release: November 2019

Bangalore Watch Company, simply by virtue of being based in the city that was home to HMT’s watch manufacturing division throughout the second half of the 20th century, is steeped in what is a very significant watchmaking tradition, which is quite honestly worthy of its own article. Bangalore Watch Company consciously sets out to produce watches that tell stories that are unique to India, which is an endeavor worth celebrating, as watches have a unique ability to communicate those stories in interesting ways.

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The MACH 1 pays tribute to the first supersonic fighter jet in the Indian Air Force, the MiG 21 Type 77. The FISHBED (the plane’s NATO codename) flew from the 1960s all the way up to 2013, when it was finally retired. The watch, at a glance, seems to have all the elements of a traditional pilot’s watch, but little details honor the Indian fighther jet. The fin-flash at 9:00 is the most noticeable design element, and the long and narrow hand set is inspired by the FISHBED’s fuselage. A careful look at the crown reveals that its design is based on the MiG 21’s afterburners, and the caseback has an engraving of three of the planes flying in a V formation.

Aside from the little details that give this piece its character, the watch itself is a sturdy, modern tool watch. It’s powered by a Sellita SW220-1 movement and has 100 meters of water resistance. It’s sized for a modern crowd at 42mm, but at only 11mm thick this should wear comfortably even on smaller wrists. It’s also available in traditional “Type A” and “Type B” aviator dial layouts, in both stainless steel and PVD-coated cases. At $680, this watch is an affordable conversation starter that tells a unique and specific story, and will hold its own as a modern tool. Bangalore Watch Company

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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