Fine watchmaking is a more global phenomenon now than it’s ever been. Small-brand watchmakers from Brooklyn to Beijing are challenging the Swiss status quo, with a variety of appropriately global results. Until now, however, one major region had avoided the haute horlogerie trend: India. While India once had a large scale watch industry in its own right, for the most part the subcontinent’s offerings fell on the sub-$100 side of the market. Bargain brands like HMT and Hegde (both now sadly gone) were how many young enthusiasts cut their teeth, and it was with nostalgia for these homegrown pieces that founders Nirupesh Joshi and Mercy Amalraj set out to create the Bangalore Watch Company. Their first piece, the Renaissance, takes a nostalgic approach as a mid-century dress watch, but it’s a far cry from a $50 HMT Pilot. It’s a finely crafted piece that looks to cater to a new generation of young, successful Indian buyers.
The case design for the Bangalore Renaissance is remarkably restrained, with radial brushing for both the bezel and the tops of the lugs, contrasted with more aggressive vertical brushing on the simple case sides. There’s also an eye-catching polished bevel around the edge of the bezel and lugs. Other points of interest include the signed crown, with Bangalore’s shield emblem raised dramatically. Finally, around back, the customized Miyota 9015 is on full display through a sapphire window. While the 9015 isn’t a beauty queen among movements, it does have a nicely customized rotor and the inclusion of a window is still a sizable benefit in this price bracket.