Celebrating India's space program with a watch made out of meteorite rock

Yatti Soni Bengaluru | Updated on August 18, 2021

Line consists of four designs – Horizon, Extraterrestrial, Supernova, and Deepspace

After 18 months of sourcing, chopping and grading a meteorite, a watch-maker has put together a unique collection of watches, patterns of which cannot be reproduced on earth.

Called Apogee, which means the farthest point of a satellite's orbit, it is a tribute to 50 years of the Indian Space Research Organisation. Founded in India's watchmaking ground-zero, the Bangalore Watch Company, used a Muonionalusta meteorite to make these watches that have unique patterns formed due to millions of years of slow-cooling in space.

“This pattern cannot be reproduced on earth. Each watch is unique, and no two watches are alike,” said Nirupesh Joshi, Founder and Creative Director, Bangalore Watch Company.

Meteorites are outer space rocks which mostly burn up while entering Earth’s atmosphere, but some of them make it through. The company tracked down one such rock in Sweden, and then they worked with multiple manufacturing partners in Switzerland to create watch dials out of it.

Four unique designs

There are four designs offered under the Apogee collection including Horizon, Extraterrestrial, Supernova, and Deepspace. The watch dials for the limited edition Apogee ‘Extraterrestrial’ are made of meteorite rock, which the company recovered from Sweden. All four watches are powered by Swiss Automatic movements and house sapphire crystals with cases formed with Grade 2 Titanium.

With watch prices starting at ₹68,000, the company counts young executives and business owners as its customers. On average, the Bangalore Watch Company manufactures less than 1000 watches a year. The company claims to have seen a 40 per cent growth in the recent April to June quarter compared to the same period last year. Further, 70 per cent of the company’s customer base is from India and the other 30 per cent comes from overseas.

“We started this brand because we felt watchmaking from India had a very colonial design language to it. For example, if an Indian company made a watch they would use Indic numerals (Sanskrit numerals) on the dial, or if a Swiss watch company made an India-limited watch they would put the Taj Mahal on the watch. But, we wanted to change this, and bring modern storytelling to Indian watchmaking,” said Joshi.

Started in 2018 by Mercy Amalraj and Joshi, Apogee is the fourth watch collection launched by Bangalore Watch Company. In the past collections too, the company focused on telling similar Indian stories with their watch designs. Some of the past inspirations include Indian Air Force and the Indian cricket team.

Published on August 17, 2021

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