The other day my teenage son came to me asking whether I can get him a wristwatch that he can wear regularly to his school, something lightweight and compact he added. I offered to get him one of the regular Quartz watches from Titan or Fastrack that retail for ₹1000-1500. Instead, he wanted a mechanical watch that is to be hand wound – I guess he wanted to stand out from his peers in the school, he didn’t reply to me directly. I suggested watches made by HMT, a Government of India enterprise that shuttered a few years ago. He said Yes, and we found many were listed on eBay India selling at premium prices – I believe there is a big market worldwide now for these watches because they are not being manufactured anymore.

Finally, my son selected HMT Jawan selling at ₹1889 (USD 30) from a reseller. The package that arrived in few days via India Post was so light, that for a minute I thought I was getting cheated and the watch was not there – taking few photographs of the parcel, I doubtfully opened the envelope and the bubble wrap, to find a neatly packed watch that was NEW and worked just fine. I know I was paying a premium, maybe 2 times of the original price, but I am happy as my son is loving the watch.

Original HMT’s 17 Jewels hand winding movement

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