The Wrist Watches you see in the above pictures are: 1) My brother, Dr. Lakshminarsu’s 43 year old HMT Automatic Winding, 21 Jewels, Day and Date, Radium Dial Wrist Watch and 2) My 29 year old HMT Janata, 17 Jewel, Manual Winding Wrist Watch. On hearing about closing down of HMT Watch Manufacturing units (Public Sector Units) in Bangalore and elsewhere in India, I picked up these old Wrist Watches of ours and found them in excellent working condition!
It is a shock and shame that the manufacturer of such good quality and large variety of Wrist Watches, with a sales figure of over 150 million units! is closing down due to heavy losses. Started in 1961, and establishing manufacturing units all over the country, HMT Watches was a household name. They were most sought after Watches and especially as gifts and rewards for every occasion and to persons of every age.
HMT Watches once known as “Time keepers to the nation” and “Desh ki dhadkan” is dying solely, because of mismanagement, of course like many other Public Sector Units in our country. As new entrants came into the market, with new strategies, this giant of a Company failed to beat the competition, despite much help from the Government.
The era of HMT Watches has come to an end, but the memories of these first “Made in India” watches will remain with at least two generations of Indians.