5 Luxury Watches that Celebrate India
Indian luxury market holds immense promises and watch brands like Cartier, Audemars Piguet, Harry Winston, along with many others, are soon realising the potential. There is a rising demand and openness to new designs, styles and colours. With our new emerging role as global citizens, we are also anxious to achieve and experience the best.
Here’s a line-up of special edition watches inspired by India and highly appreciated by Indians:
1. Panerai Ode to Mumbai Edition
In 2012, Officine Panerai opened its first boutique in India and introduced two unique versions of Luminar Marina and Radiomir 10 days GMT. The special feature in this watch is the back casing, which features an engraving of Mumbai’s famous Gateway of India as it is symbolic for its commemoration of King George V and Queen Mary’s visit to India in 1911 and “is widely recognised as the gateway of power and majesty.”
The Mumbai edition Luminor Marina features a 44mm polished steel case and bezel. The classic Panerai black dial features luminous Arabic numerals with ecru Super-LumiNova substance that coats the hour markers. It also features a slow-speed torpedo that sailors from the Royal Italian Navy used to conduct their missions in the 1940s, in a nod to the brand’s naval links. With only 50 units produced of this timepiece, it carries a personalized engraving of Mumbai’s most iconic monument – The Gateway of India at the back of the dial.
The exclusive of the two watches is the 10 piece collection of Radiomir 10 Days GMT. It features a 47mm polished cushion steel case. This special edition watch also has the patented removable wire loop strap attachments and a screw-down winding crown. All elements on the black dial features hours, minutes, date at 3 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock and a power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock.
2. Cartier Santos 100 Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal has been celebrated by many brands in the past and one such occasion is Cartier Santos 100 Taj Mahal watch. An exclusive homage to one of the world’s most celebrated architectural and romantic wonders of the world.
It has two rows of diamonds making up the bezel and the Taj Mahal on the dial. The Taj is topped by a diamond dome, along with a lot of hand-carved gold, onyx, mother of pearl and emerald completing the picture. This collector’s edition watch is priced at a whopping Rs. 40 lakh. It features a sapphire crystal, and is water resistant to 100 meters. The beauty of this exquisite timepiece is completed with an alligator leather strap and a yellow gold double-deployant clasp.
3. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
It goes without saying that India’s tryst with the luxury watch industry is over a century old. Any story with two words – Polo & India derives luxury and a game of royals dating back to an era where all players adorned luxury watches even while playing a match.
Polo, being a royal sport, is a very tough game. It requires strength, coordination and team strategy. It was not easy to keep the petite timekeeping device strapped on the wrist of the players. One such Polo match was attended by a Swiss watch collector Cesar de Trey. He was challenged to create a watch strong enough to resist the strains of a Polo match. After returning to Switzerland, he discussed the challenge with Jacques-David LeCoultre, the then owner of LeCoultre manufacture. And after rounds of discussions, LeCoultre, Jaeger S.A. and the famous French designer Rene-Alfred Chauvot created a new feature called – Reverso. Chauvot patented a case mechanism that allowed the watch to be flipped over while on the wrist.
This solution opened endless possibilities and it changed the watch industry forever. Various versions of Reverso were made by other companies under the permission of Ceasar De Trey and Jacques David LeCoultre.
Since India was the birth place of the idea, a special edition was engraved with insignia for the Sawaiman Guards, the personal guard of the Maharajah Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur (from 1933 to 1970).
Most brands used the caseback only for engraving information. But for the Reverso, the caseback became a canvas for fine art. With a feature which is almost 85 years old, it is still cherished and adopted by the rich and famous.
4. Harry Winston Ladies Premier Lotus
Harry Winston has a long-standing association with India. Harry Winston’s Ladies Premier Lotus was launched to celebrate the beauty of the lotus blossom and the creative energy of India. It has been influenced by creative designs of Ambaji Shinde who headed Harry Winston designs from the 1960s till the end of the century.
It has a midsize Chronograph with Lotus dial in White Gold with Full Diamond Bezel, Case & Dial. The performance and elegance are the key distinguishers of this chronograph with a hand finished mother-of-pearl and pave dial. It’s a classic!
5. Audemars Piguet Sachin Tendulkar
Audemars Piguet is one of the world’s best Swiss Horologists. They are not only known for their watches but also known for providing movements to brands like Tiffany & Co, Cartier and Bvlgari. They manufacture high complex mechanical watches, jewellery and produce up to 32,000 timepieces per year.
Many celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Muhammad Ali have worn AP. One such Indian celebrity who’s been on this pedestal is – Sachin Tendulkar. The watch that he sports is a customised Royal Oak Offshore, which made its debut in Basel in 1972. A special and limited series has been created as Sachin Tendulkar Series. The watch sticks to the minimalist theme and includes a blue leather strap with tri-colour border stitches. It features the familiar steel bezel, white dial and Tendulkar’s #10 in white with blue contours. The back case carries a work of art with an embossing of a batsman in action.
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