In an interview with G20, Gaurav Mehta, founder of Jaipur Watch Company, talks about how their domestically manufactured watches aim at keeping local cultural and traditional art alive.
Q. Tell us about Jaipur Watch Company and what it stands for?
A. Brand Jaipur Watch Company is a proud “Made in India” brand that is entirely designed and manufactured in India. We strongly believe in keeping the local cultural and traditional art alive and giving back to a community of talented artists who have time and again created masterpieces that no machine can even try to create.
We believe that machines no matter how sophisticated cannot replace or fully capture the talent of an artist/craftsman. We believe in reviving the lost arts and are always looking to partner with artists from different parts of India, who still work with old tools and techniques (e.g., Guilloché, Hand engraved, hand painted, etc.). The different types of watch making techniques we use breathe life into our unique designs. Our designs are further enhanced by the use of antique coins, monograms, emblems, flags, insignia, motifs, etc. on the dial. Each handcrafted timepiece is exclusive and are heirlooms that can be passed down through generations.
JWC’s designs marry indigenous tradition with contemporary style to create distinctive timepieces. Our core philosophy that manifests in all our watches is, “A timepiece should be the keeper of history”. Keeping this philosophy in mind, we create watches that our customers want, we customise as per their needs and ideas. We ensure that each watch we create is personal to the customer and narrates a story.
Q. How is the brand braving through the pandemic?
A. Well, we’ve had our challenges like most sectors and brands. However, we are navigating through these tough times and doing the best we can. We have spent this period delving deep into understanding the “new age” “post-pandemic” customer. Shopping and shoppers are not the same. The pandemic has created a paradigm shift in how customers behave. From experience, I would say that in the 7 years that we have been in the business of selling bespoke watches, the one thing that has kept us ticking through tough times is the customer data. It has effectively enabled us to create the right products. In fact, we at Jaipur Watch Company have utilized this time to 1) of course primp our digital platforms as the world have shifted into a digital bubble, which will only grow larger going forward and 2) to reconnect with our customer database on a personal level to understand their mindset and to better prepare for the future.
Now that the lockdown has been lifted and people are slowly coming to terms with the pandemic, consumers are willing to spend, but are leaning towards homegrown brands and in those that are sustainable and reflect their values.
Most importantly, the Government’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ campaign is a huge boost to homegrown brands like us. Indians are cognizant of the new trend in the retail space and are encouraging/buying from ‘Made-in-India’ brands. This is helping companies like Jaipur Watch Company recover.
Q. What are the steps you have taken to keep your brand ethos intact in such times?
A. We have worked diligently to stay on top of the prevalent customer sentiment. As discussed previously, digital is life today and we are focusing on being where the customer is. Our digital platforms are primped; website enabled with e-commerce and we are effectively communicating at every customer touch point. We are paying special attention to customer data collection and analysis.
Since bespoke watches are our speciality. We have worked on creating a seamless digital experience for our customer here too—we create a 3D version on the potential watch as per the customer’s brief and share the video with the client. Once, the client feels that the video we finally shared is in line with their imagination, we start the manufacturing process.
Additionally, from a manufacturing perspective, we have localised our supply chain, making it more robust. We believe that local is the way forward and will keep us standing even when we are thrown into unseen, unpredictable circumstances.
Q. Can you shed some light on your latest launches?
We launched 2 new products towards the end of 2020. The Jump Hour Watch and the Filigree watch.
A simple and elegant design, the Jump Hour watch comes with an interesting piece of history—it first caught everyone’s fancy along with the Art Deco movement in the 1920’s, but actually goes way back to the 18th century. Unlike the traditional watch, where the hour hand sweeps the dial, this distinctive creation has a disc behind a tiny hour window placed on top on the enamelled blue dial that ‘jumps’ to indicate the hour accurately when the minute hand touches 12 (60 minutes). It has a sub dial displaying a tiny second hand. This mechanism is based on a modified automatic movement, with a power reserve of 40 hours. Part of the complexity of creating a jump hour movement is the regulation of power that is transferred to the hour disc.
Priced at Rupees 50, 000, this elegant timepiece with a steel case, chrome finish, special lugs and a ‘quick-release’ strap is available in 2 sizes (46mm for men and 40mm unisex size).
Our second launch, the Filigree watch, is the perfect blend of creativity and strength. Precious metal threads are intricately woven together to create exquisite lace-like designs that fuse antique with modern styles bringing out a pattern that is inimitable. This watch is unique in how a 1938 – 1947 King George VI 1 anna coin is placed at the center to form the dial and is intricately encased with delicate lace-like filigree work, the encircling dodecagon curves represent the twelve hours of the timepiece. This particular coin was selected as the centerpiece of the wristwear because of its flower-like scallop design.
This 40mm watch runs on a Japanese Miyota movement; is water resistant, has a Sapphire crystal and is complete with genuine leather straps. Our skilled jewelers painstakingly solder fine, pliable threads of precious metal and twist it into a beautiful art! The “Filigree Wristwear” is a great gift for that special person, who is as intricately entwined and important in your life.