Thursday, August 6, 2015

Memory Restored – Restoring the first HMT watch I ever saw

Sometime in the year of 1987, one evening, upon his return from his office, we noticed a beautiful watch on my grandfather’s wrist. It was an HMT HQ series day date quartz watch, a novelty in the days of mechanical watches. That moment was my first introduction to an HMT watch; I was a seven years old then. He had received the watch from his bank as a reward for his exemplary performance at work that day and it replaced the Favre leuba watch that adorned his wrist, till then. It was a proud moment for all of us and the watch became a permanent time keeper for him, till his last breath. Post his demise my uncle started wearing the watch but after a few years he moved on with his other watches and the watch stopped receiving wrist time. Time moved on and from a school going kid, I progressed to college and then became a working professional. Memory of my grandfather’s watch faded in the background of my busy life. A few years back, I was on my way back home from the Bengaluru International Airport, when I spotted HMT Bhavan (Head Office of HMT watches) and memories came rushing back to me. I purchased my first HMT watch the very next day and have been hooked on to HMT watches ever since. I have written about it in my earlier blog (Blog link)

Since that day, I was always curious about the whereabouts of my grandfather’s HMT watch. I made enquiries with my uncle and grandmother but no one was sure about the location of the watch. A couple of months back my aunt visited our ancestral home at Lucknow and upon return handed over the watch which she found after an exhaustive search. It was found t in my grandfather’s office briefcase. The glorious watch was now in a dilapidated state. The strap had broken and the glass had cracked to pieces with dust all over the dial and a dead movement. I was determined to restore the watch to its glory. I took it to a watchmaker; he confirmed that the quartz movement was beyond repair due to spill over of chemicals from the dead battery and exposure to atmosphere. I checked with HMT watches repair centers but they also did not have a spare movement for the watch due to their current state of affairs. I checked with multiple dealers and finally found an unused 2105 original HMT quartz movement for the watch. I got it cosmetically restored by getting a new glass, repairing the strap and cleaning the dial. The watch finally ticked back to its original rhythm.
Old destroyed quartz movement
As I write this blog, the first HMT watch I ever saw, a trophy of my grandfather’s hard work is on my wrist to be treasured for ever and to be passed on to the next generations of our family. HMT watches have been time keepers of our nation but to me they are also timekeepers of generations. 

Restored watch of My Grandfather

2 comments:

VJRaman said...

Really appreciate your dedication to restoring this simple watch. I am a HUGE hmt fan as well and I understand your affection for the brand.

Keep posting more stories about your collection! :-)

Prashant Pandey said...

Thank you for your kind words. You can also check my video blogs on my YouTube channel HMTwatchespicturegallery