Bangalore Watch Company is a well-thought microbrand from a husband and wife team that celebrates notable achievements from India. Recent examples include the MACH 1 which focused on the Indian Air Force MiG 21 and Cover Drive which highlighted India’s most popular sport, Cricket. The latest pair are part of the Apogee collection that celebrates India’s space program and the focus is on two unmanned moon missions – Chandrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-2. India’s space program started in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until the 2000s that moon missions were realized. Without large rockets used by other nations, India needed creativity to get to the moon and used Earth’s gravity as a slingshot of sorts.
The original Apogee watches launched in 2019 with titanium cases, but the new Manzinus and Earthshine models use stainless steel with a ceramic outer layer of Cerakote. This proprietary coating combination, referred to as Cerasteel, was developed specifically for Bangalore Watch Company starting in 2021. It offers the toughness of steel with additional hardness (9H hardness in pencil hardness test) and allows for various colours and surface finishes. Both cases are 40mm in diameter and 12mm in height (lug-to-lug 44mm), the same as earlier models, but Manzinus is white and Earthshine is grey. A domed AR sapphire crystal protects the dial, while the solid case back has an embossed image of the Aryabhatta satellite from ISRO (India’s space agency). There are two knurled crowns at 2 and 4 o’clock – the former screws down and rotates an internal bezel, while the latter (push/pull) adjusts the time and date. Both cases come with colour-matching, 20mm leather straps with pin buckles that integrate underneath (no lugs). Water resistance is rated at 100 metres.
The dials are generally unchanged from the original Apogee models other than colour – brown on Earthsine and black on Manzinus. The colours were chosen for the faint glow of a crescent moon (Earthshine) and Manzinus crater at the Moon’s south pole (Manzinus). However, while Earthshine is very true to the originals with a round date window at 6 o’clock, Manzinus has a 9mm disc in lieu of the date of the Muonionalusta meteorite. This is the more space-themed of the two with the contrast of deep black and real space rock. Both have Super-LumiNova within the rhodium-plated applied indices and hour and minute hands, while the black internal rotating bezel can be used for an additional time zone.
Powering the pair is a Sellita SW200-1 automatic (standard grade), which is the same as earlier models and an alternative to the ETA 2824-2. It has 26 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) and features a 38-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes, hacking seconds and date, although the Manzinus covers the date with the meteorite display. The movement is hidden by the solid case back, but these are typically undecorated. Accuracy is rated at +/-12 seconds per day.
Both watches are reasonably priced but differ a bit as the Manzinus has more to offer with the additional meteorite aperture. The Earthshine retails for USD 1,100, while the Manzinus is USD 1,470. These certainly aren’t cheap prices, but not bad considering both come with Cerasteel cases, Swiss automatics and innovative designs.
For more information and to place an order, please visit Bangalore’s website.