As a symbol of Indian self-reliance, the INS Vikrant R11 aircraft carrier was in use from 1961 to 1997 and participated in several combat situations. Aircraft carriers have come before and after, but when it was taken into active service, it was the only one of its kind, so it marked an important step in the history of the Indian Navy. With such a history, it makes sense that Bangalore Watch Company picked up on this, given its dedication to honouring important Indian milestones. Not only is the INS Vikrant R11 used as inspiration for the design, but parts of it are actually used to create this 70-piece limited edition, known as the MACH 1 Admiral.
The case of the MACH 1 Admiral measures a very reasonable 40mm in diameter, with a 10.8mm height and a 46.5mm lug-to-lug. Machined out of 316L stainless steel, it’s given a black PVD coating to provide a more tactical look and feel. This also eliminates any reflections or glare, neatly tying in with the naval inspiration behind the watch. There’s a sapphire crystal on top, and a solid caseback on the reverse side, decorated with an image of the anchor chain of the aircraft carrier used for the dial material. The crown is also blackened, and the watch has a 100m water-resistance rating.
Even though they’re uniform in colour, as they’re made from metal taken from the anchor of the INS Vikrant R11, each dial should be considered unique. While dials are usually made from brass or, in some instances, materials like meteorite, making them out of hardened steel poses a few challenges. For example, it’s a lot tougher on tools and machines, so there’s a greater risk of damage on both sides (dial and tool) when machining it or punching holes for the date and hands. The dial is finished in naval grey with a clear design. The hands and numerals are outlined in black with beige Super-LumiNova inserts. The blue details on the seconds hand and the track on the outer edge of the dial give it character. The brand’s logo is offset with a silhouette of the INS Vikrant R11, and there’s a date window at the bottom revealing the black and beige disc underneath the dial.
Where previous editions of the MACH 1 collection relied on Sellita movements, Bangalore Watch Company has made the effort to introduce the La Joux-Perret G100 automatic movement for this limited edition. Signifying the brand’s commitment to seek improvements, it’s a clear demarcation for this limited-edition watch, setting it further apart from the regular MACH 1 range (which still uses the SW200-1). The G100 runs at a rate of 28,800 and has a lifespan of 68 hours when fully wound. It indicates the time with central hour, minute and (hacking) seconds, and the date, displayed through the window at 6′.
The Bangalore Watch Company’s new MACH 1 Admiral limited edition is sold exclusively through the brand’s website for a price of USD 2,500. That’s a considerable step up compared to the MACH 1 we know from the past, but the mechanical movement inside it justifies it. Limited to just 70 pieces and worn on a black leather strap or a Nicobar blue woven nylon strap with BWC signed pin buckles, these will appeal to anyone with a soft spot for the Indian Navy or naval history in general. It also comes with a unique NFT to track and validate the watch.
For more information, please visit BangaloreWatchCo.in.