Remember as a child how fascinating it was to put our parents or grandparents’ watch close to the ear and listen to that constant rhythmic tic- tic of the watch. Yes! That HMT watch, it is possibly one of the first encounters that we had as a child with a machine. But now it is a time up for this iconic brand which was launched as government efforts to build modern India. After it was released in 1961 by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, HMT successfully absorbed the totally new precision manufacturing technology for mass production.
This iconic brand ruled several Indian hearts for decades, during 70’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who herself wore HMT, urged the company to double up its productions as this household name in the country became a must to have for every citizen.
It probably meant the same what a Gucci or Rado watch means to the present young generation. HMT became the most successful watch brand in the nation by late 70’s. It was the time when HMT watches were not just an accessory but a status symbol and the watch shops witnessed similar scenes like outside movie halls for block buster movie tickets, customers used to approach shopkeepers, ready to pay an extra buck to possess an HMT watch. During its success period the company enjoyed very strong brand equity.
This tryst with ‘firsts’ continued for decades, walking down the memory lane, most Indian families have had their ‘HMT Moments’ on various auspicious occasions whether it was a family legacy that had to be carried on the son’s wedding or a gift from a son to his father on his retirement, HMT has always been an integral part of such candid moments.
But now with the changing trends with people adopting new and latest technologies and emergence of new international brands in the country, fathers buy those smart international brand watches and iphones for their kids.
It is disheartening to know that the brand which was a pioneer in the industry and was known for decades for its accurate time- keeping and trouble-free performance that lasts a life time incurred losses since 2000 and was struggling to generate resources to pay salaries to its employees.
After two decades of moribund business, it is time to bid farewell to the brand which creates nostalgia among so many Indians. But if you still want to own a HMT watch which once represented bold & new, then these are still available on various online platforms and the company’s website and should be there for some more time before they go away leaving behind just so many memories.