Hindustan Machine Tools was established in India as a state-owned machine tooling company in 1953. In the early 1960's, HMT collaborated with Japan's Citizen Watch Co. to setup a watch manufacturing unit in Bangalore. Their first mechanical, hand-wound wrist watches were released by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to much acclaim. HMT was a true pioneer and the first in India to launch hand-wound mechanical and quartz movements, automatic watches, women’s wrist watches, and a braille watch. Their most popular model, the Janata (translates to 'the people'), was designed as the essential watch - a watch for everyone.
HMT produced over 115 million watches from its inception and was almost single-handedly responsible for the birth of a community and its growth in North West Bangalore. After 55 years, the country’s timekeeper officially shuttered its doors in 2016, leaving behind a community of people whose work will live on in these watches. Their grandchildren may never see the factory, but their story began with a humble watch that powered the nation.
This campaign was shot on location at the HMT Sports Club and HMT Colony in Bangalore, India.
A special thanks to all members of the HMT community for their kind welcome.