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EXCLUSIVE: India’s first watch museum, courtesy HMT, opens to public on April 12. Here's a preview

Shalini Sharma

According to sources, the opening of the museum had been on the anvil since January but because of the non-availability of authorities in the ministry, it kept getting delayed

Bengaluru: A museum set up by Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) to preserve the relics of an era when watches made by the state-owned company used to be a matter of national pride is going to be thrown open to the public on Friday. According to sources, the opening of the museum had been on the anvil since January but because of the non-availability of authorities in the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, it kept getting delayed.

“Now, we are going to have a small pooja and then open the museum to the public. However, this is not a formal inauguration. That will happen only later when ministry people are available,” the source said.

The museum traverses the journey of HMT watches, right from its inception in 1961 till the time it was shuttered down in 2016.

The museum houses the milestones in HMT’s journey and also displays watches made by the watchmaker ever.

HMT Watches was the first company in India to make mechanical wristwatch, Braille watches, ladies’ watch, skeleton watch (that is, a see-through watch), and pocket watch. The company also indigenously manufactured a wide range of automatic and quartz watches. However, the watch slowly lost its popularity as private brands entered the market and the customers were flooded with choices. Here's a story that PSU Watch did earlier in which it traced HMT's meteoric rise and the fall.

This museum is the country’s first national watch heritage centre.