They’re a rather eclectic bunch. People of varying ethnic backgrounds, cultural backgrounds, geographical locations, and individual traits. What might a journalist from the Middle East and someone who loves animals possibly have in common? While at first glance it may appear that these diverse beings have nothing in common, you’d be surprised at how much they actually do.
Diehard group of horologists!
This group of watch enthusiasts is called ‘Watch Collector’s India’. Despite adhering to the new normal, the passion for watch-collecting led to the founding of this club in 2020 by 4 founders. With 91 members in the group, their main goal was to bring together watch enthusiasts from across the globe and be a “premium” watch collector’s group. With several parameters to match to get into this collector’s club, your passion for watches should really show. Have a watch wishlist but cannot acquire it from the market? Being part of these clubs gives you a chance to network and tick those coveted timepieces off your wishlist.
Watch collecting groups like these are taking several initiatives to bring the watch fraternity together as well as put India on the global map. You may wonder how? Czapek recently released a special edition watch for Watch Collector’s India. But before we bring you the details of this unique collaboration, we have some interesting facts for you to know right from the founder’s chair.
Kairav Engineer, Co-founder of Watch Collector’s India, a true horologist as well as a passionate wildlife photographer started his watch-collecting journey in 2011. Starting with humble watches like the Seiko and TAG Heuer, his aspirations for always owning bigger than what he already had helped grow his passion. In the earlier years of his watch-collecting journey, “I made several mistakes – buying watches that don’t make it to his wrist anymore, but it’s all part of the learning and growing process”, he recalls.
Picking his favorite watch – Rolex stands at the top of his wrist. “Rolex makes it to my favorites list because I wear my watches. My watch is always with me, whether I’m traveling for work or in the jungles to capture my next best shot. Rolex just fits the bill. Comfortable on the wrist for wearing longer durations, survivor amongst hard conditions, low cost of ownership – it’s difficult to not love this timepiece.”
The other brands that made it to his favorite list were the Cartier and Omega Speedmaster. Cartier is his companion for the dressier events. “Their design is revolutionary”, he says.
He said, “We come together to celebrate our love for watches. With meetups planned by either us or brands periodically, social media keeps us connected with the latest industry updates, where to find, harder-to-find watches, and horology being exchanged and debated amongst members. We can call ourselves the “premium watch collectors’ group.”
With several watch collectors’ clubs coming together, what does it hold for the Indian watch market? Sharing his thoughts Kairav said, “Indian watch market is still at a very nascent stage. With around 160 million Swiss Francs of exports to India every year. We are about 20 times smaller than the US markets. We still have a long way to go for the market to mature in India. Many Indians don’t see watches as an asset class; not equated the same to jewelry. India still has a decade to go before they realize the true value of watch collecting.”
And now, coming to the special edition Czapek watch for Watch Collector’s India! Sharing his thoughts and how this collaboration came forward Kairav said, “We had seen several watch collectors groups make special edition watches for themselves. So, we thought why not make something unique to us and be proud of? After speaking to several brands we partnered with Ethos on this project and chose the independent brand Czapek to work with.”
“Independents are always easier to work with and also, Czapek was just getting established in the Indian watch markets. So, it only seemed fitting. A team of 11 people got together and created 11 watches. Our requirement was simple – a steel sports watch and something never done before by Czapek. This led to the stone dial on the Antarctique compared to the usual guilloche dials. After a process of 18 months, this watch has finally come to life!”
The 11 pieces made for WCI (Watch Collectors India) are numbered and feature ‘WCl edition’ emblazoned on the frame of the sapphire crystal caseback. However the customizing doesn’t end there.
In contrast to the usual ‘stairway to eternity’ design seen on the dials of this series, this one is crafted entirely out of stone. Because of a mineral called red cuprite, which is a significant resource of copper, the mineral is a vibrant red. The mineral crystallizes, giving it a unique, nearly see-through appearance. Copper sulfide veins give it a distinctive appearance. In other words, even within the 11-piece edition, no two dials can be exactly alike.
Since Czapek’s stone came from Mexico, the dial has been given the Spanish name cuprita Roja (which means “red cuprite”). Set against the chiseled steel structure of the Antarctique, the dial and flange stand out. It’s possible you’ll find this too stark at first, but you might end up liking it. The 40.5mm watch is powered by Calibre SXH5, offering a power reserve of up to 70 hours.
Talking about the future plans, Kairav said, “we wish to take our group to the global level. With more Indians on board who share the same philosophy that we share, we only want to grow further. In fact, looking at this special edition watch, a lot more brands are open to working with us.”
This collective passion for watch-making surely puts India on the map but also, we truly are excited to see what’s next in the pipeline!