Niche player Jaipur Watch Company specialises in making bespoke watches with ancient coins. It was started only in 2013 but this year plans to produce about 1500 watches this year, 300 out of which will be from the newly launched Imperial Wrist Watch Collection, 500 for the King’s Wrist Wear Collection, and the remaining from the two more collections that it intends to launch this year. With its main designing team in Hong Kong that works in coordination with a designing support team from Jaipur, the company’s marketing is outsourced, along with its production line which is in a joint venture with one of the finest watch making factories around. The coins are selected and sorted personally by Gaurav Mehta, Founder Jaipur Watch Company.
Can we trace the Jaipur Watch Company story? When was it formed? What does it specialise in?
Jaipur Watch Company started in 2013. My passion for horology and numismatics combined together gave birth to Jaipur Watch Company and its premier collection – Coin Watches. The coin watches are embedded with ancient coins in the dial that make these watches unique and add a touch of royalty to it. We create bespoke watches by handpicking the coins. Every coin undergoes a range of tests for authenticity and quality. The coins that we use come from personal collections and numismatists all over the world. Our first collection is the Imperial watch collection that embeds the King George VI coin in its dial.
How many models are there in the Imperial Wrist Wear Collection? What is the total number of watch units that you will be producing?
The Imperial Wrist Watch collection consists of watches that house the 70 year old King George the VI coin in its dial. Its name comes from the fact that King George VI was the last ruling British king, the first head of the commonwealth of India. All the watches in the collection house the King George coin, we use both the sides to create the watches and there are six different variations in it. We do not produce watches in bulk, they are bespoke and created in a limited number according to the demand and the orders that we receive.
What is the specialty of the Imperial Wrist Watch Collection?
Its speciality is the 70 year old coin, housed in a stainless steel case of an automatic watch with a sapphire crystal glass and a sapphire stone winder. The aim was to create watches that are as durable as they are regal and sophisticated, therefore all are watches are waterproof.
Which concept has been most in demand – ancient coins, monograms, emblems, flags, insignia or motifs?
The concept of ancient coins has been the most demanded and loved by our customers. We believe it is because of the idea of carrying a souvenir from the history of Indian coinage on their wrists in the form of a watch allows them to relive a little bit of history, making the watch an heirloom worthy of being passed down across generations.
How does it work – do you suggest concepts to potential buyers or do they come to you with their own ideas?
Most of our buyers do not have too many ideas when they approach us, once we start working with them suggesting designs and customization, it gives them a better idea of what they are looking for.
What is the percentage of foreign buyers versus Indian ones?
We get requests from all over the world including a huge number of requests from Dubai and UK. The percentage of buyers from India is a lot more than that of foreign buyer as our marketing strategies are targeted at the Indian market, as of the moment. Since the coins that we use mark the journey of the Indian currency through time, Indian buyers find it very fascinating.
On a personal note please tell us something about your fascination for numismatics.
Since childhood, the idea of collecting coins interested me, I was fascinated by the stories and the history every coin came with. Slowly I started building this little fascination into a collection by collecting and safekeeping every ancient coin I could get my hands on. I started collecting the myriad forms of the Indian currency coins along with a lot of other currencies. It built into a huge collection, which had varieties from different currencies but not a common theme. Under the guidance of a renowned numismatist, I started to develop a theme to the coins I collected and began to sort them upon their related history.
What do you collect more – coins, banknotes or medals?
Apart from coins I also have a collection of medals, I happen to have medals from the World War II and some rare medals from princely states across the country.