Graphically Speaking

The countdown begins

After a long run as the best watch maker in India (and perhaps the cheapest in the world), the iconic HMT Watches will soon shut shop 

Published 8 years ago on Feb 01, 2016 1 minute Read

All good things must, after all, come to an end. With the cabinet committee on economic affairs downing the shutters on legendary PSU HMT Watches — as well as HMT Chinar Watches and HMT Bearings — many are heading to their nearest antiques market (or the HMT Bhavan in Bengaluru, pictured) to preserve a slice of history. One of the only producers of mechanical movements in the country — and the cheapest in the world — HMT is responsible for several innovations. After languishing with the watchmaker for years, the company’s last remaining employees have also pragmatically accepted the VRS package offered by the government, which will cost the public exchequer ₹427.5 crore. But at a time when the Make in India roar is resounding in all corners, the closure of one of our sole watchmaking successes (apart from Titan, perhaps) offers some serious food for thought. While this episode is a crude reminder of how ineffective the government is in the business of business, it is also yet another example of our collective complacency and apathy towards our national history. The heavy dose of nostalgia is just incidental.