What happens when you quit your day job in finance and follow your true love? Big, beautiful things in the case of Gaurav Mehta, the owner and creative force behind the Jaipur Watch Company. Watchuseek sat down with Mehta, to discuss the past, the present, and the future of the this exciting Jaipur, India-based  brand.

The Past

The philosophy of Jaipur Watch Company becomes clear when you hear Gaurav discuss passionately about collecting vintage watches and vintage coins.  In fact, it was that passion which lead him to open up an old HMT watch and place a cut vintage coin as the dial.  He received many compliments and inquiries from his friends and family which motivated him to leave his comfortable life as a risk management broker to follow his passion.

Gaurav literally put it all on the line to follow his dream by putting all his resources, including his car, to start watchmaking  business on his own.  As a risk management expert, he knew that odds of survival in India for a bespoke watchmaker are very low.  India market gravitates towards quartz watches or brand name Swiss watches.  But he had the sixth sense that there is a large demographics of nostalgia for vintage currency, millions of expatriates, and visitors seeking unique souvenirs to support his business plan.

The Present

In a span of two years, Gaurav managed to build a reputation in India for bespoke watches with not only rare, vintage coins, but also custom dials with peacock feathers, and commissioned dials for royal families, prestigious, iconic hotels like The Taj Mahal in Mumbai, and even a special watch for famed Maharaja Express luxury train.  He works with numismatic societies across India and the world in acquiring ancient and pre - independence coins to create bespoke dials.  The cutting of dials is a tedious, manual work done in his workshop in Jaipur.  He employs artisans who take sometimes up to a month to create a single commissioned, hand-painted dial (like the one below with the picture of a tiger painted with a single hair brush).

The initial step Gaurav took was to use quartz movements as the import duties in India for watch components can add up very quickly.  Now he is organically incorporating automatic movements from Miyota.  He is preparing for a big launch of 300 numbered watches with automatic movement for Indian festival of Diwali in November 2015.  This special watch will have the rare coin of King George VI as the dial.

The Future

When you discuss future with Gaurav, his eyes light up.  While the business is brisk in India with his successful partnerships with carefully targeted lifestyle retailers, he wants to expand his bespoke business outside of India and is seeking out partners actively.  Not all Indian expatriates know about Jaipur Watch Company, so he wants to reach the expats abroad.  He wants to also do unique partnerships on bespoke dials with various prestigious societies and conservation groups.

Gaurav also goes back to his original love for vintage Indian watches like HMT, which recently shut its doors as it sadly went out of business.  He has acquired few vintage movements and wants to skeletonize the movements and case them as a tribute to only truly “Made in India” watch and movement.