Wednesday, December 4, 2013

HMT Rajat – A complete review.

HMT Rajat has been one of the most iconic watches from the HMT watch company. This watch has seen the evolution of automatic watch movements and has adorned the wrists of generations.

(Click on this link to check my YouTube video review on HMT Rajat watches and how to decode their case codes HMT Rajat Automatic full review )

Initially HMT released its automatic watches in 1974 . These were watches with day and date functions/complications and a with a bi-directional automatic watch movement. These were released in three case variants stainless steel,Gold Plated case and anodized aluminium cases. These later became HMT Rajat, HMT Kanchan and HMT Kajal respectively. From 1974-78 HMT used imported movements and parts from Citizen watch company,Japan and assembled watches in India.HMT Rajat was initially released in two variants one as HMT Automatic Day-Date and another one as HMT automatic on the dial and after a few years it was renamed as Rajat but the HMT Automatic and HMT Automatic Day-Date were still in production along with Rajat till the time HMT became capable of making everything in house or through ancillary units in India.These used Bidirectional movements 6906 and and 6901 respectively. 
White Dial HMT Automatic Day-Date Model

HMT Automatic White Dial 
HMT Automatic Day-Date Watch 

HMT Automatic Black Star Dist effect dial

In 1978 factory no 2 was made which made most of HMT Watch components with only a few imported from Citizen watch Company Japan. From 1978 onwards HMT started using 6902 unidirectional movement in its watches with "U" mentioned on their dials near the six o'clock position.

Guilloche pattern HMT Rajat- Unidirectional movement 

Milky white version 

One with exposure to Sun patina/natural color effect 

Off-white dial version 

Different original case variants

Black dial broad indices with red stripes.

 Black dial with different calligraphy of Rajat variant

 Sunburst dial with lumed markers and hands

Lumed indices and hands variant

In the 80s HMT Rajat started getting manufactured with 6500 Bidirectional movement. 

Silver Dial stick indices

Black Dial Stick indices Version

The 6500 got phased out in the early 90sand introduced 8205 bi directional movement. This had a quick set day and date unlike the earlier movements which had only quick set date and non quick.set day movement. These movements were used in Sujay, Dilip, Kailash etc. HMT used an imported 8205 movement for a much refined and bigger in size as Rajat Supreme. The traditional Rajat watch was 36mm in size while Rajat Supreme is 40mm. 

Rajat Supreme
HMT Rajat were also made for institutional orders. I share here ome such model

Service anniversary Rajat watch made for MICO

Let us also understand a bit about an automatic watch movement. An Automatic watch also known as a self-winding watch has its main spring winded by the movement of the wearer’s wrist. The watch has a weight on its back called rotor(Oscillating Masses - The technical Term) which swings like a pendulum. The rotation of this weight by the movement of the wearer’s wrist winds the main spring of the watch movement. The main springs releases this power by uncoiling in a regulated manner to the gears in the movement making the hands and the day/date wheels move in the watch.

In a Uni-Directional watch movement the watch is winded when the rotor moves in one direction only. This direction can be clockwise or counter-clockwise depending upon the calibre. However In a Bi-Directional watch movement the winding happens irrespective of the clockwise and counter-clockwise movement of the wearer’s wrist. The winding of bi-directional watches happens more easily as the rotor would wind the main spring with even a slight movement of the wrist.

The Uni-Directional movement is used more in sports automatic watches as the movement of the wearer’s wrist is more than that of a person sitting on his desk. Thus those who lead a less active life would prefer wearing a dress watch that would use a Bi-Directional watch movement. Also Uni-Directional watch movement are less complicated as compared to a Bi-Directional watch automatic movement.

As I conclude this blog I share with you some vintage Rajat and Automatic advertisements
Image Courtesy - Gangadharan Subramanian

Image courtesy -Internet
Image Courtesy - Srikant Shirodkar

Image Courtesy - Internet 


nagesh said...

Nice artical Prashanth.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the info,Sir.i had a HMT Arvind and U is printed on the dial near 6 O'clock I understood it's meaning.

Anonymous said...

I have just purchased a Rajat on ebay, I'm eagerly awaiting it's arrival, but the case number looks like 651002 from the photos. So would this be a 2002 watch ? But from which factory (from your video 01 = Bangalore, but what about 10) and with which movement ?

Prashant Pandey said...

65 is the case code 2002 should be the year of manufacture of case and 1 is the Bangalore factory no 1