I am a fan of Rock Music and there is a famous song from the band Motorhead “The Chase Is Better Than The Catch”. For me though the “The Chase Is as good as The Catch” when it comes to chasing these watches from the bygone era. My quest for HMT watches have taken me on some interesting trips and places. I have met a lot of interesting people on these trips. Sometimes travelling alone and sometimes with a few like-minded HMT watch maniacs. I like to call these trips “HMT Hunting trips” for they are quite similar to a hunting trip. Just like hunting you do not know which trophy you would bag and if at all you would be lucky to get something interesting on a day. You are thrilled every time you bag something great and move on to the next one when you return empty handed.
Earlier this year I traveled to Pune. I went to the HMT watches Pune retail showroom to check what I could get from them. The showroom in Pune is close to the Natraj Hotel and had a neglected look. I found the usual display stalls and started browsing through them. There lying in the corner was an HMT Vidhan watch. Boy! I was thrilled, for this was the first time I had seen this watch. I asked the person on the counter if I could inspect this watch. He gave the watch to me and I was stumped by its beauty. I requested him to bill it in my name. I also requested him to show me a few more watches that might not be on the counter. He said that he had one more watch that might be of interest to me. He said he had a black dial pilot watch. I said I already have one and did not fancy adding one more to my collection. He said that this one’s different and with a winner’s smile he placed on the counter top a black pilot watch. Yes, it was different for unlike a normal black pilot watch this one had lumed numerals from 1 to 12 marked on the dial. He said that this is the last piece available with them. Then he told me that it was designed by him. I said…”what…you designed this watch”. “Not only this but the one on your wrist as well” said the man. I was wearing my daily beater the all Hindi Janata (1-12 numerals in Hindi). He went to a corner in the showroom and returned with letters where his design was approved for the watch that I had on my wrist and the one on the counter. I was quite happy to meet the designer of my favorite watch and I could not thank him enough for the joy the watch gave me every day.
I left the showroom as a contended hunter would, with the trophies I had bagged on that day. As I was travelling back the thought lingered on my mind “The catch was better than the chase today”