Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The case of the HMT watch in the Tool Box

My friend teased me by saying “I knew you would love this watch”. “Yes it’s lovely” I said and left him with the amused expression on his face.
This watch was found in a dilapidated condition in a tool box . Yes, In a tool box !!. My friend told me that he has found this old Janata watch that he believes belonged to his grandfather. He found it at the bottom of an old tool box in the attic of his house. The watch was in a bad state. The case-back and the acrylic dome of the watch had cracked open. The second’s hand was missing and the dial had a lot of dirt on It.
I decided to take up this project of restoring the watch. The original threaded screw-off caseback of the watch indicated that the watch was made in the year 1976 in the Bangalore factory 2.To restore it I had to find original spare parts from Janata watches that were manufactured in the 1970s. I checked with quite a few watch repairers for the spares but with little success. After a month of inquiry I finally got a call from a watch repairer. He told me that he has found an original HMT Janata’s caseback that was manufactured around the same time as the one I was trying to restore. It belonged to a Janata watch made in Bangalore factory 2 in the year 1978. He also helped me with getting a new acrylic dome and a second’s hand. The original crown was missing so i searched hard and got the same. The movement was serviced and a new acrylic dome was installed. The biggest problem was cleaning the dial. Most of the watch repairers said a big no to me as any attempt at cleaning the dial might damage it further. Therefore I decided to clean the dial on my own. I used the vacuum cleaners meant for cleaning laptops to the air pressure cleaner pump used by servicemen to get the dial cleaned. I also paint brushes to remove the stuck up dirt and the finished product is here for you to see now – I think my efforts did pay off.


David Pradhan said...
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Prashant Pandey said...

Dear Mr Pradhan,

Its always a pleasure to hear from a fellow HMT watch fan. Unfortunately, there are hardly any professional HMT watch restorers in India.Restoring a watch means finding and putting together parts that are from the same time period to which the watch belongs. You have a great story here and i am sure other members on our facebook group would love to hear it.You can join us on our facebook group "hmtwatchcollectors". I suggest you can share the pictures of your watch and ask for help. I am confident that you will get helping hands needed for the restoration of the watch.