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‘Each Coin and Stamp I Encountered Told a Story, a Piece of History that Spoke to Me’: Gaurav Mehta, Jaipur Watch Company

India’s only watch designer Mr Gaurav Mehta’s passion for watches led him to take up watch designing and eventually gave form to his dream of owning a micro luxury brand of watches. That is when he launched the Jaipur Watch Company. Gaurav recently unveiled his latest design in a watch made with a genuine collector’s stamp called The Penny Black.

In this exclusive interview, he spoke to us among other things about the idea and inspiration behind the watch, his journey so far and plans for the future.

Tell our readers about the latest ‘The Penny Black’ watch and its features.

Introduced on May 1st, 1840, the Penny Black marked a revolution in communication, featuring the profile of Queen Victoria from a sketch by William Wyon. This stamp laid the groundwork for an affordable and accessible postal system, transforming global connectivity.

Inside its distinctive casing is a real Penny Black stamp. The incredibly thin Swiss movement ensures accurate timekeeping while fusing historical value with modern functionality. With a sapphire crystal lens for unmatched scratch resistance and a Swiss ultra-slim movement for flawless accuracy, it features a genuine Penny Black postage stamp dial. The limited edition status and distinctive 316L stainless steel case design are sure to pique the interest of discriminating collectors. The Penny Black Stamp Watch is more than just a timepiece—it’s a symbol of timeless sophistication and historical significance.

What was the idea, and inspiration behind it?

Everyone is aware about the fact that the Jaipur Watch Company has been making watches using coins and special collectibles of India for a decade now. I personally love to collect coins. While I travel to exhibitions, I also like to collect books about coins. So, when I meet people, see exhibitions and collect books, I eventually realised that I have a hobby of coin and stamp collection, both of which go hand in hand. I always had access to these stamps. But stamps are a very wide subject when compared to coins. Thus, I could not find a way from where and how to start.

Recently, I realised that stamps have so much more importance in today’s day and age. Stamps have been issued on so many occasions. Stamps cover wide subjects –wildlife, defence, you name it and we have it – be it India or globally. In order to bring those subjects to the world, I thought of making a watch using a postal stamp. What better choice than the King’s wrist-wear watch theme for the coin watches?

Tell us more about the history of the Penny Black stamp.

The Penny Black stamp stands as an enduring symbol of innovation and connectivity in the realm of postal services. Introduced on May 1st, 1840, the Penny Black marked a significant milestone in the history of communication. Designed by Rowland Hill, an English teacher and social reformer, the stamp featured the profile of Queen Victoria, derived from a sketch by William Wyon. 

What set the Penny Black apart was its revolutionary concept: prepayment of postage. Prior to its introduction, recipients typically paid for mail upon delivery, leading to inefficiencies and high costs. The Penny Black changed this by enabling senders to affix the stamp to their mail, indicating that postage had been paid in advance. This simple yet ingenious idea transformed the postal system, making it more accessible and affordable for people of all socioeconomic backgrounds. 

The Penny Black’s legacy extends beyond its practical implications—it symbolises the power of innovation to shape the world and bring people closer together. Today, the Penny Black remains an iconic collector’s item, cherished for its historical significance and enduring impact on global communication.

What is the response that you have received for it so far?

The Penny Black Stamp Watches are made to order. So far we have sold four Penny Black Stamps. Apart from that our stamp watches have received a decent demand in general, and we have sold 125 stamp watches.

Tell our readers a little about your journey from watch designing to owning Jaipur Watch Company, a micro luxury brand of watches.

My fascination with historic coins and stamps began in my childhood, stemming from a deep-rooted family tradition of collecting these treasures. Each coin and stamp I encountered told a story, a piece of history that spoke to me. Over the years, this interest evolved into a profound appreciation for the artistry and historical significance they embody. It’s this reverence for history and art that later inspired the foundational ethos of Jaipur Watch Company. 

Storytelling is a powerful tool that brings a soul to our timepieces. By embedding collectibles like ancient coins and motifs, each watch narrates a unique story, making it much more than just a time-telling device. The process of creating a bespoke watch at Jaipur Watch Company is an intricate dance of precision, patience and artistry. It begins with a detailed consultation to understand the client’s vision. Every component, from the dial to the movement, is handcrafted and assembled with meticulous attention to detail. Over four to five months, our craftsmen pour their skill and passion into creating a masterpiece that is not just a watch, but a personal statement for our clients. Our watches are not just products; they are heirlooms that carry the legacy and the stories of the past, connecting the wearer to a rich historical lineage.

What are you working on next?

We are proud to announce the launch of The Baagh 2, the latest addition to the distinguished Baagh Collection. This launch marks a continuation of the brand’s commitment to integrating historical artistry with luxury watchmaking. The Baagh 2, a limited series with only 50 pieces available per style and colour, is a nod to the opulence of the Art Deco era, infused with the craftsmanship of modern horology. 

Each timepiece proudly features a Quarter Rupee Bagh Coin from the year 1947, a powerful token representing India’s rich heritage and the poignant period of pre-independence. Encased in a vintage-style tonneau case, The Baagh 2’s design is both a tribute to the bygone era and a testament to timeless elegance. The watch is further enhanced by a large double-domed sapphire crystal, offering an unobstructed view of the unique Mosaic enameled dial, available in a trio of mesmerising colours. The heart of this exquisite timepiece is powered by the Miyota 6T28 calibre, a small yet robust automatic movement from Citizen, recognised for its precision and durability. Offering a 42-hour power reserve, this movement ensures that The Baagh 2 remains a reliable companion for those who value the essence of time.

Each watch from The Baagh 2 collection is a piece of history on the wrist. We are not just creating watches; we are reviving the stories of our nation’s past with a modern touch of elegance and sophistication.


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