Limited-edition latest BWC watches survive enduring space test

The prototype watch completed a Stratospheric flight by travelling 114,000 feet into the Earth’s atmosphere and returned safely to Earth in full working condition. Photo: Special arrangement

The fact that watches are not used any more these days for knowing the time makes it more pricey and luxurious. In India, the watch-manufacturing company that carries the essence of a unique narrative is the Bangalore Watch Company, which boasts world-class wristwatches that tell stories from modern India.

Blending luxury and the thematic character in line with its anthem the the BWC had launched a classy collection of Apogee watches in 2021 as a celebration of the Indian space program. “Since then, the Apogee has taken the moniker of ‘the Indian space watch’. We didn’t want to stop at creating watches that were merely inspired by Space. We wanted to see if we could build them to be qualified and tested for space”, said Mercy Amalraj, Co-Founder of Bangalore Watch Company.

The company announced it has successfully tested an Apogee wristwatch in Space. The prototype watch completed a Stratospheric flight by travelling 114,000 feet (35 Kilometers) into the Earth’s atmosphere and returned safely to Earth in full working condition.

“The harsh conditions in outer space including high and low temperatures, pressure variations and so on can easily damage any ordinary devices like a wristwatch. The successful test of the Apogee watch proves enduring capacity and the impeccable functionality of time device,” Nirupesh Joshi, Co-Founder and Creative Director of the brand told Onmanorama.

The company collaborated with a UK-based space-engineering firm to plan and conduct a stratospheric flight in early 2024. An ultra-light carbon-fibre spacecraft, carried by a high-altitude balloon, transported an Apogee watch to outer space, exposing it to the harsh environment of outer space. The craft reached a peak altitude of 35 km above Earth, three times the height of commercial jets, before being remotely guided back to Earth for recovery. Despite extreme conditions, including -65°C temperatures and high shock forces upon re-entry, the watch remained functional throughout its spaceflight. Multiple 4K cameras captured the flight, documenting the watch's journey back to Earth.

“We called this the Karman Line Project; it took two years of planning and execution. The first challenge was flight dynamics, weather, launch location, but the larger challenge was testing the watches on the ground as best as we could, so they don’t fail in Space,” said Nirupesh Joshi.

Amalraj added “50 limited-edition Apogee Karman line watches have been produced to mark this momentous occasion and a milestone in our brand’s history. Each watch will be similar to the watch from our spaceflight and will carry a special piece of a blue-coloured Muonionalusta meteorite dial. This Meteorite is known to have fallen from space and recovered in Sweden. It is known to be older than the Earth. Each watch will be uniquely numbered too.”

"The Karman line project marks a critical moment for our brand," declared Nirupesh Joshi, "We've proven that our watches aren't just inspired by space-they're qualified and tested for Space." The 50-piece limited edition Apogee Karman Line watch will be priced at INR 2,40,000 (USD 2,850 approximately) and can be ordered via the brand’s website starting today. “We can proudly say that, this is the first watch ever made in India that has gone into space and keeping its functionality intact,” says Nirupesh.

Bangalore Watch Company produces world-class, luxury wristwatches from India. Each collection, produced in limited numbers, tells stories from the Indian Air Force, Indian space program and others from modern-India. Founded in India’s watchmaking ground-zero in 2018, the brand has built an enthusiastic following around the world with patrons in over 30 countries.

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