[Gimp-developer] Wilber watch proposal

Hi all

Some of you may know, I work at a company called Banu in India. We are
starting the Banu Shop with a focus on geeky and hobbyist products. 
These include clothes and other wearables.

Yesterday evening, I had accompanied other staff to the Indian
govt. owned watch manufacturer named HMT. This is a popular watch
company in India. HMT watches are priced low on purpose, so that the
general public can afford them. Almost everyone's dad here owned a HMT
watch. ;) Many govt. companies issued HMT watches to their staff as


The reason we were there was because of a line of mechanical watches.
Mechanical movements are interesting to some geeky types.  HMT have some
legacy models still which are based on a 17 jewel wind-up mechanical
movement designed by Citizen. The movement is the machine inside the
watch shell that keeps time.

You can read about the movement here (it's a scratched up piece, but
that's the design):

It runs at 18000 beats per hour, which is visible to the watch wearer
as 5 movements of the second-hand per second.

This movement was first licensed to them in the 1960s-70s, and HMT
eventually acquired a permanent license for it. They are popular for
their reliability, and I assume several hundreds of thousands of people
(at least) have worn this movement in this country.

You can see some more pictures of the innards of this movement here:

Wikipedia has some very nice articles on how such a mechanical watch
works, if you're interested:

If you read this article and its linked ones, then you will be able to
distinguish some of the parts in the disassembly photos above. :)

Based on this movement, there are 3 HMT watches that are very popular
among collectors, going by the threads on watchuseek.com's forums:

1. HMT Sona (pictured in the articles above) [~ $22 retail locally]

2. HMT Janata [~ $15 retail locally]:

3. HMT Pilot [~ $22 retail locally]:

You can do a Google image search for more pictures of these
watches. Note that the Janata and Pilot models come in several dial
variants, but we should consider the designs above.

These are very reasonable prices for a mechanical watch of this
movement and quality, and I assume (as I mentioned earlier) that they
have been priced this way so that they are affordable to the general
public in India.


When we were there, the manager of the local office told me that they
do institutional customizations.  This means incorporating a logo into
the dial of the watch.  There are typically two ways to get it done:

1. Get a customization shop to do it. They open the watch, take out the
dial, print on it, put the watch back together for a small fee.

2. Get HMT itself to do it. But the minimum number of watches to order
is 100. Advantages are that this service is free, and is of higher
quality. And as this happens at the factory itself, the watches are not

I cannot mention discounts that we receive on the mailing list, but the
GIMP development team can know of it.

If you have read so far, your grey cells must have formed the image of
a Wilber watch by now.  Before I start explaining further, let me say
that if we do such a Wilber watch, 100% of profits will go into GIMP's
account at GNOME.  The advantage to Banu Shop is that as it's a new
shop, its staff will get oiled in shipping orders around the world.  :)

I don't think this will be a major revenue maker for GIMP, as we (GIMP)
will only make a few hundreds of dollars as profit (unless all million
GIMP users buy :P). We'll be able to wear a Wilber watch.. that's the
what the other main point of this is.

If we want to do this, the main things that we should aim for are:

* Runs reliably
* Value for money
* Low-priced, so that it's affordable to most GIMP users (we should not
  increase the price artificially to get more money for GIMP, for

See the images and articles above. Let me know what you think.

HMT Sona is not a good model to print on, as its dial is not smooth. 
We can try HMT Janata or HMT Pilot.  I personally favour HMT Pilot as
it has a better strap (both are leather), lume on its hands and feels
better.  It also costs slightly more.  HMT Janata is very slim.  HMT
Pilot is slightly thicker.  HMT Sona is about as thin as it gets!

Top is HMT Janata, bottom is HMT Pilot:

All 3 models have the lens effect and the hands are slightly curved like
yester-year watches. The '17 jewels' text is just a marketing gimmick
(as on all such watches). The jewels are usually nearly worthless. They
are not ornamental jewels, but are used where friction is high. Jewels
picked for this purpose are for their material properties and not for
their visual appeal. 'Para shock' is a Citizen marketing term of
yester-year: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_resistant_watch

Let me know what you think. Would you like to own such a Wilber watch
(one with the Wilber logo printed on it)?  If there is enough interest,
we'll get them produced.


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