Boy! Like how do I even start and from where do I even start?
Before I begin, I am gonna write this news piece in a very informal way because only then would it be able to make justice on what I am trying to express. Flashback to 2022 and I joined this group on facebook called Watch Enthusiasts India , the only reason I joined was because of the title which clearly explains a group being for watch lovers!
With zero knowledge on horology and some chunks of Fossils and Armanis in my closet, I joined this group only to get baptized on what actual watchmaking is and what should be the ideal way to pursue the hobby of “ loving watches ”
To cut things short, within next 12 months, such was the influence of this group, I was into Seikos, Orients and Tissots from Fossil, Guess and Armanis. I suddenly started restoring my grandpa’s Hmt’s and Alwyn’s and I became an active member on WEI
Now fast forward to 25th March, 2023 , this was my first WEI event after missing out on the earlier GTG which was held in Mumbai. Even though, this wasn’t a full blown GTG, but still, it had enough trailers to understand what this group of WEI is all about and how much fun the actual GTG’s could be!
The event was held at JW Marriott, Juhu at Enigma Hall in Mumbai sponsored by Swiss Watchmaker Norqain in collaboration with ETHOS and WEI . The event witnessed some great exhibition of Norqain Watches and we got to know about the brand in detail, right from its history, to its founders to the intricate details and technicalities about their watches to the fine materials used to some live display of their flagship watches which we all could try and experience. It was indeed an event which brought into light the essence of Independent Watchmaking.
Post the Norqain introduction, it was time for WEI Members to interact and socialize. Such is the magic of this group and such is the shared passion, people from different parts of India right from Delhi, Pune, Central Mumbai, Western Mumbai, Bangalore and other places came to attend this event. It had people from mixed professions and religions but not even a single second did anyone felt like a stranger and that is the core ethos of this group! Talking about my personal experience, I instantly made new friends from different age groups and varied professions!
From Doctors to Parsi Café Owners, from Software Engineers to Journalists , from Land Developers to Stock Traders to Navy Captains , it was a mixed set of people bonding along like longlost brothers! Such was the diversity, there were young members who were still in 1st year of their college to members hitting the sweet sixties and someone right in between!
From those Casios to Longines , from those rare JLC’s to Rolexes , from those Omega’s to Urwerks , from those HMT’s to Cartiers & Tissot’s to AP’s , each and every member including myself relished real time experience of holding and trying out each other’s different timepieces. Then, there was this guy called Mohit Chuganee who was wearing a full Solid Gold Omega (probably a moonwatch professional co-axial master chronometer chronograph) and Urwerk UR-Satellite , one on each wrist and he was generous enough to let the young rookies try it out! That was like 7million INR each on a wrist!
It was an event where young debutants like me got baptized and we also made new friends on the way! Before we end this article, a special mention also goes to Karan Madan , Arka Roy, Anirban Dasgupta and all the core members of WEI who make these things happen!
To end it on a humorous note, my association with WEI is like KL Rahul’s current association with the Indian Cricket Team! Both of us can be dropped anytime! One because of poor string of performances and one because of poor string of posts on WEI groups! But jokes apart, Karan is the type of elder brother i never knew i ever needed!
A Doctor by Profession, Luxury Watch Consultant, an absolute mind reader and a step ahead from the rest. Like, we were meeting for the 1st time and he immediately recognized me on my entrance calling out by my name and that shows how well prepared he is and how he takes every member of the group with same respect. Also, me being an introvert got a reality check in the first 15 seconds as he schooled me like an elder brother “YOU NEED TO SPEAK OUT YOUR NAME TOO WHEN YOU SHAKE HANDS ” and I was like BAM! I wish, I got those socializing lessons at an early age!
Better late than never, this is just the beginning of many more events to come, beginning of a #brotherhood in WEI and wishing Karan all the luck for the vision he carries.
Article by: Haineel Shah