Collection of rare men’s clocks from Indore, 78 years old
When one enters the home of a 78-year-old man in the city of Indore, Madhya Pradesh, one is greeted by the ticking and mesmerizing sounds of some of the rare and ancient clocks collected across the world, giving the impression that one has reached the past sitting on a time machine.
The collector, Anil Bhalla, claims to have over 650 watches collected from India and various locations overseas including the United States, France, Switzerland, Britain and Germany.
Mr Bhalla told PTI that he inherited the clock collecting hobby from his grandfather Hukumat Rai Bhalla, who brought watches to India while pursuing higher education abroad.
“I bought the first clock in my collection when I was 16, an anniversary clock, which only needed winding once a year. After that, I bought clocks whenever I had a little more money,” he said.
Mr Bhalla, who has since continued to collect clocks of various shapes, sizes and colors year after year, said the Limca Book of Records gave him a certificate in 2013 for his rare collection which included a “grandfather” clock. ” 10 feet high made in France in 1750.
He also claims to have made a clock somewhere around the year 1700. Mr Bhalla said his collection also includes a unique clock from England made by carving a single piece of wood in 1830 which simultaneously tells the time of 16 major cities of the world through different dials.
While showing off his huge collection, he pointed to a Swiss-made clock that doesn’t need to be wound with a key. Another clock is so huge it takes two people to wind it.
He also has a foreign-made pocket clock, the face of which bears the image of a locomotive with the inscription “Railway Timekeeper” printed on it. This clock had been specially designed for railway workers, he said.
His collection includes a single Indian-made clock, named “Vande Mataram”. The outer casing of the nearly 65-year-old clock is made of pure copper and the images of gods, goddesses, Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak have been carved into it.
Mr Bhalla, long associated with the automotive sector, said he remains busy these days tending to his collection of clocks and repairing them.
“My collection also includes clocks bought in poor condition from scrap metal dealers. I managed to get their spare parts from various places around the world and repaired them to make them functional again,” he said. .
According to Mr. Bhalla, more than 650 clocks and watches in his collection are currently in working order, but winding them regularly is not an easy task for him alone. Therefore, they are only reassembled when needed.
“Some people say a clock that doesn’t work at home is a bad omen, but I don’t believe it,” he said.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)