HMT IMG_8666

Every now and again, you’ll see something pop up on the watch forums, and you think “Why not?  I’ll take a flier on that one.”  That’s what happened to me when I ran across someone selling HMT Pilot watches, direct from the factory in India.

HMT (also known as Hindustan Machine Tools) has been making watches since 1961 – so they’re definitely not a newcomer on the scene.  While I’ve not seen (to date) a larger retailer offering these here in the States, it’s not that surprising to find a plethora of models up for sale on eBay or any number of watch forums.

HMT IMG_8667

Having seen these pop up time and again, it started to stick in my mind, and when I saw the Pilot model on offer (quite reasonably, at $35 shipped), I figured it was high time to pick one up, and see what all the fuss is about.

HMT IMG_8665

The first thing you’ll notice about the Pilot is how small it is, compared to the watches we’re used to seeing.  The case measures in at 35mm in diameter, and the whole thing is rather thin, due to the the manually-wound movement.  It would be even thinner, but you’ve got a high-domed plastic crystal up top.

HMT IMG_8673

Given the dimensions, and just the overall style of the watch, this is very much something many would consider to be a “retro” sort of style.  For me, I just like the plain simplicity of the piece.  Given the high polish on the case and black dial, this worked rather nicely for me as a dress watch, and slipped under the cuff with no issues whatsoever.

HMT IMG_8668

Time will tell how long-lasting the movement is, but for now, I’m happy with the purchase.  I did manage to get a ding in the crystal already, but that’s more my fault, than the watches.  I think this would be good if you’re looking to get an affordable mechanical for someone as a gift, or you’re just looking to scratch the itch to get something new into your collection, without breaking the bank.

HMT IMG_8669

If you’re interested, drop me a line, and I can put you in touch with the person I bought mine from.

ByPatrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

20 thoughts on “REVIEW: HMT Pilot”
  1. it is actually just Rs 925 here in India, that’s about 19 $… but sadly the company is facing some economic problems and the factory is producing less than 4500 units in total per year… these watches are quite durable and are found to last for more than 25 yrs

  2. Yeah, those are lovely!
    I tried to get rid of my Jap diver addiction and was looking for something new. – Got a used one, the military version HMT and you really get a lot more than you paid for.
    Sturdy and quite accurate.

    Great buy with that certain colonial vintage factor. 😉

  3. Hi,

    Kindly confirm the availability of HMT handwound watch models, along with the price list at present. I’m crazy about them.

    Also, please advice if I get the below models with the price range.

    1) HMT Sagar – 500-600 INR
    2) HMT Prashanth – 1000-1400 INR
    3) HMT Tareeq – 1000-1200 INR
    4) HMT Shalimar – 1000-1100 INR
    5) HMT Amitabh – 1200 INR
    6) HMT Maurya – 1000-1200 INR
    7) HMT Vijay – 1200 INR

    1. I have no idea – my recommendation is to head over to the WUS forums, as there are active sellers with a variety of models.

  4. I know this is an older article, but I would like some info. I’m interested in purchasing vintage HMT Pilot Watches in bulk

  5. Hi, I understand this is an old review. But I would really like it if you can share the contact to the person who sold watches. I would like to get one for myself. Thanks for the excellent review.

  6. Interested in genuine hmt mechanical watches for men in new condition esp. pilot , Sona , Janata ,Jawan .
    Pls get in touch with me at the below email.

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