Bringing back lost time

Capital city-based community of watch collectors, TimeGrapher, has come out with a zero-profit initiative ‘Nazhika’, featuring vintage mechanical watches

Published: 16th July 2021 06:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th July 2021 06:19 AM   |  A+A-

Prince Adithya Varma launching Nazhika at Kowdiar Palace

Express News Service

KOCHI: Before electronic watches came to the fore, mechanical watches were the fashion statement. TimeGrapher, a community of watch collectors and enthusiasts based in Thiruvananthapuram, launched a series of mechanical watch ‘Nazhika’ that features Malayalam numerical script. Nazhika was the traditional measurement of time among Malayalis — one nazhika is equal to 24 minutes and one vinazhika is equal to 24 seconds. 

The vintage collection has also incorporated an inner track that consists of nazhika-based time reading. “Back in the days, Kerala used to measure time relative to sunrise. People stopped using nazhika and vinazhika because it was a complex system.  Our new line of Nazhika watches have both the 12-hour format and the nazhika reading,” says Sohan Balachandran, founder of TimeGrapher.

Every component of the watch is made from upcycled materials. To make it more eco-friendly and cruelty-free, Nazhika has used synthetic leather for the strap. The raw materials are sourced from Lucknow, Mumbai, and Kolkota. “TimeGraph came up with this collection to help local artisans who were rendered jobless due to Covid. We use HMT mechanical components sourced from Lucknow in the watch,” says Sohan.

The pie pan dials are made from brass. “The dials of the watches are handpainted by artisans in Rajasthan. TimeGraph team member Artist Dilip Maniyappan designed the dial, and created the custom Malayalam numerals used in the watch. Nishad S N helped execute it. “The backside is made of transparent glass, so you can see the movement of the watch entirely. The orange track above the numerals shows the nazhika. Each time the hour hand touches it, one nazhika has passed,” says Sohan.

Malayalam script
Nazhika series is the first to feature an all-Malayalam numerical script. “I’ve seen them once in a book. Not many people know that the numerals existed. We sought help from Desamangalam Ramakrishnan, former Kerala University Malayalam HOD to get authentic information on them,” says Sohan TimeGraph has made 40 units so far. The parts are assembled in Mumbai. The calibration and quality check are done by local artisans in Thiruvananthapuram. The zero-profit project is not meant for revenue generation, said the founders. 

Follow The New Indian Express channel on WhatsApp


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp