1909 - '47


HAJI MIRZA ABDUL GANI NAMAZI was the youngest of 14 children born to Mirza Abdul Karim Namazi, who had also with his brother migrated from Iran and settled down to trade in Madras. In 1906 Haji Mirza Abdul Gani Namazi started a small firm called "South India Watch Company" at Evening Bazaar in Madras City; it was the foundation of GANI & SONS, established in 1909, which has today become a household name in South India in the field of Watches and Clocks.

With dedicated service to customers, business grew rapidly and in 1914 "GANI & SONS" Showroom and repair department was totally shifted to the present Head Office premises at No. 31, Rattan Bazaar, Madras. It was then a tiled building and had housed the Post Office till then.

The Founder-Proprietor was a man of great vision and foresight. As business grew, in 1923 he planned and erected a completely new masonry structure comprising of a ground and two upper floors - the ground housing the watch and clock showroom and repair reception, while the top floor was utilised for the repair department. In the year 1924, GANI & SONS earned the first feather in their cap when they were appointed Distributors for WESTEND & LONGINES Watches of Switzerland, making wholesale business an important activity of the firm.


In the twenties, business was expanding by leaps and bounds, Late Mr. Gani now needed assistance. Happily this was available with the second generation coming up. Therefore, in about 1927 HAJI MIRZA MOHAMMED BAQUER NAMAZI, the eldest living child of the Founder cut short his higher education and at the young age of 15, joined his father and ably assisted him in the business. He along with his younger brother was responsible for building the image of the firm to its present stature.


towerclock Business now diversified into making and installing Tower Clocks. The name "GANI & SONS" had spread far and wide in the country and the firm received many orders for installing tower and public clocks from not only the areas which form the present states of South India viz. TamilNadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, but also places which came under the Bombay Presidency and in far away Assam. And we are proud to recall that over 100 such large tower and public clocks have been installed and maintained by us since then upto-date. This is an achievement which not more than 5 firms in the whole of India can boast of.

India's First Quartz Chiming & Striking (3 feet dia., 4 faced) Tower Clock (Analog) was made, supplied & installed (in 1996) by GANI & SONS at Port Blair in the Andamans.


In 1937, the second son of the founder, late Mr.MIRZA ISMAIL NAMAZI completed his college education and graduated out as a B.A., when he was initiated into the business. It is recalled that he is the father of the present younger partners and that his dedication and devotion to GANI & SONS was such that he burned out all his energies at the prime age of 48, when death snatched him away on Friday the 4th February 1966. With customers coming from all over the city and with more managerial assistance available in the form of young Mr. M.I.Namazi, the firm opened its first branch on the busy Mount Road (now ANNA SALAI) on the other side of Madras city across the Cooum river. This catered to the convenience of customers in the southern part of the city. Mount Road had already started developing as the second commercial center of the city and today there are a large number of posh commercial sky-rise buildings and important commercial establishments on Mount Road (ANNA SALAI). The Mount Road branch was managed by Mr. M.I.Namazi till the early 50's after which Mr. S.H.Shooshtary had been ably managing the same.


Many times in life, heads of successful enterprises lack the capacity or spirit of retiring when the going and their retiring when the going and their health is still good, handing over the running of the family business to the younger generation, to enjoy a quiet and peaceful life. They try to take an active part in business even when their advanced age results in failing health and faltering mental and physical capacities. But we are proud to say that our founder, late Mr. GANI NAMAZI was a different person. He was one who had learnt well the lessons of Time while selling Time, that time well lived is the essence of a happy life. It is a trite saying that "There is a Time for Everything in Life" - a time to play, a time for love, a time for work and a time to retire and rest. The founder had already in 1943 converted GANI & SONS into a partnership with himself and his two sons as partners. By 1947 late Mr. GANI NAMAZI reached the age of 62 - an age for retirement from active life. Therefore, though he enjoyed good health he decided to hand over the business to his two sons, Mr. M.B.Namazi and Mr. M.I.Namazi, relinquishing his partnership from the firm of GANI & SONS. Here it may be mentioned that the founder enjoyed his retired life for 21 years and left the world at the ripe old age of 83 in 1968. .

'47 - '72


The combination of the two stalwarts, Mr. M.B.Namazi and Mr. M.I.Namazi was such that the year 1947 to 1966 came to be known as the "GOLDEN YEARS" of GANI & SONS. It saw further branching out and expansion of the firm's business. It may be mentioned here that the firm used to be very popular for gift articles, besides watches and clocks. The gift articles line of business was discontinued in 1950. However, it was in the late 1960's that they discontinued the Sales and Service of pens. During the days when imports were liberal, GANI & SONS were major stockiest for quality pens, such as PARKER, SHEAFER, EVERSHARP, PELICAN, MOUNT BLAC, etc. On 1st May 1957 a new branch of GANI & SONS was inaugurated at Brigade Road, Bangalore. In 1959 GANI & SONS entered its GOLDEN JUBILEE YEAR which saw further expansion of the firm's activities. GANI & SONS were saw further expansion of the firm's activities. GANI & SONS were the Official Sales and Service Agents for OMEGA & TISSOT watches of Switzerland for South India for over a decade already. Increasing clientele made the then existing one building's space insufficient to cope with their needs. Hence, the addition of an annexe showroom became absolutely necessary. Therefore, to commemorate the GOLDEN JUBILEE of the firm, an impressive annexe showroom was put up in the building at No. 30, Rattan Bazaar (owned by Mr. M.B.Namazi) adjacent to the Head Office and on 1st January 1959 the same was declared open by Hon'ble Mr. M. BHAKTAVATSALAM, the Home Minister of Tamil Nadu, as the "OMEGA SHOWROOM".

Simultaneously, a second branch and showroom was established in Chickpet, Bangalore in 1959. Now the activities of GANI & SONS spread out to 5 establishments - the Head Office and Annexe at Rattan Bazaar, the Mount Road branch inMadras and two branches in Bangalore.

Simultaneously, a second branch and showroom was established in Chickpet, Around 1960 GANI & SONS became the Sales & Service Agents for ENICAR watches as well and in 1961 the Mount Road Branch was shifted to more spaciousnew premises at the present No. 846-A, Mount Road.


As a contribution to the 1965 Indo-Pak war effort, GANI & SONS presented a consignment of wrist watches for honouring the Jawans of the Indian Army who fought in the Indo-Pakistan War in 1965. This consignment of watches was handed over to Mr. K.KAMARAJ, the then Congress President, who was kind enough to decorate the Jawans with the same.


Time never waits. " Time is a circus, always packing up and moving away!" says a thinker. And fortune and misfortune follow each other like day and night. And now came the time of family misfortune. Very suddenly, at a prime age of 48 years, Mr. M.I.NAMAZI who put his heart and soul in the family enterprise and was responsible for much of its growth and expansion, very suddenly passed away on 4th February 1966. He was struck down by an heart-attack in the early hours of the morning of that Friday when he was still at home. He had been working until the day-before, making his death all the more shocking. The grief of his father, Mr. GANI NAMAZI, the founder, can be well imagined. He could not now continue for long and again on a Friday, 13th December of 1968, Haji Mirza Abdul GANI NAMAZI passed away after a brief illness at his residence, at the ripe old age of 83. At the time of his death he was the Head of the Iranian Community in Madras.


1970 witnessed GANI & SONS being honoured with a Silver Trophy for the MAXIMUM RETAIL SALES in SOUTH INDIA for 'TIMESTAR' watches, at a glittering function. Indo French Time Industries Ltd., Bombay, the manufactures of 'TIMESTAR' watches, were the first company in India to commence indigenous manufacture of wrist watches and GANI & SONS took up the sales of 'TIMESTAR' watches in South India quite early. On 7th of August 1971 the branch at Brigade Road, Bangalore was refurnished and inaugurated as the TIMESTAR SERVICE STATION of Karnataka.

In 1972, Mr. M.M.N.Namazi, the second son of Mr. M.I.Namazi was baptised in the family business 1974 saw Mr. M.M.J.Namazi, the last son of Mr.M.I.Namazi join at the branch at Bangalore.

'72 - '84

And this is how we looked in 2000

The years 1976-77 were a period of reconstitution and change to meet the needs of family convenience. The Mount Road, Madras branch was reconstituted under the name and style of " GANI & SONS AGENCY" on 16th August 1976. From 1st April 1977, Mr. M.H.Namazi, the elder son of late Mr. M.I.Namazi, left the partnership and took over as proprietor of " GANI & SONS, BANGALORE" which was already reconstituted as a separate firm under that name in about 1972.


In 1981 GANI & SONS, Madras was appointed Service Agents for RADO watches. Before this, Mr. R.Frene of RADO and Mr. D.D.Randeria of Marcks & Co., the principal agents for RADO in India, visited our twin showrooms. In September '82, the showroom and repair department of GANI & SONS AGENCY on Mount Road with a more spacious adjoining premises was newly furnished and declared open by the well known glamorous Film star, KAMALA HAASAN.

And in '84, to coincide with the completion of our 75th PLATINUM JUBILEE YEAR we have started the assembly and marketing of Quartz Clocks under our own brand name 'GANI'. We have also established and Air-conditioned section named 'RADO CORNER' with modern upto-date facilities for servicing of RADO and other high-class watches. The RADO CORNER started functioning on 21st November '84, equipped with all latest, modern, upto date equipment, tools and facilities for repairs and servicing - with imported equipment used for checking and analysing of faults in Quartz watches supplied byRADO WATCH CO., Switzerland.


From January till December '84, our true PLATINUM JUBILEE YEAR, each and every customer at all our showrooms was given a gift, even to those who have bought only a watch side-bar. Our PLATINUM JUBILEE was to have been celebrated by the end of '84. However, because of the sudden passing away of Mrs. Z.B.Namazi, wife of late Mr. M.I.Namazi the Jubilee celebrations had to be postponed to almost the end of '85 - which we to-day celebrate.

A view of the Showroom.
Left: A Genuine 1930's
German Grandfather Clock
Not for Sale.
Right: An Indian Grandfather
- For Sale
(Proud to be Indian).

It will not be out of place to mention here that, as the saying goes 'from a pin to an elephant', GANI & SONS truly stock and supply all things horological : right from a watch side-bar (pin) to a Tower Clock (an elephant) of any type and size.

Being the Distributors for Anglo-Swiss Watch Co., GANI & SONS have supplied all over South India, hundreds of Time Recorder Clocks of Factories for recording the attendance of their employees as also a far larger quantityof Watchmen's Tell Tale Clocks.

And A UNIQUE DISTINCTION FOR GANI & SONS, most probably all over the world is its being a SINGLE FIRM appointed as Agents for TOP SWISS BRANDS such as TISSOT, ENICAR, ROLEX, WESTEND, LONGINES, OMEGA and RADO- the Inventors of the Scratchproof watch. This only goes to show the trust and confidence reposed in GANI & SONS by the SWISS watch manufacturers who are supremein the art of watch making.


To-day all the different firms in our 'GANI GROUP' of the NAMAZI family join in the PLATINUM JUBILEE Celebrations. They are : GANI & SONS at Rattan Bazaar, Madras, GANI & SONS AGENCY at Mount Road, Madras and GANI & SONS, BANGALORE. Today, these firms are managed by members of our Namazi family viz. Mr. M.B.Namazi of the 2nd generation and member of the 3rd generation -- sons of late Mr. M.I.Namazi: 1st son Mr. M.H.Namazi at Bangalore, M.M.N.Namazi, the 2nd son and M.M.J.Namazi the 3rd son, both of whom are at Madras.

It may be mentioned that the 3rd generation in the form of M.M.J.Namazi has equipped itself with formal horological training to keep in touch with the latest in horology and its servicing. Young Mr. Namazi graduated in Commerce from the famous Madras Christian College, Tambaram in 1974. Joining the family business and taking practical training in watch & clock servicing and repairs, he took charge of this department two years later. In August 1979 he attended a training course a mechanical and electronic watch repairs conducted by the Shreeshyla Trust of Hegde & Golay, Bangalore. In January '82 he attended a two weeks training at Marcks & Co., Bombay to familiarise himself with the modern upto-date techniques in the repairing of RADO mechanical and quartz watches. In December '82 he attended a training course in Electronic Watch Repairs conducted by EM Electronic Pvt Ltd. (formely 'MIMEC'), Bangalore -- markers of electronic time-testing andother instruments.

And now the 4th generation is coming up. M.M.N. has 2 sons and M.M.J. has 1. For more than 75 YEARS now, GANI & SONS have been serving the people of South India in all their requirements of quality watches, clocks and all things horological. We are proud to say that our pre-eminent position has been built up by hard, painstaking and ceaseless efforts to satisfy the discriminating customer. We believe 'a satisfied customer is our greatest asset' -- an asset far more valuable than hundreds of trade advertisements. While justly proud of our past record, we are constantly striving to improve upon it. This is only possible with a team of dedicated staff to whom the credit really goes and to assure, this dedication our management-staff relations have been cordial and family-like over the generations. No wonder, many of our staff have been with us for decades and one of them has completed 50 years of service with us.

Platinum Jubilee

1909 - 1984

What follows is the text (photos added) of a Brochure (right) which was released by Hon'ble Dr. H.V.Hande, Health Minister of Tamilnadu on the 5th November 1985 at a Banquet held at the Taj Coromandel Hotel, Madras to mark our Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.


5th November 1985, Tuesday Today is a proud day for us. We, the NAMAZI family at GANI & SONS and its associated firms, whose three generations have been actively associated with horology in South India, are happy to celebrate our PLATINUM JUBILEE, 75 years of which we completed with the close of 1984. These have been memorable years for us, during which the grace of God and the friendly co-operation of our friends in the trade and industry plus the valued patronage of our esteemed customers whose confidence in us has been passed down from father to son over the generations, GANI & SONS has grown and expanded into several retailing establishments, making it the premier watch retailing organization in South India.


Dear friends, we at the GANI & SONS' NAMAZI family therefore, extend to you our cordial invitation to join us in our JUBILEE rejoicing. And, to enable you to appreciate our Celebrations, we would like to refresh your memory on how we have grown and progressed over the decades. This takes us back to our late founder, Mr. HAJI MIRZA ABDUL GANI NAMZI.

'84 to Date

Inside the Show Room, today (2000)

Three generations of the NAMAZIS have been serving you, their CUSTOMERS and GANI & SONS look forward to many more of our generations serving the public exclusively in the field of horology. And in this year of our PLATINUM JUBILEE Celebrations, while we look forward to meeting new challenges and developments in the field of time to make happier for all of us with hope and confidence, we sincerely thank all our valued customers for their patronage and our friends, well-wishers and staff for their co-operation.

------------- end of Supplement by TRADE POST


GANI & SONS AGENCY at Mount Road was Renovated and re-christened as the Old New SHOP by the film idol Kamala Haasan in 1982.

It was 1983 when the Mount Road showroom, also known as GANI & SONS AGENCY, was appointed as the Authorised Service Agents for HMT Watches.

1985 - A Banquet was held to mark the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations at the Taj Coromandel Hotel in Madras (Chennai). Mr. Roland Frene, the Worldwide Service Manager of M/s RADO WATCH CO., SWITZERLAND specially flew down for the occasion along with the Godfather of the Indian Watch Service Industry Mr. Dhun D. Randeria of Marcks & Co. Bombay. A full page advertisement in The Hindu was released with a half page congratulatory message from RADO. Trade Post brought out a Special Supplement (See HISTORY page) on the occasion. Dr. H.V. HANDE, the Health Minister of the Government of Tamil Nadu was the Chief Guest while His Highnessthe Prince of Arcot, Nawab Abdul Ali was the Guest of Honour.

SeeGANI & SONS' TIMEPASS - 1985 Onwards


GANI & SONS becomes an OEM Supplier of exclusive Designer TOWER CLOCKS to a top manufacturer of Indian watches & clocks. A three faced Triangular Tower Clock designed by them was made and installed by us at Black Thunder Theme Park, Metupalyam.

All Tower Clocks and World Time Clocks made by GANI & SONS since the past 10-15 years are quartz controlled thereby giving a very high accuracy.

In January 2000 we participated in our first Exhibition - SAMAY BHARATI 2000 - held at Bangalore where we showed off a Combo i.e. an Analog + Digital Combination of a World First CENTURION CLOCK. This Clock was counting down the Days (in digital format) and the Hour & Minute Hands were going in reverse counting down to the CENTURY, which is 1.1.2001.

The Digital Millennium Clocks of yesterday are now the CENTURION Countdown Clocks of today, but only until 1.1.2001. Also on display at the SAMAY BHARATI Clock Fair in Bangalore were Mini Grandfather Clocks - ideal for small houses & flats - made for the first time in India, created& developed exclusively by GANI & SONS.

Another Historic Project for GANI & SONS, on the anvil is a SATELLITE CONTROLLED Digital Clock System which is and accurate to within ONE MICROSECOND of GMT. It derives its time from at least 3 Atomic Clocks aboard the orbiting GPS Satellites. This Satellite Controlled ClockSystem is slated to be installed in September 2000.

This page updated in 2000