Indian Motorcycle was born in 1901, a time where the only other way to get around was on horseback or bicycle. At its heart, Indian Motorcycle is a story of two founders, the entrepreneur George Hendee and the renowned engineer Oscar Hedstrom, working together to make the world a better and easier place to explore. Which is why Indian Motorcycle today encourages everyone who owns and rides one of its motorcycles to “live stories worth telling”.
From the very beginning, the two men behind Indian Motorcycle were obsessed in the pursuit of speed. Founders, George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom, initially sought their thrills in bicycle racing, but when the first gasoline engines appeared, the pair saw an opportunity to mount these to bicycle frames. As Indian rapidly grew, pioneering men took these “motorcycles” and pushed their limits on epic adventures or in motordrome racing. Indian soon became renowned as a brand that set and broke speed records. Even in those early days, motorcyclists were regarded as thrill seekers and daredevils and today, the excitement of riding or racing at high speed is still a great draw.
Spirit is something Indian has shown in all its efforts in motorcycling, just as Baume & Mercier has in its watchmaking. Out of all of Indian’s achievements, it is the spirit and legend of Burt Munro that has become a part of the fabric of not just Indian’s culture, but of motorcycling culture in general.
When Burt Munro bought the bike in 1926 it was only capable of doing 55mph, but after spending the next 40 years modifying it in his shed, the then 68-year-old grandfather took it to the Bonneville Salt flats in Utah, USA. Here he set an under 1000cc record speed of 183.59 mph (294.5 km/h). However, Munro’s son, John noticed that the average speed calculation on the original 1967 record certificate was inaccurate and that the speed reached was actually 184.087 mph (296.11 km/h). The official listing was therefore corrected 47 years later, and set the record that still stands today.
Paying tribute to this 50th anniversary, Baume & Mercier has designed a one-of-a-kind watch. Burt was a man of modest means and built his record-breaking Scout using basic tools and even made his own engine parts from salvaged metal over the course of 40 years. This official Indian Motorcycle watch can be proudly worn to remind the wearer that anything is possible with enough grit and determination and translates the enduring passion, a value conveyed by Baume & Mercier ever since.