GENERATIONS OF EXPERIENCE
Kuldip Rupra has watchmaking in his blood. He passed along his all-encompassing passion for the business to his children, adding another generation of watchmakers to his family.
by Kavita Sabharwal
“Watchmaking is my passion, my everything,” says Kuldip Rupra, owner of Mississauga-based watchmaking and repair business, TimeRevolution.com. “[This business] was something created between me and my daughter, and we just love what we do.”
Rupra is a third-generation watchmaker and comes from a family of mechanics. According to him, TimeRevolution.com has the ability to breathe life into anything mechanical. That confidence comes from years of working with watches.
“As far [back] as I can remember, I must have been eight or nine years old, I always used to stand next to my grandfather, watching him repair all kinds of watches,” he says. “At that age, I began to think that when I grow old, I want to be doing something like that. That’s how far it goes.”
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Rupra’s family takes watchmaking very seriously. His mother is the daughter of a watchmaker, his father, his uncles, and two of his brothers are all watchmakers too, both here in Canada and in India.
“My [children] also work with me, so it’s the fourth generation of watchmaking in our family,” says Rupra. “In 1929, my grandfather opened our first repair shop in Punjab, India. So [we are] getting close to almost 100 years of watchmaking in our family.”
It’s no surprise then, that Rupra decided to get into the business. It all started when he lived in England for seven and a half years, where he worked as a watchmaker for an independent jeweller. From there, he went back to Punjab for a short while before relocating to Canada in 1974, and began working for Lynkar Watch Company in the early 1980s.
After a combined 13 years spent at Seiko and Citizen Watch companies while also doing freelance watch repairs from home after hours, Rupra decided to go all in on his dream. He focused on his work as a freelance watchmaker until an opportunity presented itself in 2001 to buy Lynkar, which he continued to operate as a watchmaking and repair business under that name until 2006. In 2007, the company became TimeRevolution.com and moved to its current location in Mississauga, with Rupra’s daughter participating full-time in the business.
“It was my daughter’s idea that we should have our name reflect our website, the total package all in one,” says Rupra.
Although Rupra has no formal training in the industry, he says that experience is more important than formal schooling. And coming from a watchmaking family had him apprenticing from the best at a very young age.
The watchmakers in Rupra’s workshop also have years of experience under their belts, and receive ongoing training to keep their skills sharp.
“We have six watchmakers in our workshop and the youngest one I have is about 45 years old,” he says. “The rest of the watchmakers are in their late 50s to mid 60s.”
Earlier in his career, it never crossed Rupra’s mind that he would one day own his own business – he attributes this to “a turn of events.” When he purchased Lynkar using all his savings, he took a chance without having any entrepreneurial experience. Rupra did this because he was so excited to have an opportunity to run a company he used to work for. But things didn’t come easy and he had to put up with the challenges of running the new business until his daughter joined the company. Now, 13 years later, Rupra says TimeRevolution.com has progressed “big time.”
“When we bought the company, it was a money-losing business,” he says. “My thinking behind it was that I love it and when my daughter started participating in it, we took it a long way. It’s now an international company – these big brands are part of our business. I went from an independent watchmaker to running a company that is known throughout the world with all these great companies’ names alongside it.”
Today, TimeRevolution.com is a certified service centre for many renowned watch brands and there is no slowing down for the team behind the company. As far as plans for the future go, TimeRevolution.com is looking to continue adding more high-end names to its roster.
“I don’t have to motivate myself,” he says. “My hobby, my work, my profession is all watchmaking. I sleep and breathe watchmaking. I was born like that.”
It’s clear that Rupra is extremely proud of what he and his family have achieved in such a relatively short time – his business is the shining result of the talent that runs in his family. CJ
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