Watches made for the Indian market, known as 'Maharaja watches,' frequently made use of photographs sent from Indian dignitaries so that artists could render the portraits in enamel. These subjects presented a particular challenge to enamellers, as the portraits were done using often-blurry photographs sent from overseas as the basis, rather than seeing the subject first-hand or working from a clear likeness. The portrait included on this watch is a testament to the skill of the artists at work.
For further discussion of 'Maharaja watches' and Swiss watch trade in India, see Jaquet, E., & Chapuis, A., Technique and History of the Swiss Watch, pp. 100 and 128-9, and illustrations on pl. 133.