The beautiful thing about watches is the fact that they are universal. On the one hand, it means that fans of different brands or types of watches can link up often across continents. On the other hand, it also means that watchmaking is everywhere. We tend to think that watches can only come from Switzerland, perhaps Germany, God forbid Japan. Reality is however that it is much more complicated than that. Take the USA for example. Many of our favourite Swiss brands today (like Hamilton) started their history across the ocean in America. Also, other brands that came from the USA (Bulova for example, before the Citizen era) conquered the industry without leaving the motherland. I’d love to think that RGM belongs to the latter category. Although the brand is no conglomerate by any means it’s a household name in the industry. Today we’ll look at their latest creations.
For the ones who have not heard of RGM before (even though we featured them a few times already on Fratello) let me bring you guys up to speed. The company was founded in 1992 by Mr. Roland G. Murphy. RGM, got it? Their headquarters is in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where Mr. Murphy is coming from. He is a trained watchmaker who did not only study in the US but also in Switzerland at WOSTEP (The Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program). After that, he worked for SMH (which became The Swatch Group in 1998) developing movements for Hamilton Watch Co., which funnily enough is also from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Mr. Murphy stayed there until he started RGM in 1992. As they say, the rest is history. RGM is known by watch fans all over the world for classic designs, high quality, and crazy customized pieces.
The Model 25 line consists of 3 very different dial types of watches with 2 common features, the case, and movement. The case is American made with coin edge sides, smooth bezel and curved lugs. They are 40mm wide and a little over 10mm thick. 9 screws hold the display case back to the case. The first dial type is the guilloché. Every timepiece has a different sort of hand-cut guilloché decoration on its face. They are the most elegant of the 3, in my opinion. The second type is the so-called Cloisonné type enamel dial. Rich in colour, the image depicts Claude Monet’s famous painting Regatta at Argenteuil. Very artistic in implementation. The third type of dial is similar to the second in terms of looks. Here, the dial is made of wood marquetry. The artwork shows the oldest masonry fort in the USA.
Even though the Model 25 watches have different dials they are all masterpieces in their own category. Keep in mind that these are not machine mass-production dials, but hand-made by artisans. Whether you like this type of design or not is a subjective thing, that however does not take away from the shine of these timepieces. As I said above the other than the case, the movement is also a common feature of these watches. The movement inside the Model 25 watches is ETA’s 2892-A2. A 21-Jewel, Swiss made, automatic movement with 28,800 vph. The caliber has rhodium finishing and perlage as well as Côte de Genève decoration to make it more appealing to the eye. In case of the handmade wood marquetry and cloisonné enamel dials, the movement received an upgrade. The watches have 14k solid gold rotors by RGM.
While the above watches might look feminine to some (again, personal taste), due to their sizes they would look odd on a lady’s wrist. Nonetheless, RGM also has to offer something for the ladies as well. 2 watches to be precise, 2 breathtaking creations. Here, the lucky lady can choose whether she wants a steel case or an 18K solid gold one. The sizes of the watches are 28mm in width and 7.7mm in thickness. They also have a display case back just like the Model 25 watches. Both watches are available with or without diamond sets on the bezel and lug tops. The interesting details here are also the dials though. One of the versions uses mother of pearl as its “canvas”. The artist then hand-paints the picture onto the mother of pearl dial. The result is incredible.
The other watch also has a hand painted dial. Here the dial is done with Super-LumiNova paint. Needless to say, in good old RGM fashion, both watches can be customized, you just need to ask them. The movement inside the watches is an ETA 7001. It is a manual wind 17-Jewel caliber with 21,600 vph and Cote de Geneve decoration.
If you would like to check out the above watches or any other model in RGM’s line up, please visit their site. Click here.
Balázs joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up... read more