RGM 1992 - 2017 ... 25 Years of Making Watches!

How time flies!

It’s hard for me to believe I have been making RGM watches for 25 years, it seems just a few years ago that I started.

First RGM Model 101M

When I first started I did not know where it was going, it's like talking a walk not sure where you would end up.  I just concentrated on the projects at hand and did not worry about 10, 20, or even 25 years later. Well here we are and it has been a wonderful ride.

When I first started I just wanted to make a living doing what I loved, so I will say I was successful at that.  The goal was never to make a lot of money or be rich.  I always put much more back into the watches and the construction so I could be proud of the things we make, and that they would last.

At my former job, I was mostly working on plated quartz watches, I was not satisfied with designing those kinds of watches.  So, the backlash was the first 5 years of RGM we only made solid gold and platinum watches, and of course everything had to have a mechanical movement. Not only that all the watches had a real hand cut Engine-Turned dial and blued steel hands.

I had more and more request for stainless steel watches so I designed the model 107, it was our first stainless steel watch and it is the oldest in our lineup being still available today. 

Caliber 801

Being a watchmaker I wanted my own movement, this was a burning desire, so around 2000 I started on that quest which took a long time of prototyping, testing, and spending a lot of money!   It was around 2007 that we had the first working Caliber 801 movement that we could finally offer in an RGM model.

Over the next 5 years we added two other movements, our Tourbillon and the Caliber 20. We have a couple of other movement designs on the drawing table now.  

 

Bespoke "Custom" RGM

Another quest I had was bringing Engine-Turning in-house, this took years to develop but we did it and have been making our own Engine-Turned dials for several years now.  We own 6 machines, and this equipment is getting harder and harder to find.

I also wanted to keep expanding what we could offer on the bespoke or custom made side of the business, this has grown every year as we offer a service almost no one else does. Designing a custom watch with an individual is one of the best parts of my job, and the satisfaction of building something special for the owner is very gratifying. 

Repair and restoration of watches is another area we have always concentrated on, it helps us stay informed on what others are doing and we also learn from what has been done in the past.  I also feel an obligation to bring old watches back to life, it’s a way of keeping history alive. 

I hope you enjoyed this little walk done memory lane with me.

Roland Murphy

PS. Since this is our 25th anniversary year keep watching as we introduce new and special things throughout the year.

 

Sean Burch Wears An RGM On World Record Climbs in Nepal

Sean Burch contacted us in 2016 and told us about his expedition, and that he needed a rugged watch to accompany him on his climbs. He had seen our Model 300 Diver and thought it would be the perfect watch to survive the elements. 

We were very happy to help Sean and become a partner on such a historic expedition, and of-course we agreed that our Model 300 was up to the task to perform well in the extreme environment, which it did.

 

Sean Burch  "I am in Love with your watches, especially the Model 300 Professional Diver. It preformed flawlessly"


We will make a Limited Edition of 5 watches with the same case back engraving as Sean's watch to help commemorate this historic expedition.

 

 

Expedition summary:

WASHINGTON, DC......... American explorer Sean Burch has returned home after setting a new
official world record by making the most first ascents of previously
unclimbed mountains in Nepal's history. Burch made 31 first ascents in 21
days climbing in previously unexplored areas within the remote regions of far Western Nepal.

Burch spent up to 16 hours a day climbing, and battled severe winds, high altitude, snowstorms, trench foot,
frostbite, and extreme hypothermia after a near helicopter evacuation was needed by the American Embassy in Kathmandu after an
unplanned overnight bivouac in sub-freezing temperatures high up on a mountain due to his team’s logistical error. 

Burch remarked, “A major reason for this expedition was to document uncharted mountains that were high enough to be unspoiled by humans in order to show climate change as it occurs in real-time, which I have done so in the past with many of my previous expeditions. To have the expedition almost end, and then be able to continue and achieve this latest world record in a country so dear to my heart is a dream come true."

Burch was named Honorary Goodwill Ambassador to Nepal by its county’s government in 2011 for his humanitarian efforts
within the country. This latest world record was authenticated and verified from three government entities in Nepal.  

Burch has been working to help raise awareness and funds for the people of Nepal for almost 15 years, and with this expedition was tying to promote The Nepal Trust for their support towards improving community development, especially women and child health. Burch worked with local indigenous Nepalese from Humla district to stimulate their local income economy and promote tourism in Nepal overall.

 

Sean Burch's website

A portion of his interview on CNN last week regarding the expedition: Click Here

You can also see the watch here

RGM Does Engine-Turning for Martin D200 and makes a watch to go with it.

The 2,000,000th Martin Guitar was a very special project; that guitar will find its home in the C.F. Martin Museum at the factory in Nazareth, PA.   The D-200 Guitars are inspired by the Two Millionth and will be limited to just 50 pieces.  Each D-200 guitar will be delivered with a brand new RGM watch that was designed to go with the guitar.  The dial has a larger opening in the center to give you the feel of a guitar's sound hole.

We also made the Engine-Turned sound hole ring for each Guitar and designed the tuner knobs.  We worked closly with Martin on the general layout and design of watch themed body and neck of the guitar like we did on the two millionth. 

C.F. Martin Link to 2,000,000. Guitar

C.F. Martin Link to D-200 Guitar

RGM / Martin D-200 watch features

1.       316L stainless steel case made in the USA.

2.       Solid silver Hand cut Engine-Turned Guilloche dial made in the USA.

3.       Swiss automatic movement with 14K solid gold winding rotor made in the USA.

4.       Blued steel hands

5.       Scratch resistant Sapphire crystals front and back.

6.       Leather and rubber watch strap for comfort and water resistance.

7.       The watch is fitted in a handmade Scatola del Tempo leather box made in Italy.

Back of Chris Martin's watch  (CEO of C.F. Martin)  His is the only one with the center of the case in Titanium. 

C.F. Martin D-200

RGM Caliber 20 In the Two Millionth Martin Guitar

The watch in the head stock of the C.F. Martin Two Millionth guitar is based on our Caliber 20 model. We modified the main-plate to have the same shape as a head stock.  

We also made a much bigger crown for this one off special.

The case is something very special and complicated, we needed to integrate two of the tuners in the case to conserve space, it was very time consuming to design. 

More details to come!

RGM Collaborates On Two Millionth Martin Guitar

We have been working on this project with Martin Guitar for almost 3 years now.   We have created a special version of our Caliber 20 movement to fit in the head stock of the 2,000,000. Martin Guitar, a major milestone for Martin.  We were also involved in the design or the watch themed body, and made several parts for the project. We made the tuner knobs, tuner bodies, the case that holds two tuners and the watch its self.   We also did a lot of Engine-Turning, including the sound hole ring, tuner knobs, inlays in the body, and other parts.

Martin is also making the D200 model that is inspired by the 2,000,000. guitar, we were also involved in this limited edition project making parts for the Guitar and making a watch that will go along with each guitar. 

This was a once and a life time type of project and we are proud to have shared the experience with such a great company as C.F. Martin.

See video below for more information.

RGM and Real Guilloché (Engine-Turning)

We love Engine-Turning here at RGM, in fact our first watch we ever made had a real hand cut Engine-Turned dial, its a hallmark of RGM.

Many companies stamp their dials to try and look like real hand cut Engine-Turning, but of course here at RGM we need the real deal.

We love Engine-Turning so much we have 5 machines and do our own turning in house.

Link to Engine-Turning Page

RGM 151 Pilot Watches

RGM and pilot watches started back in the mid 90's with the model 107-P., since then we have made many different models but none more popular the the 151 versions.

151-PR

The first 151 models had cases made in Germany, after we made our first cases here for the Tourbillon and the 801 we were running low on the 151 cases. We decided it would be a perfect model to switch the case making to the USA, we have been making the cases here now for over 6 years.

The many faces of the 151 - We have several dial and hand options which help make the 151's very popular, and of course the pilot watch look is the main theme.

Link to 151 page

Below you will several variations.

151-A

151-P

151-PW

151-B

151-OP

2016 End Of Year Opportunity On The RGM Model 455 Chronographs!

We decided to bring back this limited opportunity we offered last year.

Here at RGM we price our watches at the price they sell for, we have the best quality at every price point so it makes sense.   With that said we have decided to have a special on the model 455 chronographs from now until the end of the year.  

Its a rare opportunity that will only be offered on our blog and social media, that way this special is for those who follow RGM only.

Today through December 31, 2016 anyone mentioning the special will get 25% off any model 455 Chronograph. 

Link to all RGM 455 Chronographs 

Enjoy!

RGM

RGM Watch Straps, a Visit To Jean Rousseau One of Our Sources!

Here at RGM we use 4 different companies for our watch straps. The reason we use more then one is different companies have different strengths and specialties. We use Stylecraft from the USA, Jean Rousseau from Paris France and USA, Hirsch from Austria, and Camille Fournet from Paris France.

Recently we visited Jean Rousseau's boutique and workshop in New York. They are a French company with most of their production coming from Paris.  They opened their USA branch to be able to react to customer demand quickly.  In the New York workshop they can make straps within a week on rush orders.

 

We visited so we could look at skins, colors, and linings so we can have a better idea what is possible.

First RGM One Handed Watch.

This beautiful custom RGM was a delight to design with the client.  He wanted a clean looking classic watch with our American made 801 movement. He also wanted to customize the movement as you can see.  We took the watch to WatchTime New York last week to show in our display and it was very well received! 

Dial- Custom Grande Feu white enamel with the track divided for easy reading of the time with just the hour hand.

Movement- Modified single hand RGM 801 with optional Motor-Barrel system and custom solid gold hand engraved balance bridge, with a precision Swan Neck regulator.  The regulator will become a 801 option soon on our website.

RGM Will Be At WatchTime NY This Month

We have done many of the WatchTime events over the last several years, it's great to get out and see many of our clients and friends an meet new ones.  

This year we will be bringing a Rose Engine so we can demonstrate how we cut those beautiful patterns on our Engine-Turned dials. For those of you who have not visited our workshop this is a rare opportunity to see a Rose Engine working.   It's not easy to move one of these around but we think it will be worth it.

We hope to see you there October 14 or 15

Link to Event  

Need A Smaller Watch? The RGM Model 107

The RGM Model 107 is the oldest model in the our line-up and one of the smallest. If you need a smaller watch this could be just the one.  It is also very thin, see specs below.

Case:  316L Stainless Steel, 35.0 mm x 7.5 mm. Sapphire crystal front and back, 18 mm lug width and water-resistant to 5-ATM.

Click here for webpage

Our Pennsylvania Tourbillon

Our Tourbillon movement is the second in-house movement we did following our Caliber 801, the Caliber 20 came later.  We wanted to make a Tourbillon movement that had a large cage that would be easy to see from the front, back, and side.  To achieve this we had to make our own cage which is not an easy thing to accomplish, but it does set us apart from many as very few watchmakers make their own Tourbillon cage and movement.

Here is a link to details about our Tourbillon "Click Here"

WOSTEP's 50th Anniversary

Last Friday WOSTEP in Neuchatel Switzerland celebrated its 50th anniversary with an open house, and had short lectures by several former students. I was honored to be one of the former students asked to speak at this momentous occasion. 

Congratulation to WOSTEP for their dedication and advancement of watchmaking education!

From left to right in the picture is:

Maarten Pieters - Director of WOSTEP
Tim Gronefeld - Gronefeld
Bart Gronefeld - Gronefeld
Roland Murphy - RGM
Kari Voutilainen - Voutilainen
Stephen McGonigle - McGonigle
Stephen Forsey - Greubel Forsey
Jean-Patrice Hofner- President WOSTEP

RGM's Color on Guilloché (Engine-Turning)

In the past we made several models with galvanic color on our Engine-Turned dials. Like the 151-E dials pictured here, and also some of our old Chronographs, and the 110-A alarm watches.  

We can do many colors so if you desire some color with your Custom Guilloché (Engine-Turned) dial we can work with you to create a design thats just for you.

Some of the more popular colors are dark blue, copper or rose, and black or gray gold.

Add some color to your wrist!