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RGM Celebrates Their 20th Anniversary




And what better way for a watch brand could their be but to introduce a brand new watch that houses a completely new in-house movement?

If you’ve seen our earlier posts on RGM, or even done some reading on your own, you’re aware that RGM, based out of Pennsylvanie, is turning out some amazing timepieces, including their own in-house movements.  For their third one, the “Caliber 20”, they’ve gone with something called a ‘motor barrel’.  So, what is a motor barrel?
The “Motor Barrel” is an American invention and was used only on the highest grade models.  The benefit of the design is that is reduces friction and wear in the mainspring barrel bearing surfaces, thus transmitting power more efficiently.
Ok, so we we know that it’s for a high-end piece (which this new watch is).  But why is this particular variation, the motor barrel, important?  Well, for that, you need to dig into America’s watch-making past:
Top grade American railroad watches from the past had a “Motor Barrel”, models like the Illinois Bunn Special , Hamilton 950 , and others from great American Watch Brands.
And now we see the connection – railroad watches were among the first truly accurate time pieces America was turning out.  Yes, the modern-day movements can probably hold their own, but it does a watch nerd heart good to see unique and interesting bits of horology resurrected.  And, if these even holds up to part of the claims of greater efficiency, all the better.

So, by far, the movement is the star of this particular show.  If you house a diamond in a dunghill, however, it’ll lose it’s appeal.  Thankfully, the machining they do over at RGM for the dial and cases is top-notch.    Here, we’ve got a stainless steel 42.5mm x 38.5mm case measuring in at only 9.7mm (benefit of manual wind).

Set into that case you’ve got a sapphire crystal up front protecting the dial – and with that, you have your choice of a skeleton (which is pictured here, and lets you see that stunning movement) or full guilloche dial (for more on that, check out this post).  Though, I’m guessing there could be some more adjustments made in the design (within reason).  That’s because at the asking price of $19,500, if you’re picking one of these up, you’re not expecting pure “off the shelf”.

For us normal folk, this is more an exercise in technical skill and design beauty.  For my part, I really like seeing that our local manufacturers are really stepping up the game and designing new and unique movements.

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