RGM Model 350-TZBD: An American-Made Watch for International Travelers

Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based RGM, the only watch company to serially produce a high-end mechanical watch movement in the United States since the 1960s, is ushering in its 2018 production year with a new complication. The Model 350-TZBD, which combines a big date display with a second-time-zone indication, is this week’s Watch to Watch.

RGM 350-TZBD - front
The big date display is front and center at 12 o’clock.

The RGM Model 350-TZBD (the model’s initials stand for “Time Zone Big Date;” for the uninitiated, the brand name “RGM” refers to its founder, American watchmaker Roland G. Murphy) has a 316L stainless steel case, 38.7 mm in diameter and 12 mm thick, with a curved sapphire crystal over the dial and an additional sapphire pane in the back offering a view of the movement.

RGM 350-TZBD - crown
The grooved crown sets the time in both time zones.

The black dial sports big, legible Arabic numerals in a vintage-style font, paired with dot hour markers that are coated with Super-LumiNova. The date appears in a double window beneath the 12 o’clock position, and a subdial at 6 o’clock hosts a very intuitive second time zone display, with two hands pointing to the time on a 12-hour scale. Super-LumiNova also coats the sword-shaped, rhodium-treated hour and minute hands, as well as the small hands and numerals of the subdial, allowing for the times in both selected time zones to be read easily in the dark. All the watch’s functions, including a quick-change adjustment for the big date and the time, are set through the single crown, as demonstrated in this video, narrated by Murphy himself.

RGM 350-TZBD - lume
Both time zones can be easily read in the dark.

The watch is powered not by one of Murphy’s in-house calibers but by a modified ETA 2892-A2, a self-winding movement with a 28,800-vph frequency and a 42-hour power reserve. RGM has added a Swiss-made module for the big date display and the second time zone indication and fitted the base movement with its own rotor, with côtes de Genève and an engraved RGM logo. Rhodium plating and perlage finishing appears on the plates and bridges.

RGM 350 TZBD - back
The movement is a modified, Swiss-made ETA 2892-A2

The RGM Model 350-TZBD is mounted on a Hirsch performance strap, described by Murphy as “durable and comfortable,” which pairs a rubber base with an inlaid, brown leather surface with white contrast stitching. The watch is priced at $3,700, and is aimed at frequent travelers who, in Murphy’s words, “want something both easy to use and easy to read at a glance — and to know what time it is, and what day it is, in two locations at any time of the day.”

RGM 350-TZBD - knife
RGM 350-TZBD – knife
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  1. Chuck Herbaugh

    It’s a nice looking watch. It could pass for a twin of the Ball Engineer Master II Voyager I own. The Ball has the same layout and same base calibre.

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