This month RGM Watch Co. is launching two very different watches: the Pro Aviator pilots’ watch, and a limited edition Baseball watch with a grand feu enamel dial, inspired by a rare, vintage Waltham pocket watch. Grand feu means “great fire” in French, and it took RGM founder Roland Murphy three years to locate an artisan to bring his dream to life.
The RGM Pennsylvania Series 801 “Baseball in Enamel” timepiece is inspired by a rare 1892 American Waltham Watch Co. pocket watch with a special baseball-themed enamel dial. RGM Watch Company founder Roland Murphy discovered the Waltham while touring the National Watch and Clock Museum a few years ago, and he became intrigued by the idea of combining American watchmaking history with America’s pastime, baseball.
Murphy’s primary challenge was to locate an artist to create the intricate grand feu dial. There are only a handful of master enamellers in the world, and Murphy’s search became a three-year quest. The grand feu process is extremely demanding. It involves firing the dial repeatedly at temperatures as high as 1,650 degrees. Each firing brings with it the risk that the dial will crack. Only masters with many years of experience can create these miniature works of art.
Beneath the enamel dial is RGM’s original Caliber 801 movement. Also inspired by America’s great watchmaking history, the 801 features classically shaped bridges, and polished and blued steel components. The movement is entirely hand-finished and decorated. RGM can customize the movement, upon request.
The watch is housed in RGM’s polished, stainless steel Pennsylvania-series case. Like many of the components of the Caliber 801, the case is also made in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The keystone winding crown completes the Pennsylvania theme. The RGM Pennsylvania Series 801 “Baseball in Enamel” timepiece will be created in a limited edition of 10 pieces, priced at $13,900.
The next new piece from RGM is the model 151A Pro Aviator. The dial is a model of clarity with bold hour markers and oversize numerals in Super-LumiNova for excellent visibility under all conditions. An inner track includes the hours 13-24. A subtle calendar window at 4:30 completes the displays. Openworked hands with Super-LumiNova tips provide both a clear view of the dial and a perfectly legible time indication.
The Pro Aviator features an American-made stainless steel case measuring 38.5 mm x 9.9 mm. Inside you’ll find an ultra-reliable ETA Caliber 2892-A2 automatic movement with 21 jewels. The movement is rhodium-plated and decorated with perlage and côtes de Genève.
This model also incorporates a curved sapphire crystal and vintage-style calf leather waterproof strap.
The RGM model 151A Pro Aviator lists for $3,550 in steel. A titanium version is also available, priced at $4,350.