A little over a decade ago, Roland G. Murphy of RGM Watch Co. did something completely unexpected. Defying mainstream horological expectations, Murphy conceptualized and executed the first American-made, in-house movement since 1969. Given the name Caliber 801, Murphy followed it up in 2010 with the RGM Pennsylvania Tourbillon, containing RGM Caliber MM2 (for “manufacture movement 2”), with a tourbillion fully constructed in the horological heartland of Lancaster County, PA. In 2013, RGM celebrated its 20th anniversary with the firm’s third in-house movement (and first shaped one), Caliber 20. Five years later, movement #4 was released that used Caliber 801 as a base and added a central seconds hand. This year, Murphy returns to Caliber 801 once again with a skeletonized take that took him over a year to develop.
The PS-801 Skeleton features a solid gold plaque at the bottom of the dial, dividing the seconds indicator into thirds. The three arm second hand enables a clear view of the movement and the escapement. The different lengths of the arms of the second hand allow for easy reading of the seconds as they pass. All of the movement’s components are hand finished using traditional techniques.
Murphy says that he was inspired by skeletonized timepieces of the early 20th century which were often less ornate than what you see today and focused on functionality rather than pure aestheticism. The PS-801 Skeleton is housed in a polished stainless steel Pennsylvania series case that is made in Lancaster County, PA, and finished by hand.