RGM Watch Company, named for the initials of its founder, Roland G. Murphy, is famously based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, an area with a rich watchmaking history. Murphy chose to honor the state’s founder, William Penn, with an eponymous timepiece in the early years of his company’s founding. The so-called William Penn Model returns this year, in a 10-piece limited edition with a new old-stock case, dial, and hands — and makes its public debut at our upcoming WatchTime New York collectors’ event in October.
The original William Penn Models, which debuted in 1999 and 2000, were available in three variations, one with a date display, another with subsidiary seconds, and another with a moon-phase and power reserve display. It is that third, most complicated model that is resurrected for this modern timepiece. Its rectangular case, in either 18k rose gold or 316L stainless steel, measures 40 mm x 28 mm, with sapphire crystals in the front and back. Since the cases date back to RGM’s early period, before the company was able to bring much of its manufacturing in-house, they are Swiss-made.
The dial, on the other hand, is brand-new and American-made. Machined from solid argentium silver — a material more pure than traditional sterling silver — it is lavishly finished with a hand-cut, engine-turned guilloché motif in its center, executed by one of the very few antique rose-engines that remain in existence in the U.S.A. Blued steel vintage-style hands tell the time on Roman numerals. The watch’s 42-hour power reserve is displayed by another blued hand in the upper right sector, with its own distinctive guilloché pattern, while the moon-phase aperture sits at 6 o’clock above a round plaque with the RGM logo.
The manual-winding, tonneau-shaped movement is Swiss-made and RGM-modified. Dubbed the RGM/Jaquet 736, it hails originally from the historical movement-maker now known as La Joux-Perret and has been enhanced with a rhodium finish and horological flourishes like perlage, blued screws, and côtes de Genève. The watch — of which 6 of the 10 pieces have already been sold, according to the company — comes on an alligator leather strap with a pin buckle in a material that matches the case.
Want a chance to see these ultra-rare timepieces up close? Reserve your tickets now for America’s luxury watch show, WatchTime New York, at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall on October 26-27!
Had a RGM the round chrono about 20 years ago. Still looking for a rectangle model @ right price??? Rose gold if possible??? Now in fl. then Bryn Mawr.