RGM Watch Co. is currently the only vertically integrated American brand with in-house, ground-up movements, cases and dials. Weiss Watch Company out of Los Angeles also produces an in-house movement (Calibre 1003), but it’s closely modelled after the Swiss ETA-Unitas 6497. What RGM does is slightly different, as we’ve seen with our review of this Classic Enamel watch powered by the Calibre 801. Based on the same movement, the brand introduces today a new openworked version, named the RGM Watch Co. PS-801-Skeleton.
We recently reviewed RGM’s Classic Enamel PS-801-CE that featured the calibre 801, introduced in 2007 and the first in-house movement for the brand. Designed and manufactured in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, it was the first American-made calibre in decades. The new hand-wound PS-801-Skeleton features an evolution of this movement with a classic skeletonized variation. Inspiration came from skeleton watches of the early 20th century, which were less ornate than many contemporary offerings with a functional aesthetic. RGM has leveraged the style to introduce some intriguing design elements as well.
Although a seconds “sub-dial” is located in the familiar 6 o’clock position, its function is anything but ordinary. There’s a solid gold plaque shaped like an inverted arch at the bottom of the dial, featuring three rows of a minute that are divided into thirds (0 to 20, 20 to 40 and 40 to 60). The seconds hand is actually three hands of differing lengths, each rotating across its corresponding row. For example, the shortest hand sweeps over the 0 to 20 row, while the longest sweeps over the 40 to 60 row. An unconventional method of relaying seconds to be sure, but also very eye-catching and it enables a clear view of the movement and escapement.
The blued steel hour and minute hands have RGM’s classic keystone aesthetic, seen on many of its calibre 801 pieces. Hand-finishing of the movement includes a matte grain finish with polished bevels (anglage) on the bridges and main plate, perlage and an engraved balance bridge with swan neck regulator. There’s also a unique seven-tooth winding click. An outermost minute track has Roman numerals at 12, 3 and 9 o’clock, and a small plaque at 10 o’clock displays the edition number. At 12 o’clock there’s a gold plaque with RGM engraved.
The movement is housed in a polished, Pennsylvania-series 316L stainless steel case. It’s rather large at 43.3mm in diameter and 12.3mm in height, but the size offers an expansive view of the new calibre. An optional smaller case at 42mm in diameter and 10.5mm in height is available as well. Both cases have 22mm lug widths (with an alligator strap) and water-resistance to 50 meters. An 18K rose gold case is also an option. As expected, sapphire crystals are standard on the front and back, providing an unfettered view of every component. The PS-801-Skeleton has 19 jewels, beats at 18,000vph (2.5Hz) with a 44-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours and minutes, and sub-dial seconds at 6 o’clock.
The stainless steel model retails for USD 21,400 and the 18K rose gold model retails for USD 34,200. All new models are available to order and more information can be found at RGM’s website.