Monochrome Watches
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RGM Take The Tourbillon Back to its Roots… Sort Of

| By Frank Geelen | 2 min read |
RGM Pennsylvania Tourbillon pendant

22 Years ago, Roland G. Murphy founded the RGM Watch Company in Pennsylvania, USA. Yes indeed, in the USA, and that makes RGM one of the few true American watchmaking companies (Xetum, for instance, has their timepieces are manufactured and assembled in Switzerland). What Roland Murphy has achieved actually pretty amazing, as RGM not only manufacture their own Caliber 801, but also another own Caliber 20 (that we covered here) and the Pennsylvania Tourbillon Caliber, America’s only serially produced tourbillon caliber. 

The tourbillon, originally invented by Abraham-Louis Breguet around 1795, when they only had pocket watches. It compensates the force that gravity has on the fragile escapement parts of a pocket watch. The very idea is build on the position of how a pocket watch is worn, vertically in your pocket, crown up. This is of course much different from a wrist watch that has to perform in many positions, not only in the vertical position with the crown up. Now RGM has created a new watch with the Pennsylvania Tourbillon Caliber and it’s a pocket watch!

RGM Pennsylvania Tourbillon pendant

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RGM takes the tourbillon back to its roots by putting their Pennsylvania Tourbillon Caliber in a pocket watch. This pocket watch pendant tourbillon is crafted from 18k yellow and 18k rose gold, and was custom-made for one of RGM’s customers. And that is something that is typical for a small independent watchmaking company, like Roland Murphy’s company. The personal contact between the buyer and the maker, the possibility to personalize your watch, by either printing or engraving on the dial, or a personalized guilloché patterns or custom skeletonization of the movement.

RGM Pennsylvania Tourbillon pendant

This new piece features many customizations and nearly every component of this watch was modified or produced especially for it. The case is made from 18k rose gold with yellow gold bezels (on both sides). The main tourbillon bridge is created from solid rose gold and decorated with hand engraved lily blossoms and a single winged lion. Two of the lilies appear to hold the tourbillon cage jewel in place. The dial is a hand-finished solid silver dial with unique flower-shaped markers and blued steel hands; everything is shaped in to the customer’s ideas. The finished piece is suspended from a solid gold rope chain, so it can be worn vertically: exactly the position for which it was developed in the first place. Although I don’t think that the old Abraham-Louis Breguet thought of his pocket watches would ever be worn like this….

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