When you’re shopping for watches you’ll find the middle of the road, $300 to $1000 Watches, are mostly Japanese. Walk into any Macy’s or any other mid-tier retailer and look at the watches, the ones that are in the display case (Not the shit that they throw out on the floor for $25.) You’ll find they are most likely made in Japan.
Now say you want get a higher end watch. You’ll still see some Japanese made watches, but more likely you’ll find Swiss made watches, especially as you get to watches over $10,000. It’s because the Swiss excel at watchmaking. Their watches are the top of the line. They really know what the hell they are doing. Rolex is maybe the most well know Swiss brand but there are a ton more. What you won’t find much of are American made watches. 945c204b9f86c5b8b34e8e2e83f35eaf90306b4e76ec300a62
America used to be in the watch game. Up to the 1960’s, America churned out a lot of watches and clocks. However cheaper labor elsewhere killed watch manufacturing in the USA. But like the rising of the Phoenix from the ashes, American watch making is making a comeback.
RGM Watch Company was founded in 1992 by American watchmaker Roland G. Murphy. RGM makes a damn fine watch. They are right up there with Rolex, Omega, etc. And the best part is the whole watch, including the movement, is made in America. A small town in Lancaster County, PA to be exact.
Their latest watch is the 801 Corps of Engineers Watch. The watch is based on the US Corps of Engineers watches from WWI. The problem these days with making an original Corps of Engineer watch, is that they had real glass enamel dials. This is very rare in today’s watches, and can’t be imitated. So RGM decided to just recreate the process of how the originals were made.
Their site states it better than I can:
Creating an enamel watch dial is a high-risk art. Enameling is a technique in which colored powdered glass is applied to a metal plate. The surface is then heated to a temperature high enough to cause the powdered glass to melt and form a new surface. The Grand Feu technique ups the stakes. The repeated baking of successive layers of enamel at extremely high temperatures ensures a uniquely crisp aesthetic while permanently setting the enamel. Using such high heat to create these beautiful dials also poses a risk: each time it is re-fired, the danger of cracking, melting or burning increases. With great risk comes great reward – the appearance of a real glass enamel dial is unmistakable.
The time and skill that goes into this watch, as well as RGM’s Calibor 801, their original in-house American movement, means a high price tag. But if you have the means I would highly recommend one for your wrist.