On November 29, 2017, the National Watch & Clock Museum officially celebrates 40 years since its opening to the public. The Museum is the Western Hemisphere’s top, public timepiece museum with a collection of over 13,000 clocks, watches, and timepiece-related items. It has held countless exhibit openings, parties, and educational programs and has delighted visitors from all corners of the world.
Contributing to the Museum’s success are the hard work and creativity of a talented and devoted board of directors, workforce, and volunteer staff. Collaborating with other horological organizations and business is another key element. RGM Watch Co., longtime friend of the Museum, who recently celebrated its 25th anniversary at the Museum, has generously offered to make a one-of-a-kind watch to mark the milestone. The watch will have the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors logo on the dial and the Museum’s 40th anniversary logo etched on the exhibition case on the back of the watch.
I asked Roland Murphy, CEO of RGM Watch Co., what making this watch means to him. “I have been a member of the NAWCC for a long time. This watch is a way I can say thanks to the organization that preserves so many wonderful things from horological history.” Murphy adds, “My father died last year and he was also a longtime member. He also enjoyed the museum and NAWCC events. So, from both of us, I am happy to support all things timekeeping.”
Museum Director Noel Poirier said what this watch means to the legacy of the Museum. “The willingness of RGM Watch Co. to produce a one-of-a-kind watch commemorating the National Watch & Clock Museum’s 40th Anniversary is incredibly generous. The Museum and RGM have partnered on several occasions in the past and we are very excited to have our 40th Anniversary logo etched on a watch produced by our very good friends and supporters at RGM.” Poirier continues, “The funds that will be raised from the auction of this one-off timepiece will help the Museum continue to fulfill its mission of preserving our shared art, science, history, and technology of time and timekeeping. Ultimately, we hope that the purchaser of the watch appreciates it as much as we do.”
Forty years of existence is an important milestone. I should know because I will turn 40 next year. When I was growing up, my family owned a craft business called The Frosted Lanterns. We made wooden lanterns with custom-etched glass designs on the front with a votive candle inside. We lived in Lancaster, PA, so the designs were mostly of Dutch hearts, flowers, and distelfinks. The Frosted Lanterns were the first designed pieces I made by hand and sold for money. The significance that a logo I designed for my employer’s 40th anniversary is to be etched in glass on the back of a watch is noteworthy to me.
This watch will excite any wristwatch enthusiast but especially devotees of the NAWCC, the Museum, and RGM Watch Co. The watch is expected to be completed near the end of November 2017 and will be put up for auction shortly thereafter.