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Murphy Watch Marks Milestone

- By Keith Lehman (PA) 01/25/18

RGM’s Watch Co.’s milestone watch. The National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors logo is on the dial and the Museum’s 40th anniversary logo is etched on the exhibition case on the back of the watch.
RGM’s Watch Co.’s milestone watch. The National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors logo is on the dial and the Museum’s 40th anniversary logo is etched on the exhibition case on the back of the watch.

On November 29, 2017, the National Watch & Clock Museum officially celebrated its 40th anniversary of its opening to the public in 1977. The Museum is the Western Hemisphere’s largest public timepiece museum with a collection of more than 13,000 clocks, watches, and timepiece-related items. Countless exhibit openings, parties, and educational programs have delighted visitors from all corners of the world.

RGM Watch Co., longtime friend of the Museum, made a one-of-a-kind watch to mark the Museum’s milestone. The watch was presented during the Museum’s anniversary celebration and has been proudly displayed in its lobby since the event.

Watchmaker Roland Murphy standing beside 40th Anniversary Watch
Watchmaker Roland Murphy standing beside 40th Anniversary Watch.

I asked Roland Murphy, CEO of RGM Watch Co., what making this watch and what the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors 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.” RGM Watch Co. recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with a ceremony at the Museum.

The Museum has been a fount of inspiration for Murphy over the years. Pieces in the collection inspired him to make the PS-801-BB “Baseball in Enamel” and the PS-801-CH “Chess in Enamel.” Both watches were covered in past articles in the Watch & Clock Bulletin1 and WatchNews.

The PS-801-BB Baseball in Enamel
The PS-801-BB “Baseball in Enamel”
The PS-801-CH Chess in Enamel.
The PS-801-CH “Chess in Enamel.”

“The willingness of RGM Watch Co. to produce a one-of-a-kind watch commemorating the 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,” explains Museum Director Noel Poirier. “The funds that will be raised from the auction of this timepiece will help the Museum continue to fulfill its mission. Ultimately, we hope that the purchaser of the watch appreciates it as much as we do.”

This watch will excite any wristwatch enthusiast, but especially devotees of the NAWCC, the Museum, and the RGM Watch Co. On January 15, 2018, the watch went up for auction on the Museum’s eBay store. Bidding ended January 25, 2018, and sold for $7,200 with the proceeds to aid the Museum’s mission to preserve the art, science, history, and technology of time and timekeeping.

Note

1. See Harris, Adam. “Baseball in enamel: RGM celebrates the American pastime and creates an American masterpiece.” Watch & Clock Bulletin, No. 413 (January/February 2015): 16–22; and Kinabrew, J. M. Jr. “The Paul Morphy presentation watch: Where is it now?” NAWCC Bulletin, No. 286 (October 1993): 567–569.

Watch Details:

RGM Model 151-b: RGM/ETA 2892-A2. Stainless
Steel case, brushed. Polished bezel. Blue dial
With custom printing (see below). On Hirsch
Strap with RGM signed buckle. Serial #5060
One modification custom printed dial: NAWCC logo
Etching custom etching of case back crystal with 40th Anniversary logo
Rhodium sword hands with a red tip on the second hand

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