When Bikes and Watches Collide (but not literally): the RGM Model 500-GMT

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The RGM Watch Co. is an American watch company based on Pennsylvania and helmed by Roland Murphy, one of the very few watchmakers based in the US who has the capability and skill to build watches essentially from scratch. Most of RGM’s business is in extremely limited or completely bespoke timepieces, and Murphy occasionally works with partners to create special limited editions. The piece seen here, the Model 500-GMT, is an example of such a watch, and is the second watch produced in partnership with bicycle frame builder Richard Sachs. A bicycle maker and watchmaker might at first seem like a strange proposition for a co-branded watch, but Sachs builds bikes in an artisanal manner that watch lovers are sure to appreciate.


RGM Model 500-GMT

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Black
  • Dimensions: 41 x 11.3 x 51mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire   
  • Water Resistance: 10 ATM 
  • Crown: Screw down        
  • Movement: RGM-ETA 2893-2
  • Strap/bracelet: Leather (stainless steel bracelet coming soon)
  • Price: $4,750
  • Reference Number: n/a
  • Expected Release: Available now

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The Model 500-GMT is, believe it or not, the first RGM with a bi-directional rotating GMT bezel. The watch is fashioned as a travel ready sports watch, but loses nothing of the familiar RGM design language, which tends to veer toward classic American watchmaking styles. The most dramatic feature of the watch from a design perspective might be the deep ribbing through the case band. This gives the watch an almost imposing look – even in photos it’s obvious that the case is going to pick up tons of light with the many highly polished sides this effect creates. This does not appear to be a sports watch that will fly under the radar. 

Like all RGM watches, the watch is engineered to an extremely high standard. It features two caseback gaskets to ensure water resistance, and a thick (2mm) sapphire crystal that serves that purpose. My favorite small detail is that the engraved numerals on the GMT bezel have been filled with ceramic to prevent washing out over time. Notice, though, how thin the numerals are, and you begin to appreciate the skill and eye for detail that went into the making of the Model 500-GMT.  

The dial layout of the Model 500-GMT is simple and straightforward, without any wasted space. Large numerals at the cardinal positions and broad sword hands (that can be had skeletonized and partially lume filled, or fully lumed) help to focus the eye on the current time quickly. The dial is matte black, enhancing the sporty feel of the watch. The GMT hand is adorned with the logo from Richard Sachs’s bike making operation, and it happens to have a classic and somewhat ornate look that complements the RGM vibe really well (the logo is also engraved into the watch’s caseback). 

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The movement used here is based on the ETA 2893-2, which many readers and GMT fans will already be familiar with. This type of GMT movement allows the user to independently set the GMT hand, making the watch ideal for someone who needs to track another time zone from home (or who doesn’t mind stopping the balance to adjust the time when stepping off a plane in another timezone). The 24 hour bezel provides some added functionality, allowing the user to track a third time zone.

The RGM Model 500-GMT is limited to just 50 pieces. For ordering information, see RGM’s website. RGM

 

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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