RGM North Pointer GMT watch

RGM makes watches in Lancaster County,  Pennsylvania, which is a hub of American watch making. In fact, the majority of hands-on watch making that occurs in America today is in, or near Pennsylvania. A fact that strikes me as curious given the remote nature of some of these towns, but makes sense if you compare it to fine German and Swiss watch making towns. You’d be surprised to know that most of the independent watch makers in Germany and Switzerland are based in old farmhouses or alike building in tiny rural areas. take the famous Glashutte region, which is basically a one street village. I don’t know why this is, but it must mean that watch makers don’t like to be bothered. Thus, you’ll find a lot of homegrown American watch making in what is essentially Amish country. Go Figure.

RGM is a special watch company in America because they produce one of the first American made watch movements to have been developed in a long time. This movement is not in all of their watches, as they mostly use Swiss movements. The rest of the watches are mostly made in America, from the case and dial parts. RGM is priced at the high end for American made watches, but is still reasonably priced by European standards. Now let’s look at their newest model, The North Pointer Professional GMT model 254 watches.

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RGM Richard Saches North Pointer Limited Watch

The North Pointer is a nice no-nonsense watch. The moniker “professional” is apt, as this is a handsome watch fit for function. A Limited Edition Richard Sachs edition (only 20 pieces at about $3,500 each)  is also available. Richard Sachs makes hand-built bicycles in Connecticut, and is highly applauded as a master bike maker. With a snug fitting rubber strap and easy to read dial, the RGM North Pointer makes a fitting cycling watch. Let’s look a bit at the design of the dial. You’ll notice it separated in to three concentric circles. The outermost circle serves to indicate minutes, then the middle ring is for the hours, and finally, the center ring serves to indicate the hours for the 24 hour GMT hand. This visual separation really assists with legibility, as do the large diving watch like hands. The watch also has a the date and an out of the way minimalist seconds hand. Overall the design reminds me a lot of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and Aqualung watches.

RGM North Pointer watch back

The movement inside is a high-grand ETA 2893-2 that is modified a bit and decorate. This is ETA’s best GMT movement. The case itself is 38.5mm wide and antimagnetic. It is also water resistant to 300 meters making it a viable diver’s watch. In addition to the rubber strap, there are also various leather straps available. Continuing with its “customization” theme, RGM offers various hands for the North Pointer watch based on your tastes.

Then there is the “North Pointer” aspect of the watch and the large “N” on the GMT hand. This is more than just for show, but you can actually determine the direction of North with the watch. Actually, this is something that can be done with any such GMT watch if you can see the sun. OK, so you place the watch in a flat horizontal position (face of the watch facing the sky). Find the sun, and then point the regular hour hand of the watch toward the sun. The GMT hand should be pointing North. Pretty cool, but not necessarily unique to this watch.

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The price for the non-Limited Edition RGM North Pointer Professional GMT watch is $2,950. Pretty decent price for the quality of this watch. I have a feeling in the future there will be a level of collectibleness, but never buy any watch because you think it is a good investment. That occurs only rarely. This is an emotional and functional purchase. www.rgmwatches.com

[Update: July 8, 2014While we value the quality of their product, in light of recent events, aBlogtoWatch will no longer cover RGM products and cannot endorse RGM as a company. – Ed. ] What’s This?

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