Richard Paige, of Rpaige Watch Co., and Mark Carson have teamed up to create the wildly art deco Rpaige “Crash of ’29” watch which is being funded on Kickstarter. Mark designed the case, dial, and hands, and the watches will feature the restored vintage or antique American pocket watch movements which Richard uses in his Rpaige watches.
The Genesis Of The Project:
Richard Paige: After the successful introduction of my Duo-Face reversible watch, where Mark designed the case for me, I challenged him to come up with something unexpected. I really wanted to be surprised.
Mark Carson: I know that Richard is a huge art deco fan and that his Wrocket line of wrist watches have art deco detailing. I’d done the design for an art deco watch a couple of years back but it was dimensioned around a smaller movement.
RP: I knew that whatever Mark came up with, it had to use the vintage American pocket watch movements that I lovingly restore and craft into my Rpaige watches.
MC: So I scaled up my design just enough to accommodate the classic movements Richard uses, and then I sent the drawing off to Richard in December, 2014.
RP: I was blown away. It was exactly what I was looking for, even though I didn’t know that when I gave Mark the challenge. I wanted something that pushes the envelope of design, without going over the top, where it gets “overdesigned” and looks cartoonish. I knew that the watch would be “big” to accommodate my 39mm vintage/antique American pocket watch movements. I think the Rpaige Crash Of ’29 watch achieves the right balance of size and style.
MC: My intent was to take art deco to the max. The case, dial, and hands are all designed together in the style that exploded onto the world stage in the 1920s and really found its zenith in the 1930s.
RP: I’m a collector of Art Deco, and I had several watch/jewelry retail stores in San Francisco that were done in this style of design theme. The Art Deco art movement really began in Paris with the introduction of the design at the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts in 1925. And the design traveled worldwide. America advanced the design with architecture in the 1920s and 1930s.
MC: My watch design is not an homage to any particular vintage watch, but rather, is inspired by the geometric forms found in great examples of Art Deco architecture.
RP: I always wanted to do a watch that evoked the great architectural revolution of New York City in the 1920’s and 1930’s. I love the Empire State Building, but my favorite has always been the Chrysler building, and this watch makes me feel like I have the Chrysler Building on my wrist.
RP: Naming a watch after the stock market crash of October 24, 1929, was a dramatic choice but one we both really like a lot. It brought a smile to our faces each time we suggested it when we were searching for just the right name for the watch. The 1920s and 1930s were a golden age for American pocket watch manufacturing as well as an expanding period for Art Deco in America.
MC: So it made perfect sense to combine Richard’s restored golden age watch movements with a newly designed case, dial, and hands that reflected the period’s design ethos. We kicked around a couple of branding ideas but concluded that it is best to introduce this watch as an Rpaige watch, since the use of vintage American pocket watch movements best aligns with Richard’s brand DNA while my brand offerings have a more contemporary tone.
RP: For the past 9 months, this project has been a labor of love for Mark and me, and we are excited with our progress so far. As a watch designer myself, and fourth generation watchmaker, seeing a watch go from wild idea, to working drawings, to actual working prototype has been a wild and exciting ride. Now, we just need funding support in order to bring these watches into the world to be enjoyed by other watch enthusiasts and collectors like Mark and myself.
We will be offering this design in a limited edition of just 49 watches. Each watch will have a fully restored vintage American pocket watch movement from the 1920s or 1930s and will be hand assembled in America using our newly produced cases, dials, and hands. Each movement will reflect the diversity of decoration offered by American brands of the period. So the movements in the 49 watches in this limited series will have varying styles of decoration and years of production.
Shown is a prototype watch case hand-crafted by a production partner. The Rpaige Crash Of ’29 production watches will feature a sapphire crystal and exhibition back. A prototype dial has been mounted into the watch case along with a restored movement. The images and the render show the design of the art deco production hands and were “photoshopped” in the photos. A few details, such as the crown, are expected to evolve functionally from the shown prototype watch.
- Width: 49.7 mm
- Height: 57.5 mm
- Thickness: 12.7 mm
- Case: 316L Stainless Steel
- Crystals: Sapphire – top and bottom
- Movement: Restored vintage or antique American pocket watch “12 size” movement (Waltham, Elgin, or Illinois)
- Strap: 22 mm leather – tapers to 20 mm at the buckle
- Water Resistance: 50 meters
- Warranty: 12 months
- Price: $3,500 retail – from $2,400 on Kickstarter (for early supporters)
Help us put a piece of Americana on your wrist by supporting our Kickstarter project.
— Mark & Richard
Disclosure: Mark Carson and Richard Paige are both Contributing Writers for aBlogtoWatch.
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