American watch brands once dominated the world of horology. However, only one company in the entire country can legitimately claim to make its own movements (other than some artisan watchmakers who make fewer than five pieces per year). Seriously, only one. That company is RGM. And this watch, the 801-A, contains one of those American-made movements: the beautiful Caliber 801.
RGM first used the Caliber 801 in dress watches. Then RGM used the movement in its first sports watch, the 801-A. The “A” in the model name stands for aircraft, because the dial of this watch was based on the design of a cool World War II Hamilton 37500 Cockpit Clock, which you can see here.
The names of RGM’s watches are straightforward, but different from what other companies do, in that the watches take their names from the movements inside them. Therefore, the watches that feature the Caliber 801 movement are also called 801. So, for example, there’s the 801-A, 801-E, 801-S, etc. You can discern an 801-A from an 801-E from the external components of the watch, like the cases and dials.
The 801-A has three dial variations, displayed here (from www.rgmwatches.com):
Our 801-A has the classic 1-12 as the hour markers. It was purchased directly from RGM just after the watch was introduced in 2012. Not only is it one of the first 801-A watches ever to be purchased, but it also bears the distinction of “probably” (according to RGM) being the very first one with this particular dial.
The serial number on the movement might not seem like a very low number, but that’s because it’s the movement serial number, not the serial number of the watch itself. That’s because RGM numbers their movements consecutively, regardless of which watch the movement inhabits. From this knowledge, we can assume that the first 75 or so of Caliber 801 movements went into dress watches, and then into a mix of dress watches and sport watches after that.
The 801-A is still available for purchase from the brand. However, if you’d like to purchase this watch new form RGM, it would set you back $9100, which includes $850 for the wolfs tooth winding wheels. So you’re getting a decent discount here, plus a cool early serial number in an already pretty sweet watch.
This watch is a full box and papers set, and includes an original RGM leather strap that came with the watch.
Case: Stainless steel, 42mm with sapphire exhibition case back
Movement: Caliber 801 manual wind movement
Dial: Black dial with luminous Arabic numerals
Condition: Watch is in very good condition
Includes: Box and papers
There was a time when America dominated the world of horology. That day is long past, and today there is only one company in the entire country that can legitimately claim to make their own movements (other than some artisan watchmakers that make less than 5 pieces per year). Seriously, only one. That company is RGM. Seeing how few brands have been able to do this while being outside of the watch hubs of Switzerland and Germany gives you an idea of how difficult this is.