RGM Watch Co.: Where Past & Present Manifest

Watch brands with roots in North America
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RGM Watch Co.: Where Past & Present Manifest

Post by koimaster » June 28th 2017, 4:14pm

It’s hard to believe that one of the last true US watchmakers resides in the humble town of Mount Joy, PA—population 7,410—but it’s true. Roland G. Murphy, founder of RGM Watch Co., has married his talents in watchmaking and his appreciation of local and national history into a successful business founded on inspiration.

To better understand the gestalt of Murphy’s body of work, a brief horologic and geographic history of Lancaster County will help. Pennsylvania’s south central county, one of the oldest inland settlements of the United States, has deep and notable roots in clockmaking and watchmaking. Influenced from other famous businesses and technologically driven industries, including Conestoga Wagons, Lancaster Rifles, and Stiegel Glassworks, the county, from 1750 to 1850, boasted more clockmakers than any other settlement not only in Pennsylvania but most of the other colonies and states during that 100-year time frame.

Watchmaking came to Lancaster County in 1874 with the arrival of John C. Adams, known as “The Great American Starter,” who started six other watchmaking firms, including Illinois Watch Co. Although his businesses and many other start-up companies in the county were not successful, the stage was ultimately set for ventures like the Ezra F. Bowman Technical School and Hamilton Watch Co., one of the most famous and innovative watchmaking companies in the world. The National Watch & Clock Museum, founded by the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors (NAWCC) in 1977, is only seven miles from RGM Watch Co.



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