Roland Murphy, Watchmaker, RGM Watch Co.

"Engine turning is really a separate craft from watchmaking.  When everything is going right it is a magical thing to see this beautiful pattern being created in front of your eyes."

-- Roland Murphy, Watchmaker


Roland Murphy behind the wheel of one of his antique rose engines.  

Roland begins engraving a blank Argentium Silver watch dial.

Last week we had the pleasure of filming watchmaker Roland Murphy at RGM Watch Company, which he has owned and operated since 1992.  Based in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Roland draws his inspiration from the area's rich American watchmaking history -- the famed Hamilton Watch Company was located just a few miles away.  RGM blends modern technology with traditional old world watchmaking techniques and is the only American watch manufacturer making their own in-house movements in series -- the Caliber 20, 801, 801-SW and even a Tourbillon. 

Here, using an antique hand-cranked rose engine, Roland demonstrates the craft of Guilloché, or engine turning as it's known in english, to create an engraved "Double Barley" finish on a Argentium Silver watch dial.  The technique took him years to master and RGM is one of the very few American watch manufacturers (if not the only one) to finish watch dials and movements in this exquisite way.

As Roland hand cranks the rose engine, the pattern of various rosés can be transferred to the watch dial.

Roland's beautiful engine-turned finishing is seen here on  RGM's Caliber 20 skeleton dial.