The Model 222-RR by RGM is a classic American railroad watch with the slewed dial arrangement – useful when you are driving or working on a computer – that has also been used by Longines for some of their aviation-inspired watches. The case, dial and strap are modern, though following vintage inspiration, but the movement is an authentic vintage Hamilton pocket watch movement.
Lovely view through the caseback
The view through the caseback is spectacular, and it is interesting to compare it with the watches that are now made by the Swiss, Swatch-Group-owned Hamilton. Their new calibres are driven by a policy of reducing the final price and so finish is pretty much industrial, creating a rather bleak view through the sapphire caseback. A watch like the Model 222-RR is pure pleasure for anyone fascinated by fine watchmaking, and it inevitably leads to reflections on the direction taken by brands such as Hamilton and Tissot.
Box car dial
The grand feu enamel dial creates a fine backdrop for the railroad-style hands and the chunky numerals in a style introduced by Ball in 1925 and known as the box car dial. The 60° rotation of the case is a clever way of using the pocket watch movement in a wristwatch, making the crown accessible on the side of the watch. The case is 41 mm in diameter and 12 mm thick, water-resistance 5 atm.
The Model 222-RR is available with two vintage Hamilton movements, calibre 921 or calibre 923. In both cases the movement is restored by RGM with a new mainspring, and hand-polished steel components. The 923 is rarer, with only 4,000 made, while the 921 was made in larger numbers. The finish of the 923 is also more elaborate, Both run at 18,000 vibrations per hour, 2.5 Hertz, and the number of jewels is indicated by the last two digits of the reference.
The RGM Model 222-RR costs $5,900 with calibre 921, $7,900 with calibre 923. Further information from the RGM website.