RGM Re-Creates Iconic View Of Yosemite National Park In Stone Marquetry
Yosemite National Park in northern California is for many nature lovers perhaps the greatest of all of the United States of America’s wondrous natural gifts with its ancient sequoia trees, towering rock granite formations, many waterfalls, 1,300 kilometers’ worth of breathtaking trails for walkers and hikers of every level, abundance of wildlife, crystal blue lakes, and super sweet, fresh air.
Called Ahwahnee (“big mouth”) by the indigenous people who lived there until the Mariposa Battalion of the California State Militia drove them out around 1851 in the Mariposa Wars, “Yosemite” refers to the Miwok tribe.
A few days or weeks within the park is like stopping time: it gives the body and mind space to breathe and rejuvenate.
I wish I could be relaxing in Yosemite Park’s lush Central Sierra embrace right now. But, alas, traveling to this all-American landmark is sadly very unlikely for quite a while – at least until the world stabilizes again. For now, my lovely memories of sunny family vacations in a natural paradise will have to suffice.
RGM Yosemite stone marquetry dial: the view
Luckily for anyone else who might be missing what could be a favorite place on earth, RGM has something special for just two lucky owners: a watch with a beautiful stone marquetry dial offering one of the most iconic views of this national treasure featuring three of its most prominent landmarks.
Called Tunnel View, the vista is so famous because it shows off three of the park’s most prominent features framed by wondrous natural beauty as far as the eye can see. Tunnel View is easily reached right off the highway.
On the left side of the dial (and as seen from the famous Tunnel View), El Capitan is pictured, the granite monolith that one may pinpoint as the poster child of Yosemite’s extraordinary features. One kilometer of pure, vertical granite makes up the steep face of this landmark rock.
The center features Half Dome in the distance, another famous landmark rock formation, rising 1,444 meters into the sky. In case you’re interested, Half Dome is quite a bit easier to hike than El Capitán – until you get to the last 120 meters, where the steep ascent necessitating two steel cables as handholds (and a permit obtained in advance) make it more than challenging. A permit is necessary in high summer, as the park has registered as many as 1,000 hikers per day on that trail.
On the right of the Tunnel View pictured on the dial, Bridalveil Fall (188 meters) is visible, one of the many beautiful examples of the hundreds of waterfalls in Yosemite, both because of its prominent positioning in the park and for the fact that it flows all year round.
Famous for its high concentration of waterfalls, the park is also home to Yosemite Falls (739 meters), the highest waterfall in North America.
RGM Yosemite stone marquetry dial: this is art
The art of marquetry is about the interplay of grains, color, and texture using different types of stone to create a “puzzle” that achieves a precise artistic image. In some ways, marquetry is not that different from watchmaking, which also uses many small parts to form a complicated whole – one that looks simple yet artistic in the end.
RGM founder Roland Murphy explained that he found an artisan in eastern Europe capable of completing the oeuvre he had in mind. “We used several pictures, including some I took, to create the artwork used to make the dial.”
The artisan’s aim is to make the image as realistic as conceivable. From a distance, these dials almost look like paintings themselves, which is achieved with the help of detailed sketches before beginning the arduous work of placing slivers of stone together.
“We had two dials made and each is slightly different,” Murphy explained – which means two lucky people will get to own this watch in slightly different variations should they so desire. And each is a unique piece.
RGM Model 25 Yosemite: an all-American case
RGM’s Model 25 watches have an American made case. Inspired by the brand’s larger Pennsylvania series watches, the case has a ribbed, coin-edge case band, a beautifully contoured bezel, and downwardly curved lugs.
This case is not only made in the USA, it is made about as locally as it gets. The design is all RGM; the stainless steel used is sourced in the USA; and the individual case components are machined and wire-cut less than ten kilometers (six miles) away from RGM’s Mount Joy, Pennsylvania workshop. The brand’s own watchmakers and technicians do the final case finish, polish, and assembly.
As the brand’s own hand-turned guilloche dials are usually the focal point of Model 25, this case’s design was specifically made to highlight the dial with its large dial opening. Which is what you want with a genuine stone marquetry dial as well. So they are a perfect fit.
The case back of this watch is solid, but Murphy promises something special for its future owner. “We will create an artwork with the client who buys the watch for a special engraving of Yosemite.”
For more information or to place an order please visit rgmwatches.com/rgmblog/2019/11/21/rgm-stone-marquetry-watch-dial-of-yosemite-national-park.
Quick Facts RGM Model 25 Yosemite
Case: 40 x 10.4 mm, 316L stainless steel, American made
Dial: stone marquetry dial depicting Tunnel View of Yosemite National Park
Movement: automatic modified ETA 2892-A2-based caliber with custom gold rotor made by RGM, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds