RSW Le Locle Skeleton (Add your watch to the comments below…)
The RSW caliber RW24 (and RW24-S) is aa automatic watch movement found in the RSW Le Locle and RSW Le Locle Skeleton watches. The skeletonized model was redesigned with the new versions being introduced on January 1, 2023.
RSW provides almost no information about this caliber beyond the requirements listed on the rotor: 26 jewels and Swiss made. Despite this lack of information and specs, they are sure to make the bold statement that the RW24 is an in-house movement.
Previous models of the Le Locle Automatic include a solid dial (such as model RSWA122-SL-1) and an Open Heart model. Both are listed as being powered by a Swiss Technology Production (owned by Fossil) caliber STP5-15 (which is interesting because the model number referenced is a solid dial with a date but the STP5-15 is a no-date with an open balance at 12:00. Perhaps they meant STP1-11. You can’t expect watch brands selling luxury priced timepieces to actually know and present their own products accurately can you!?).
In the past, other models of the brand have been known to use Soprod movements (for example: La Neuveville Balancier Visible ref: RSWA135-SS-1).
Some of the topics covered in this caliber listing:
RSW clearly states that the RW24 is an “in-house” movement in several locations on their official site:
“Le Locle is a piece that is equipped with an in-house movement. The RW24, a movement created by the Riba Watch group. A movement developed to equip all watches that leave the manufacture’s workshops.” –Source
The Riba Watch Group they are talking about has the following watch brands: Murex Swiss Made, RSW, Optima Swiss Watch Since 1923, Mercury Switzerland, Rama Swiss, Marc Enzo Paris, GeoVani Switzerland, and Faros (source).
The RSW brand history mentions being acquired by Riba Watch Group in 2018.
“RSW watches are made in Switzerland, designed and manufactured in the watchmaking valley, Le Locle. In 2018, the brand was acquired by the Ribawatch group. The combination of the two companies within a new group will enable the international development of the company. RSW now has the means to carry out a new vision as we enter an era where the brand is defined by its values and its history.” –Source
Le Locle is a town in the Canton of Neuchâtel, a mostly French speaking region of Switzerland, close to the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds. At various points in time, Le Locle has been headquarters to many well-known watch brands including Tissot (most famous perhaps thanks to their Le Locle line), Ulysse Nardin, Zenith, Montblanc, just name a few. It is also the name of the main RSW watch this caliber is found in: RSW Le Locle.
On RSW’s official site, they say the Le Locle is part of their history, however, it does not specifically state that the brand is based in Le Locle, nor that RSW watches are assembled in Le Locle. It seems more like they are saying that Le Locle is a part of watch industry history and they are a watch, therefore Le Locle is part of their history.
“Le Locle is a part of history. The history of the watch industry and much more. Also, this watch is a piece of RSW brand culture in its own right. It is the emblematic piece of recent years. A source of pride for the brand and its founders, who created this watch from historical and contemporary elements. Its case inspired by vintage watches, brought up to date.” –Source
Speaking of history, the brand paints a picture of a history that goes back over a century:
“Over 100 years ago, a talented young watchmaker decided to open a watch store. His son, R. Marachly, took over the family business 37 years later and settled in Bienne, Switzerland. In 1983, the brand was relaunched under the name RSW – for RAMA SWISS WATCH – with a clear philosophy: to produce niche timepieces under the brand’s own name. Today, RSW offers several product lines, all designed and developed to match contemporary trends.” –Source
RW42 VS RW42-S:
There is a skeletonized version of the Le Locle which the brand lists has having a caliber RW24-S. This is also found in the Mercury MEA484 Skeleton watch.
When you go to any of the Le Locle Skeleton product pages, they are listed as having the RW24-S. Caliber Corner could not find any caseback or movement images except for what is shown at the top of this page. Those images are featured on the RSW site here – of reference RSW122SK found here.
Here again, the brand describes the skeleton version as having as an “in-house” movement.
“A redesign of the dial to make way for a skeleton version. Equipped with an in-house movement, this Le Locle proudly represents the brand and its ambitions. Create daring timepieces, while respecting watchmaking culture. A model which is strongly inspired by the previous version, with a dial which reveals the movement in its entirety, as well as a Côte de Genève decoration. A colored border completes the contemporary appearance of the room. The history is perpetuated and the descendants are well assured thanks to this new Le Locle.” –Source
Since other RSW watches are listed as using STP calibers, it only makes sense to start there. Swiss Technology Productions has a skeleton caliber STP6-21 (previously known as STP6-15) that looks similar to the RW24-S (especially the rotor).
Another difference is that the RSW shows a Novodiac anti-shock device on front and back, whereas the STP has Incabloc.
Editor’s Note: Can you spot a common trick that watch brands do (whether intentionally or not) that makes movements look different than the base? Notice the direction of the rotor on the side-by-side comparison above. In the brand picture, the balance wheel (an important part containing components that are useful for identification of movements) is covered by the rotor.
RW24 Caliber Number:
RW – Not to be confused with Raymond Weil, which also labels their calibers starting with RW.
24 – Not to be confused with a GMT or 24 hour second time zone watch.
If anything, the 24 is more closely related to the 24 in ETA 2824-2, but even then, it’s more close to a Sellita SW200-1 or an STP1-11 (two clones of the ETA 2824-2 with 26 jewels).