Collectors of rare and beautifully-made timepieces know that for quality and impeccable craftsmanship, Swiss-made is the only way to go. But American-made brand Vortic is making an attempt to give more traditional watch brands a run for their money, especially when it comes to historic recreations. The brand’s American Artisan Series draws upon the United States' watchmaking history, tapping into early styles and manufacturing processes used before the 1900s, when the country was a leader in the craft. By combining the best of antique watchmaking and the technology of today, Vortic is able to create timepieces that speak to history buffs and watch collectors alike.
Each watch movement is salvaged from century-old timepieces that were original scrapped for their metal cases and parts. Made in the late 1800s and 1900s, most of these vintage pieces are still in perfect working order, and those that need to be repaired and serviced are restored with original parts and supplies. After repair, new watch ideas are sketched online, then 3D printed to create a mock-up. Clockwork is then restructured so it seems to “float inside the case.” After the movement is in place, a case is 3D printed from stainless steel and bronze, and hand assembled for quality and beauty. Customers can also request certain metals, bands and hardware for a more customized piece.
The brand currently has three antique watches: the Lancaster, the Boston and the Chicago. The Lancaster, originally made by the Hamilton Watch Company in Pennsylvania, was known as “the choice of America’s Railroad Engineers.” Having started as a railroad-era pocket watch, the piece was made in limited-quantities and was a favorite of the railroading elite. The Chicago was originally a railroad pocket watch made by the Elgin National Watch Company in Illinois, which was popular in the early 1900s. The Waltham Watch Company in Massachusetts made all of their watches to be interchangeable and customizable, including the Boston. Vortic deconstructed their vintage timepieces and rebuilt them in unique combinations.
Vortic watches are made in the USA and available online. Priced from $1,795-$2,495.