Summer feels like it’s the most patriotic time of the year; honoring our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day, celebrating our independence on the Fourth of July and acknowledging the American workforce on Labor Day. All of these holidays come with a sense of American pride. And, pride in American craftsmanship is what Vortic Watch Company is all about.
Unknowingly, our business started before our grandparents were born, when American pocket watches were the only mobile form of keeping time. Much of the American workforce, especially nurses and railroad engineers, relied on the precision of their timepieces to do their jobs effectively. Unfortunately, those pocket watches that were once a necessity became obsolete as the U.S. transitioned to wristwatches in the mid-1900s and quartz watches after that. Because of this, many individuals have turned to scrapping the beautiful pocket watch cases for their gold and silver value. This practice leaves the gorgeous movement, the mind-bogglingly complicated mechanical motor inside the watch, to the wayside.
Now, decades later, we're salvaging the antique movements and giving those tangible pieces of American history a new life. As we look at the orphan movements in our shop, we think back to a time when “American made” was synonymous with quality. Men and women built these timepieces in factories that employed thousands of people. The watchmaking industry in America was akin to the modern watchmaking industry in Switzerland regarding its singular importance to the economy.
The Mission of The American Artisan Series:
For us, building a U.S. made product is meaningful in many ways. We couldn’t call it “The American Artisan Series” if it weren't truly made here….
First, and foremost is quality. From the custom-made titanium cases to the hand stitched leather straps, every single piece of a Vortic watch must exceed our high standards. That is one reason we do so much ourselves here, in Fort Collins, Colorado. We own the process, and we can hold ourselves accountable. But, anything we cannot make ourselves, we make in the United States because we have a personal relationship with the people doing the work. We can work directly with the individuals in the machine shop or on the cutting room floor to ensure that the parts they make for us are perfect.
Second is history. In order to honor the legacy of these Great American Watch Companies like Elgin, Waltham, Illinois, Hamilton, etc., we have to build a quality product and make it in America. It's clearly what they would want and deserve. We are proud to make and sell our products because we know we are doing our ancestors justice, and we believe they would love what we do.
Finally, we want to support the American economy, and especially the manufacturing industry. America is built on the ingenuity of entrepreneurs, and our entrepreneurial brothers and sisters are working hard every day to keep their business dreams alive. If we can partner with each other in ways that support one another and make our businesses stronger, then we wholeheartedly want to do that. Many of our suppliers operate small businesses in Colorado or elsewhere in the United States and love seeing their businesses grow with ours.
Check out these videos from a couple of our manufacturing partners for more information on them and the process of making our parts!
As we celebrate Independence Day this year, let’s also celebrate pride in American craftsmanship!