The "Cleveland 003" is the 3rd one-of-a-kind piece in Vortic's "Cleveland" line of the American Artisan Series 2.0. Each AAS watch contains the original movement (timepiece), dial (face), and hands from a vintage (1880’s – 1950’s) pocket watch made by one of the original great American watch companies. Vortic uses cutting edge technology to preserve an important part of United States history in a strikingly attractive and functional way.
This watch features a water-resistant, titanium 3D printed case with a heat blackened, matte finish and a round, copper alloy crown. The 12-sized movement correlates to Vortic's 46mm case diameter and the mechanics of the movement are visible through the Gorilla Glass crystal of the exhibition style, stainless steel back.
The open face configuration movement places the small seconds at 6 O'clock with the crown at 12 O'clock. The original, blued steel, "box" style hands point to a worn metal dial with a lot of character. The numerals have a very interesting serif with a minute track in the margin.
Originally produced by the Ball Watch Company in 1927, this "Commercial Standard" grade movement is in excellent condition. The best performing watches made at this time were used on the railroad, and they were referred to as standard watches because they met the railroad's standards. Webb C. Ball played a major role in standardizing those standards, and his Commercial Standard grade may have been referencing that. Ball did not actually produce the majority of parts in their movements, and this movement was actually manufactured by the Illinois watch company to Ball specifications. Ball made significantly less movements than the other large companies, so every piece is very rare.
From a Vintage Ball advertisement: "[Ball Watches] are without question the finest watches that American talent and skilled labor can produce."
The movement has nickel plated bridges and main plate decorated with circular Geneva stripes and circular graining, decorated winding wheels, an overly jeweled gear train (19 jewels) with gold jewel settings, a gold center wheel, a double roller balance, adjustment, a Reed whipspring regulator, and a 3/4-plate bridge design.
All product and company names, logos, brands, and other trademarks featured or referred to within Vortic's products and services are the property of their respective intellectual property rights holders, if any. Those intellectual property rights holders, other than Vortic, LLC, are not affiliated with Vortic, LLC, our products, or our website. They do not sponsor or endorse our materials.
- Manufacturer: Vortic Watch Company
- Product Year: 2017
- Warranty: Vortic 2-Year Revolving Warranty
- Watch Dimensions:
- Diameter = 46mm
- Height = 12mm
- Lug-to-Lug = 55mm
- Lugs = 22mm
- Case Finish: Blackened Titanium
- Crown/Hardware: Round Raw
- Crown Location: 12 O'Clock (Open Face)
- Water Resistance: 1 ATM
- Crystals: Anti-Fingerprint Gorilla Glass
- Case Back: Exhibition, Stainless Steel
- Hands: Original Blued Steel
- Strap: Leather
- Original Manufacturer: Ball Watch Company
- Jewels: 19j
- Size: 12s
- Function: Manual Wind
- Power Reserve: 36-42 Hours
- Finish: Nickel
Vortic's mission is to salvage, restore, and preserve an important part of United States history. Today, beautiful antique pocket watch mechanisms are often cast aside when their original case is scrapped for precious metal value. American pocket watches were made with an incredible level of quality. So, after 100 years, many simply need a little patience from a skilled individual to make them run like new. Vortic fully restores these mechanisms and builds them into wristwatches to make them functional again and to preserve them for another 100+ years.
Truly American MAde
We feel proud and blessed to live in the country, state, and city that we do. However, our motivation to build everything in the United States, and to source locally whenever possible, is derived from a different source of inspiration. We believe that the close relationships, face-to-face interaction, and tight quality control we achieve while dealing domestically produces a truly superior product. Because of this, we are very transparent about where our components are made as we continue to build our in-house capabilities.
2-Year Revolving Warranty
Vortic's 2-Year Revolving Warranty gives individuals the opportunity to warranty their watch for a lifetime. We exist in a throw-away society and we believe that's not right. The mechanisms inside our watches and the watch cases we build around them were made to last forever if taken care of. That is why our 2-year warranty re-starts when your watch is serviced by Vortic.
The United States has a rich history of manufacturing the best watches in the world. The greatest challenge for the watch industry is longevity, and these movements have passed the ultimate test of time by maintaining their integrity for over 100 years. Vortic is able to preserve the legacy of American watchmaking in the 21st century because of the unbelievable standard of quality that was commonplace during this era.
Many individuals are not aware that the United States was the leader in mechanical watch manufacturing during the late 1800's and early 1900's. Prior to this, watches were produced one-at-a-time and each part of a watch was made by one individual (mostly in England and Switzerland). The industry was not optimized to meet demand, and Americans seized the opportunity to manufacture watches in a new way that would encourage widespread use of timepieces, and pocket watches in particular.
American companies invented countless tools and machines for cutting metal parts that allowed them to make a superior product for a reduced price. Additionally, this advanced machinery developed for watch parts quickly spread to other industries. In fact, many believe that this is what led to America's reputation for industrial prowess in all forms during the 19th and 20th centuries. The original great American watch companies were known for their skill, craftsmanship, and ability to produce each part of a watch more efficiently, more accurately, and on a larger scale.
Eventually, the Swiss adopted American machinery with great success, and the introduction of cheap, disposable, battery-powered, quartz watches in the 1960's led to a rapid decline in demand for quality mechanical watches. The art of American watchmaking quickly vanished and each historic company was ultimately purchased by foreign investors.
Webb C. Ball, a jeweler & watchmaker, brought accurate time to Cleveland, Ohio when Standard Time was first adopted in 1883. Allegedly, following a major collision caused by an engineer's incorrect watch, the railroad officials commissioned Webb C. Ball as their General Time Inspector to establish precise standards and a reliable timepiece inspection system for railroad watches.
The Ball Watch Company did not manufacture movements directly, but their watches were specially built to exacting specifications using many advanced processes and proprietary designs. The company helped develop the requirements for timepieces used in railroad service, and their watches reflected that. Webb Ball established strict guidelines for the manufacturing of sturdy, reliable, precision timepieces including; resistance to magnetism, adjustment to five positions, isochronism, power reserve, and record keeping of the performance of each watch during the regular inspection.
The Ball Watch Company branded and distributed watches made by Hamilton, Waltham, Illinois, Elgin, E. Howard, and Hampden. Because of their rarity and quality, Ball watches are some of the most collectible American pocket watches. Ball only made approximately 200,000 watches in the United States.
The colloquial phrase "on the ball" is rumored to be derived from Webb C. Ball's watch standards and their reputation for accuracy.
The Vortic Watch Company is a high-end wristwatch engineering and manufacturing company based in Fort Collins, Colorado. Their inspiration lies in pairing classic watchmaking techniques and traditions with cutting-edge, modern technology.
After conceiving the company in Pennsylvania and attending Penn State, the founders relocated themselves and the business to Fort Collins, Colorado. The move was originally conducted to pursue career opportunities prior to full-time employment opportunity with Vortic. However, the pair fell in love with the location and decided to officially base the company in Fort Collins.
Since its founding, Vortic has been recognized by the likes of the New York Times, NPR, The Boston Globe, WatchTime Magazine, About Time magazine, and many other publications for their work in preserving United States history. Additionally, Vortic watches have been inducted to the NAWCC museum in Columbia, PA as well as the Charles River Museum of Industry in Waltham, MA.
The company is currently applying its product-focused attitude, unique aesthetics, and fresh ideas to creating additional products and perfecting their trade.