Watch - The "Springfield 020" is the 20th one-of-a-kind piece in Vortic's "Springfield" line of the American Artisan Series. This watch features a water-resistant, titanium 3D printed case with a raw titanium finish and a round, gold crown. The mechanics of the restored 1928 Illinois 279 movement are visible through the Gorilla Glass crystal of the exhibition style, stainless steel back.
Dial - The original, gold flashed, "gothic" style hands point to a lightly worn metal dial with interesting internal accents and hexagonal small seconds. The "Central" marking is some kind of private label. The Arabic numerals are serifed with a minute track in the margin.
Movement Info - Originally produced by the Illinois Watch Company in 1928, this "279" grade movement is in excellent condition. Illinois was known for making high-end, beautiful, and solidly performing 12s watches, and this 279 is a perfect example of this. Only 25 watches were produced in this run so this watch is very unique. The "Central" marking on the dial and movement is most likely a private label.
From a vintage Illinois advertisement: "Illinois watches have brought the almost magic touch of accuracy to a point unsurpassed in watchmaking."
Movement Features - The movement has nickel plated bridges and main plate decorated with wavy rays and circular graining, an overly jeweled gear train (21 jewels) with gold jewel settings, a fully gold gear train, highly polished winding wheels, a double roller balance, adjustment to 3 positions, a Reed whipspring regulator, and a 3/4-plate bridge design.
Original Serial: 5073275
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: Raw Titanium
- Crown/Hardware: Round Gold
- Crown Location: 12 O'Clock (Open Face)
- Water Resistance: 1 ATM
- Crystals: Anti-Fingerprint Gorilla Glass
- Case Back: Exhibition, Stainless Steel
- Hands: Gold Plated
- Strap: Leather
- Original Manufacturer: Illinois Watch Company
- Jewels: 21j
- 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.
The Illinois Watch Company produced some of the most beautiful and high-quality watches of the time, but their shorter-lived prominence led them to make significantly fewer pieces than companies like Elgin or Waltham. Eventually producing approximately 5.7 million watches in their lifetime, the beginnings of the company tells a story of trial and error
The Springfield Watch Company was formed in 1869 when a man named John C. Adams convinced the city that an establishment of industry, and specifically a watch manufacturer, would have massive benefits for the growth of the city and the wealth of the stockholders.
Following this, Adams solicited workers from the Elgin factory and most notably hired Otis Hoyt. In 1870, Hoyt and team began the daunting task of building the machinery and systems to produce watches efficiently. By 1871 they were fabricating watch parts, and by 1872 they had finished the first watch models; 18 size, hunting, key-wind.In 1873 the company employed 125 individuals and was building 25 watches per day. However, the company had trouble with sales and accrued a stockpile of inventory and debt. This situation would continue to deteriorate until 1875 when the company reorganized as the Illinois Springfield Watch Company.
By 1876 the company was producing 100 watches a day in additional sizes, but the losses continued. By 1878 the company was again reorganized as the Illinois Watch Company, and the company produced millions of watches under that name. It was at this time that Ilinois started getting serious about manufacturing. Illinois manufactured the first open face movement in the United States, the first nickel movements produced in the United States, and the smallest watch movement built in the United States at that time. Until 1902 the company had been producing medium and lower grade watches, but in 1903 the company shifted focus to building exclusively higher grade watches with 17+ jewels. Additionally, the company found great success building high-performance railroad grade movements.
At their height, Illinois employed almost 1,000 individuals and made over 500 watches per day. The rapid decline in the demand for quality watches caused the company to sell to Hamilton in 1928. The Illinois factory continued producing watches under Hamilton supervision until 1932, and Hamilton fabricated Illinois models in their facility until 1939.
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.
Use the watch builder tool to design and order your own custom built American Artisan Series watch.