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The American mechanism inside this watch is not a replica or an "inspired" piece. It was genuinely carried by an individual, 100 years ago, that depended on it. Each time you wear this watch, you will be transported through time, imagining who this individual was and the work they did to help build our country. Simply put, American Artisan Series watches make you feel something when you put them on. At Vortic, we tell customers that owning a watch isn't nearly as important as owning a story. And, this is an opportunity to be a part of a story that is bigger than yourself. You won't be the first to own this watch, and you certainly won’t be the last, so make your chapter count.
The American Artisan Series is a line of fully American Made wristwatches powered by restored, U.S. made pocket watch movements. Individuals commonly scrap pocket watch cases for their precious metal, leaving the original mechanism orphaned. This watch contains the original movement (timepiece), dial (face), and hands from a vintage (1880’s – 1950’s) pocket watch made by Rockford Watch Company. We call this model "The Rockford" because the company was located in Rockford Illinois.
Case Style: This case has been CNC milled from a solid block of aerospace grade titanium. The case is intentionally left unpolished so the intricate tool marks made during the milling process remain visible. Titanium is the ultimate material for strength to weight ratio. Titanium has a darker look than steel, and due to its low thermal conductivity, feels warm to the touch. These characteristics create an enduring, highly wearable, distinctive piece.
Movement: The manually wound, antique, pocket watch movement inside this watch has been meticulously restored to as close to original condition as possible. Vortic has an exclusive group of highly experienced watchmakers that specialize in vintage watches. Before its use in a wristwatch, each movement is completely disassembled, cleaned, oiled, and calibrated. Each finished Vortic watch is tested for at least a week before completion.
This watch's movement is serial number from the Rockford Watch Company. The Rockford Watch Company began operation in 1873 with equipment purchased from the Cornell Watch Company. Four hundred local businesses and individuals pledged $150,000 (over $3mil with inflation) of support to stimulate the growth of their town. The company struggled to keep up with demand early on, and eventually went bankrupt. Rockford was rejuvenated in 1901, but a major fire and lightning strike slowed the company further in 1903. By 1915 the company closed its doors, though the building still stands vacant.
The Rockford 038 is the 38th one-of-a-kind piece in Vortic's "Rockford" line of the American Artisan Series. This watch contains the original movement (timepiece), dial (face), and hands from a vintage (1880’s – 1950’s) pocket watch. The American Artisan Series is a line of fully American Made wristwatches powered by restored, U.S. made pocket watch movements.
What makes the Rockford 038 Unique: The Rockford Watch Company was established in 1873 on the Rock River, about 93 miles outside of Chicago. They focused on making very small runs of incredibly high-quality watches. The overall quantity of Rockford watches made is very small compared to other watch manufacturers that we use, which is why we love it when we can showcase these impressive watches. This watch in particular has so much character, partially due to its age (It’s over 110 years old!). When we find watches with wear and tear on the dial, we like to celebrate it, rather than try to work around it. This watch tells stories of being passed through many different hands over the years, making it a perfect conversation piece. We paired the Rockford 038 with a machined titanium case to complement its crisp white dial and then added a crimson strap to accentuate the red, minute indicators around the outside of the numerals. Copper crown and hardware round off the fantastic details of this beautiful timepiece. The 21 jewel movement is a real eye catcher, with the signature machined radial rays going outward from the center, as well as curved bridges holding the second and third escapements. Everything about this watch was meticulously detailed and manufactured, making it one of the most unique and impressive watches of its time. Originally manufactured in Illinois in 1910, this watch was one of only 2,000 total watches made by Rockford that year. Not far away at the same time, the very first air flight containing commercial freight flew from Dayton, Ohio to Columbus, Ohio.
Legal Disclaimer: 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
- Model Year: 2021
- Warranty: Full 2-Year Warranty
- Case Dimensions:
- Diameter: 46mm
- Height: 12mm
- Lug-to-Lug: 55mm
- Lugs: 22mm
- Case Finish: Machined Titanium
- Crown/Hardware: Copper
- Water Resistance: 1 ATM
- Crystals: Gorilla Glass
- Case Back: Stainless Steel
- Hands: Original
- Strap: Leather
- Original Manufacturer: Rockford Watch Company
- Original Serial Number:
- Manufacture Year:
- Function: Manual Wind
- Jewels: 21j
- Size: 12s
- Power Reserve: ~36 Hours
We partnered with Worn & Wound to produce a custom set of straps for our American Artisan Series watches. We now have 15 different colors to choose from including our two Horween Shell Cordovan options. These straps are made in the USA and are based on the Windup Model 2 Premium strap that Worn and Wound offers.
Our mission is to preserve and enhance the legacy of manufacturing excellence in America. We believe that this legacy is highly relevant in the world of watch manufacturing because our goal is to marry form and function in a way that makes something beautiful that will last forever. American made pocket watches were of such a high quality and decoration that they evolved into more than just a way to tell time. They became traditional heirlooms to be inherited by future generations as a wedding gift or a coming of age treasure. Each piece tells a lively tale of what U.S. manufacturing meant in the past using an intricate language of decorated bridges, plates, gears, and springs. Today, we are restoring these pieces to their former glory and making them relevant again using the best of modern technology.
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 deal 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.
I found out about Vortic watching a podcast. Shortly after I was designing a watch with the Vortic team. I love wearing it and it’s even nicer than I expected. Everyone asks about it and I really enjoy sharing the story.
I submitted my husband's grandfather's watch (a Howard) and it came out.... i have no words, it's truly a work of art. He loved it, and they made it happen in time for my anniversary. I can't express enough the quality and care that is evident in their work.
I’m two weeks into the ownership of my new Vortic watch and I couldn’t be more happy! Accuracy, craftsmanship, and the rebirth of an historic, classic American brand all in one. At no time do I wear this watch without getting comments and questions. NOT my last Vortic purchase!
If you are one of the few each year to receive this watch, you will be getting a special watch that exceeds quality expectations and lets you participate in paying it forward to the men and women who put everything on the line for us with a respectable donation to the watch skills training program for them. I wholeheartedly recommend this special timepiece and this special program that Vortic supports.
Wonderful watch with history on your wrist and a look at history by turning the watch around.
I have ordered many watches from Vortic. I just love their watches. Each watch is a beautiful recovered and restored piece of history. We are fortunate to have them to restore these works of art.
I bought the shirt for my husband, Dale. It is so soft and comfortable. But more special is it’s symbolism. My husband used his GI Bill to go to watchmaker’s school in 1960. His Dad was a self taught watchmaker! My husband chose a mechanical career retiring from the Washington Metro Transit Authority after forty years. Watchmaking formed the foundation for his career. He still enjoys tinkering but mostly helping others with their clocks. Still a gear-head who turn 85 this month!
I am super impressed with my watch. Its sleek and beautiful. And was the best gift i have ever recived. There is just something about wearing a watch thats 100+ years old that makes you feel like your holding the history of the past. I Love my vortic and would recommend anyone to buy a watch, and have there own piece of history!
I'm quite particular about certain things when it comes to my personal style, and watches are one of them. After my longtime wristwatch was finally rendered unrepairable, the search began for a replacement. I knew I wanted to invest in a good one, but I didn't want to spend more money than I could reasonably afford, and it was hard to find one that really suited me. I wanted something that was stylish but classic, as well as something that was truly unique, and something that was elegant but not so extravagant I'd feel worried about wearing it every day. After a few years of fruitless searching, I'd pretty well given up finding what I was looking for--until I came across the Vortic site. It wasn't just what they were doing with the watches--it was their entire philosophy of restoration and pride in artisanal craftsmanship at all stages. It was an appreciation for history, a dislike of waste, and a desire to see good things restored to lived purpose. I'd missed the "build your own watch" period but was confident that the "watch a day" process would eventually reveal the watch for me. And when I saw the Chicago 381, there was no question! I'd been waiting--and saving--for months, and I was ready. Click--bought!--and then on its way to Canada. I obsessively pulled up the profile page for the watch every day until it's arrival. Would it look as good in person? Could the reality ever match my anticipation?
Communications with the Vortic crew were quick and easy. (As an important side note, Vortic customer service is first rate! There was a bit of a mixup with Customs duties at the border, but RT and Bella were on it immediately, and they sorted everything out.) Then, in just over a week, my package had arrived. The watch was in a beautiful wooden case, and the reveal was almost as much an event as examining the watch itself!
But the highlight was the watch, and what a watch it is, even better than I could have imagined. The photos were excellent, but they don't capture the subtle shifts in light on the mother-of-pearl-style watch face, or the deep hue of the crimson strap (which looks more rust-coloured on the website); I also purchased a tobacco strap as an alternative, but so far I've kept the crimson one on, as it works with more of my outfits than I'd anticipated. The watch is lighter than it looks, and the size, while bigger than most wristwatches, isn't at all out of proportion to my wrist. The Art Deco details are exquisite, and the open back's 17-jewel movement really stands out. One thing I was pleasantly surprised with was the subtle sound of the ticking--I'm so used to non-wind watches, but this return to a real watch with a real movement is welcome.
I've had the watch nearly a month now, and I can say without any exaggeration that this is the best watch I've ever owned; it's also the only watch I've had where strangers offer appreciative comment. Couldn't be happier with the purchase, and can't recommend the work and the professionalism of the Vortic crew highly enough. If you've been looking for a stylish, heirloom-quality timepiece at an accessible price point--and one with a history, a story, and a presence--then give Vortic a close look. You won't be disappointed!
From purchase to delivery, the transaction was handled fantastic! They quickly helped me with swapping of the buckle before shipping and the watch arrived very quickly. Packaged very well and I am very happy with my purchase. Will buy from again!
Definitely one of the finest and most unique watches you can purchase. Really a value for the price when you look at other well known branded watches around the world.
I received my watch, Springfield 318, and I was ecstatic to open the box and see it. This was the culmination of many months of waffling back and forth--should I purchase an Illinois Watch Co. as a means of commemorating my Grandfather and my Dad's family history from Illinois? My Grandfather, who was born in 1886, had an Illinois Watch Co piece that has since disappeared in some of the family archives, but having a watch with the Illinois name would serve as a reminder of the family heritage, even if it wasn't his actual watch.
I'm happy to say that the Springfield 318 is an amazing and beautiful timepiece, and I made the right decision in going ahead with the purchase. It is hard to believe that the softly ticking mechanism on my wrist was originally put together over 100 years ago, but it still keeps precise time.
The combination of the flat dial finish, with the bright silver glint from the engine turned accents really catch the eye. Readability is good, with the blued, Breguet-style hands, although the minute hand is very thin and sometimes requires a second look to see where it is. The band is excellent quality, fits well, and looks great with the black finish on the case. The only way I could suggest improving it would be a deployant clasp, rather than a buckle closure.
The construction and fit and finish are top notch--it is a joy to wear this piece of mechanized art. Winding it each morning is a ritual which reinforces a value that things should be built to last and taken care of.
Thanks for a wonderful watch, and for the memories it will continue to carry forward for me and my family.
I first saw Vortic at an art show in late 2019 and loved the concept. After discussing it with my wife and finding the perfect watch to submit, I designed my own watch. I am very happy with the end product and people have been complementing me on it. I hope to do another one in the future!
I was impressed with the craftsmanship and delivery of my Vortic watch. The condition of the watch exceeded my expectations in every way. I will enjoy this watch for life. And, you can't have just one, can you...
This is my third vortic watch, first was a railroad edition, next the military edition, and now american artisan. The watch movement has nice engraving and the face as well.