The American Artisan Series is a line of fully American Made wristwatches powered by restored, U.S. made pocket watch movements. Each 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 is pairing cutting edge technology with beautiful, authentic, quality pieces made 100+ years ago to preserve an important part of United States history in a functional way.
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, the original gold and silver cases are scrapped for their precious metal value, and the beautiful mechanisms are cast aside and forgotten. Vortic takes these "orphans" and gives them a new life.
Every component of the Artisan Series case is built to outlast a lifetime of abuse like the movement inside it. The second generation of the American Artisan Series features 3D printed titanium cases, pressed Gorilla Glass crystals, a water resistant design, milled stainless steel backs, upgraded hardware, a sleeker/thinner aesthetic, updated internal construction, and additional leather strap options.
The movements used in the American Artisan Series are actual pieces of United States history. Every time you look at the beautiful mechanism, it connects you to the hardworking people who helped build a nation. We invite you to use your own pocket watch in an AAS conversion to make a functional piece that is personal to you. Each watch is assembled by hand, one-at-a-time, in our Northern Colorado workshop, so every customer's project gets individual treatment.
The movement of a watch is the mechanism that powers the hands and regulates time. The American Artisan Series is built using antique, American-made pocket watch movements. Vortic has a variety of sources for antique pieces, but movements are primarily sourced from individuals who buy jewelry stores and watchmakers' estates. The owners of these estates almost always made a portion of their money from scrapping pocket watch cases for their precious metal value, but this left the beautiful, meticulously decorated movement exposed and without a home. Vortic has dedicated itself to rescuing these movements and making them relevant again.
Vortic is working to learn more about Titanium 3D printing through a research grant at Pennsylvania State University.
All Artisan Series water-resistant cases are 3D printed from titanium by Imperial Machine and Tool in New Jersey. This company specializes in advanced machining practices for the aerospace and military industries.
Vortic uses a small mill and lathe in their own shop to machine the internal features of each case. M.A.D. Machining is responsible for machining the Stainless Steel back pieces in Loveland, CO. Vortic is currently developing their capabilities to take all machining in-house.
The crowns, screws and other internal parts are masterfully swiss-turned at Swiss-O-Matic in Montrose, CO. Running a swiss-turning machine takes a great deal of specialized skill, and we are lucky to have one of the top facilities in the United States in our back yard.
Every American Artisan Series watch uses an individually designed, 2-piece, 3D printed plastic spacer that is contoured to the profile of the particular movement inside each watch. This spacer securely hugs the vintage movement inside of it, and it allows the movement to effectively “float” inside the case adding a significant amount of shock resistance.
The dual crystals on each watch are made from Corning Gorilla Glass and precision cut by Abrisa in Santa Paula, CA. Gorilla Glass is known for its use on smartphones, and it is used to encase Vortic’s watches for its superior clarity, resistance to shattering, and scratch resistance.
Vortic’s standard watch bands are built from Stylecraft American cowhide leather, and there is an optional upgrade to premium, Famous Horween Shell Cordovan horsehide leather from Chicago, IL.
All of the American Artisan Series straps are hand-crafted from American made materials by Hadley Roma's Stylecraft division in Largo, FL.
Each buckle is hand-forged by Smith Shop in Detroit, MI. Smith Shop is a relatively young operation, but the company prides itself on offering authentic products with uncompromising quality and attention to detail.