The Railroad Edition of Vortic’s American Artisan Series is a line of fully U.S. made wristwatches powered by restored, lever-set, Railroad Grade, pocket watch movements manufactured by one of the various great American watch companies. The all new Railroad Edition watch is available for pre-order at a reduced price using the Railroad Edition Watch Builder tool. The Railroad Edition is expected to begin production in summer of 2017.
Railroad grade watches were the best because they had to be. The individuals designing and manufacturing them knew that people's lives depended on their timekeeping accuracy and that these watches would need to be accurate when used, day in and day out, in a variety of different environmental conditions. Instead of sacrificing form for function, the great American watch companies went above and beyond to make railroad grade watches the most beautifully decorated of all. Gazing at the stunning mechanism beat out its steady cadence connects you to the hardworking men and women who helped make our nation what it is today. Vortic uses cutting edge technology to preserve an important part of United States history that will never be replicated again.
If the timing of the watches on opposing trains destined for the same switch varied significantly, the chances for a deadly collision was very high. Railroad grade pocket watches, also known as Standard Watches, were made specifically for railroad conductors, and as such, they were the highest quality and most sought after watches of the time. American railroads decided upon a rigorous set of regulations to qualify timepieces as “railroad grade” due to their role in maintaining schedules for the American rail system. While definitions of railroad grade varied as time progressed and between railroad companies, almost every railroad grade watch was required to have bold, distinctive Arabic numeral dials, a lever set mechanism, 19 jewels or more, and adjustment to temperature and five positions.
Every component of the Railroad Edition watch case is built to outlast a lifetime of abuse like the movement inside it. Vortic’s 3-piece Railroad Edition case has a very special design. The body and lugs are 3D printed from titanium while the coin-edge bezel and exhibition back are machined from solid, 316 stainless steel. The bezel is designed to be removable, by hand, to access the lever set action of the movement as well as create a water tight seal when secured to the body of the case. Unlike its pocket watch predecessors, Vortic’s bezel utilizes a proprietary cam-lock system to make setting the time simple and easy.
Often railroad watches have the best stories. They were very important to the individuals who used them, and those individuals made sure to pass them on to future generations. Every watch we build has an amazing story to tell, but we invite you to use your own pocket watch in a Railroad Edition case to make a functional piece that has a story personal to you.