Watch DescriptionWhat makes the Chicago 117 unique: For today’s Watch of the Day we bring you this wonderful example from the Elgin National Watch Company, our Chicago 117. We love the classic look of this watch, featuring these very bold Roman Numerals following the outside face of the dial. With such a crisp white dial, we wanted to give this watch a stark black and white feel and decided to place it inside of our machined titanium case with a nickel-plated crown and classic black strap. The kite-shaped blue steel hands bring some visual interest and color to give a little more character and add to the appeal of the hard contrast within this watch. As we turn this watch over, we notice the light, floral designs on the Moseley regulator, a signature design that we come to enjoy from these older Elgin movements. A shiny nickel-plated surface all across the build plate brings focus to the intricate designs throughout, while the 17 screw-set jewels stand out nicely. Gold-plated gears and a brass balance wheel beneath are the heart of this watch, powering everything nicely. This watch was originally manufactured all the way back in 1912, in Elgin, Illinois. This is the same year that Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railroad finally completed construction, with the attempt to take advantage of trade passing through the Panama canal. The idea was to create a trade route that would take goods from South America through the canal, and train them up through Florida to the West Coast.
Movement Manufacturer Information
The movement inside of this watch was made by Elgin Watch Company. We call this model "The Chicago" because of the company's proximity to the city.
Also known as Elgin National Watch Company, Elgin wasn't only the largest watch manufacturer in the United States, but the largest watch manufacturer in the world for almost 100 years, operating from 1864-1964. The company often used a depiction of father time on advertisements. At one point, the company was making 7,500 watch movements per week and had 2,300 employees. The factory was demolished in 1966 and replaced with a shopping center.
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
- Warranty: Full 1-Year Warranty
- Case Dimensions:
- Diameter: 47mm
- Thickness: 12mm
- Lug to Lug: 55mm
- Lug Width: 22mm
- Case Material: Machined Titanium
- Crown/Hardware: Nickel Plated
- Water Resistance: 1 ATM
- Crystals: Sapphire
- Case Back: Stainless Steel
- Strap: Leather
- Manufacturer: Elgin Watch Company
- Serial Number: 16363240
- Manufacture Year: 1912
- Function: Manual Wind
- Jewels: 17 Jewels
- Hands: Original
- Size: 12s
- Power Reserve: ~36 Hours
I live in Rockford, Illinois. I have been looking for a Rockford watch for some time and recently purchased a 45 mm watch from 1912. Finding this watch was truly a treat. The dial and casing is top notch and the band is very well made and comfortable. As a watch collector, and as someone who owns another Vortic, I am a very pleased repeat customer.
I think watchs like this with painting are beter than the others
Amazing watch! It's very stylish but doesn't look to flashy. Going to add a clasp to save some wear and tear on the strap.
Handsome, soft, and American made. This strap complements the classic look of the vortic watch perfectly. And it fits my enormous wrist. Bonus.
I’ve had my watch almost 3 years. With a 100 year old time piece you need to understand there will be bumps. About a year or two in the winding wasn’t as good but they serviced it and it works great. My daily wear for sure and a great conversation piece.
I love this smaller size Vortic Watch to add to my collection! I am thrilled to have the first batch of The Victory Watch series. Not only does the watch history, of each watch, interest me but now we have the history behind The Victory Watch series. See the Vortic Website for details!
Very happy w/ Military Wach! … It is a large watch but sits well on your wrist and frankly “is just really neat”! My father was in Army Air Corp in WWII, not a pilot, but was a maintenance / mechanic for B-29 bombers serving on Tinian & Saipan while the US bombed Japan. Great customer service from Vortic and great product.
I am blown away with how gorgeous this watch is. I've seen some Vortic watches at the Watch and Clock Museum, but it still didn't prepare me for what it was like to hold it in my hand. As I have a smaller wrist, I thought it may be too heavy or too large for me, but it wears smaller than you would expect and weighs less than my daily stainless diver with bracelet. They do an amazing job with these. I couldn't be more excited.
I love wearing my Elgin Chicago. Everyone ask about it and I love telling the story of the life of the time piece.
Thanks to the Vortices Team for the tour and great insight into how they create such awesome watches. After touring their operation and seeing the work and attention to detail they put into every piece, I knew I had to have one. I’m a big Jack Ryan series fan and already loved the Military Edition but when I found out that TWO of the main actors would be wearing the 4th Edition Military Watch, I picked out my very own! I absolutely love it and look forward to wearing it for years to come!
I've had this watch for a few weeks now, and it's just fantastic. It looks great and keeps great time. Have gotten lots of positive comments from many people about it, and of course have been talking up the mission of Vortic!
It's not often you can find a 105 year old watch to wear on your wrist. The watch and case look fantastic. Strap is perfectly paired. I highly recommend your watches to anyone who asks.
Not only is this thing absolutely gorgeous between the clean well made case, the super unique face and back, and the handmade strap, but the history behind this thing is awesome! A person or persons actually used this to help the country function. Not only does Vortic take a piece of American History and make it into a cool wearable modern product, but Vortic itself represents the American dream.
Have been eyeing Vortic for some time but finally bought the Springfield 595. Very easy to wear despite the size. Quite light on the wrist. Several compliments so far
My new favorite watch! To have a piece of 100+ year old history on my wrist seems so surreal. Imagine the people who had carried the pocket watch in the past…
The quality of the watch is fantastic and it was beautifully assembled. The concept of Vortic Watches is brilliant and I couldn’t be more pleased with my watch. Thanks everyone!
The engine that powers this watch is an antique American pocket watch movement. All the gears and springs that make it tell time are roughly 100 years old on average. We call these watches the American Artisan Series because we're celebrating the history and legacy of the artisan watchmakers who built this engineering marvel a century ago in the United States.
Today most pocket watches are scrapped for the gold or silver of the case (the outside of the antique timepiece), leaving the inside (what we call the "movement") as trash.
We take pride in upcycling these pieces of American history by salvaging as many as we can, then preserving them inside our wristwatches.
Our expert team of watchmakers restores the antique movement and then we manufacture a custom wristwatch case here in Fort Collins, Colorado.
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.