The Chicago 481 (46mm)

The Chicago 481 (46mm)

The Chicago 481 (46mm)
The Chicago 481 (46mm)
The Chicago 481 (46mm)
The Chicago 481 (46mm)
The Chicago 481 (46mm)
The Chicago 481 (46mm)
The Chicago 481 (46mm)
The Chicago 481 (46mm)
The Chicago 481 (46mm)
The Chicago 481 (46mm)

Watch Description

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 Elgin Watch Company. We call this model "The Chicago" because of the company's proximity to the city.

What makes the Chicago 481 unique: Today, we’re delighted to feature this exquisite timepiece initially produced by the Elgin National Watch Company in 1921 — the Chicago 481. The original pocket watch boasts a refined dial with bold black numerals, red minute numerals, and dark blue spade and whip hands. These sophisticated details look exceptionally breathtaking against its pristine light eggshell background. We complemented the original pocket watch and added to its opulent style by encasing it within our robust and scratch-resistant Machined Titanium case. We also equipped the piece with a matching nickel-plated crown.

Our Machined Titanium case features a transparent back, enabling watch enthusiasts to view its 384-grade open-face movement with a ¾ plate featuring 17 screw-set ruby and sapphire jewels. The antique movement also includes additional stunning details, including a going barrel, quick train, Moseley regulator, Breguet hairspring, and gold-plated gears. To top it off, we matched it with our comfortable Natural leather watch strap, enabling the owner to wear this one-of-kind piece of history. 


The Elgin National Watch Company originally manufactured the pocket watch in Elgin, Illinois, in 1921 — the same year American race car driver Tommy Milton won his first Indy 500. What was especially remarkable about his victory was that Ralph DePalma led the race for 109 laps, establishing a world record that remained until 1988, and he was leading by two laps at the race’s halfway point. Tragically, One of DePalma’s connecting rods broke during his historic run, forcing him to drop out of the race. Tommy Milton won the race along with riding mechanic Harry Franck. Milton was famous for having only one functional eye, which would have disqualified him from the race today. He went on to win the Indy 500 a second time two years later.

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 23950198 from the Elgin Watch Company. 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.

Watch Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Vortic Watch Company
  • Warranty: Full 1-Year Warranty
  • Case Dimensions: 
    • Diameter: 46mm
    • Height: 12mm
    • Lug-to-Lug: 55mm
    • Lugs: 22mm
  • Case Finish: Machined Titanium
  • Crown/Hardware: Nickel Plated
  • Water Resistance: 1 ATM
  • Crystals: Gorilla Glass
  • Case Back: Stainless Steel
  • Strap: Leather

Movement

  • Manufacturer: Elgin Watch Company
  • Serial Number:  23950198
  • Manufacture Year:  1921
  • Function: Manual Wind
  • Jewels: 17j
  • Hands: Original
  • Size: 12s
  • Power Reserve: ~36 Hours
It looks like it would have been right at home on the wrist of Indiana Jones! This watch is a showpiece as much as it is as unique timepiece!
—John from Indiana
After receiving the watch in the mail, I was surprised to see the watch somehow looked better in person than it did in the photos. I didn't think that would be possible!
—Mark from Massachusetts
The skeleton back is amazing and the packaging was perfect. To honor the past with details like this is truly impressive.
—Brad from Florida
I own so called "high end" watches such as Rolex, Panerai, and Zenith but they pale in comparison to my two Vortic models which I wear everyday to work.
—Todd from Ohio
What makes the Chicago 481 unique: Today, we’re delighted to feature this exquisite timepiece initially produced by the Elgin National Watch Company in 1921 — the Chicago 481. The original pocket watch boasts a refined dial with bold black numerals, red minute numerals, and dark blue spade and whip hands. These sophisticated details look exceptionally breathtaking against its pristine light eggshell background. We complemented the original pocket watch and added to its opulent style by encasing it within our robust and scratch-resistant Machined Titanium case. We also equipped the piece with a matching nickel-plated crown.

Our Machined Titanium case features a transparent back, enabling watch enthusiasts to view its 384-grade open-face movement with a ¾ plate featuring 17 screw-set ruby and sapphire jewels. The antique movement also includes additional stunning details, including a going barrel, quick train, Moseley regulator, Breguet hairspring, and gold-plated gears. To top it off, we matched it with our comfortable Natural leather watch strap, enabling the owner to wear this one-of-kind piece of history. 


The Elgin National Watch Company originally manufactured the pocket watch in Elgin, Illinois, in 1921 — the same year American race car driver Tommy Milton won his first Indy 500. What was especially remarkable about his victory was that Ralph DePalma led the race for 109 laps, establishing a world record that remained until 1988, and he was leading by two laps at the race’s halfway point. Tragically, One of DePalma’s connecting rods broke during his historic run, forcing him to drop out of the race. Tommy Milton won the race along with riding mechanic Harry Franck. Milton was famous for having only one functional eye, which would have disqualified him from the race today. He went on to win the Indy 500 a second time two years later.

Quality Straps

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Mission

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Two men walking side by side through a leather curing facility.

American Made

Learn More About The American Artisan Series

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