Jul 21, 2016 | By Tess

Fort Worth, Colorado based startup Vortic Watches broke onto the scene two years ago with their beautiful and high quality wristwatches. Funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign, the company initially set out to create a line of unique time pieces that combined refurbished vintage pocket watches and modern 3D printed components. With the immense success of their first product run, the team at Vortic is back on Kickstarter and is seeking funds for its latest wristwatch collection, the Journeyman Series.

Founded by R.T. Custer and Tyler Wolfe, Vortic Watches has prided itself on creating high quality, USA made time pieces that harken back to the RailRoad era in American history. The Journeyman Series, which consists of three types of model (Manual, Automatic, and Power Reserve), marks the young company’s first venture into the manufacturing of modern watches. After having worked with vintage pocket watches made by renowned American watch makers like Waltham, Hamilton, Elgin, Illinois, and Howard, the Vortic team felt prepared to launch their very own line of wristwatches.

While the Journeyman Series is inspired by turn-of-the-century watches and mechanisms, it also possesses a distinctly modern feel, captured through contemporary technologies like 3D printing. That is, additive manufacturing was used in the production process to both prototype and manufacture the watches’ titanium cases. Other watch components include a classically kiln-fired enamel dial (which recalls the white faceplates of RailRoad era timepieces), a gold or nickel crown to wind the watch and set the time, a crystal face plate, and a strap of fine leather.

What makes Vortic’s watches especially notable is that they are almost completely manufactured in the USA. In manufacturing the titanium cases, for instance, the company enlisted the help of New Jersey based 3D printing company Imperial Machine & Tool Co., while the dial, crowns, and leather straps were all manufactured locally in Colorado. The crystal face plate and the strap buckles were made in California and Detroit, respectively. Only the Eterna Movement, featured in the Manual and Automatic models, was manufactured abroad in Switzerland. The Power Reserve model, for its part, is reportedly one of the first fully U.S. made production watches since the 1960s, as it features a U.S. made caliber 1003 movement manufactured by Pinion Precision Technology in L.A. The Power Reserve model, as the name suggests, is equipped with a power reserve indicator and 65 hours of reserve.

Acknowledging the importance and appeal of bespoke accessories, Vortic is also offering clients a customization option. Through their online “Watch Builder” application, customers will be able to customize their own watches by selecting which dial, hands, case size/finish, hardware style/finish, strap color/material, movement engraving/grade options they want. In addition to choosing the options, clients will be able to see what their bespoke watch will look like thanks to the app’s handy visualizer.

Since launching on July 20th, Vortic’s Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed its goal of $50,000, ensuring that rewards will be fulfilled and shipped out by spring of next year. If you’re interested in purchasing one of their timeless pieces, the Manual model is going for $795 through Kickstarter, the Automatic model is selling for $1,495, and the Power Reserve for $1,745. The retail prices for each model are expected to increase by at least $200. The price for the bespoke wristwatches will be indicated through the Watch Builder app. Be sure to check out Vortic’s crowdfunding campaign before it runs out of time on September 18th, 2016.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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