Dial side of the Vortic American Artisan watch

Being both a vintage watch geek and a “Made In America” fan, Vortic Watch Co. seemed like the perfect fit. The company started out by taking vintage American-made pocket watches and “up-cycling” them into wearable, talking-piece wristwatches.

Being somewhat of an entrepreneur myself, I gravitate towards brands that have bootstrapped and, in this case, got their start on Kickstarter (see the archived campaign here on Kickstarter, back from November 2014).

I reached out to one of the company’s founders (“R.T.”) to see if a special watch could be commissioned from their custom “Convert Your Watch” service. I also expressed my interest in highlighting this innovative brand on this site. There would be a wait on the custom watch I wanted (please check back for a review later), so he kindly offered to lend me a watch for a weekend review.

A few days later, “The Boston” model from their American Artisan series arrived at my door, and I was eager to get it on the wrist!



Vortic Watches

This article shall cover:

  • A brief history of the firm (very brief, as I’d like to over the brand in greater depth once I visit their manufacturing facility),
  • Current collections & offerings
  • The Boston Watch from Vortic’s American Artisan Series
  • Review On The Wrist
    • Of note is my surprising discovery of the 46mm case’s wearability, as I typically favor small & vintage wristwatches (but more on this later!)
  • Final thoughts on overall impression and value
Vortic watch and shotgun with shells in

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Who Is Vortic Watches And What Do They Do?

Founded by two college buddies who were into watches and 3-D metal printing, Vortic has evolved into one of the most interesting American watch players in just a few short years.

They originally sought to convert old, well-made, and still highly accurate American-made pocket watch movements into modern-day wristwatches by casing them in their own 3-D printed cases.

Since then they’ve evolved their offerings and are even seeking to make new high-quality watches in the USA once again.

Three watch magazines

They’ve been featured in the likes of WSJ and Revolution Magazine and continue to grow their footprint from their Fort Collins, Colorado headquarters.

Current Collections & Offerings

As of mid-2022, there are five distinct services and product offerings:

  1. American Artisan Series – As seen in this article
  2. Railroad Edition – Made from vintage railroad grade movements
  3. Military Edition – Expected in November 2022; will use antique US Army pocket watches & benefit Veterans Watchmaker Initiative
  4. Convert Your Watch – Exactly what it says
  5. Accessories – Includes straps, watch boxes, and other branded merchandise

Overall, it’s a pretty stellar lineup from such a young brand. Going forward, I am most interested in the development of U.S.-made watches at an affordable price point. But for now, we can jump into what got them on the map: the American Artisan series.

Vortic’s American Artisan Series

Up close of Vortic Boston watch face

This series offers watches from a number of vintage pocketwatch manufacturers, including but not limited to:

  • Waltham Watch Company- “The Boston”
  • Elgin National Watch Company – “The Chicago”
  • Illinois Watch Company – “The Springfield”
  • Ball Watch Company – “The Cleveland”
  • Hamilton Watch Company – “The Lancaster”
  • Hampden Watch Company – “The Canton”
  • Burlington Watch Company – “The Burlington”
  • Rockford Watch Company – “The Rockford”

If it’s not obvious by the list above, the model name is derived from the vintage movement it employs.

Each pocket watch movement and its original dial are taken from the original housing and disassembled, cleaned, reassembled, serviced, regulated, and recased into a custom-made Vortic watch case, resulting in what is essentially a brand new watch.

Price Of The American Artisan Watches

As each watch is unique, prices vary based on factors including rarity and condition. Generally, though, they seem to range in the $2,495 to $3,995 range, with each of the individual listings being quite detailed.

When I originally wrote this review circa 2017, “The Boston” was priced at $1,588. Since then, the brand has grown in popularity and expanded its facilities with the goal of meeting the outsized demand.

The Boston 46mm watch listing

Vortic has also faced (and won) an extended court battle following a lawsuit from Hamilton, who claimed the custom watches caused “consumer confusion.”

What You’ll Get With Your Vortic Watch Order

I was very impressed with what I received and how personalized the package was. From the wax seal on the packaging to the detailed document describing the vintage movement in the watch, no detail was overlooked.

What’s In The BoxCustom made Vortic wooden watch box and packing

I know that packaging does not add to a watch’s function, but for me, it’s an integral part of the buying and ownership experience.

A brand like Omega has gone relatively HUGE on their boxes and packed a lot of polish and punch in them. The same can be said for Vortic with respect to polish and brand identity in their packaging and presentation.

Unique certificate made for each watch

The watch came wrapped and wax sealed, encased in a custom-embossed wooden box. The watch was wrapped around a canvas pad, which gave off a nice vintage vibe and a highly polished one. I was impressed!

In addition to the above (and more importantly for us watch geeks), there were two documents. The first was an authentication card, and the other was a “Watchmaking Certificate.”

The latter document was very detailed and highly interesting. The watch I received, for instance, has a movement from 1935 and contains 17 jewels. There was a wealth of other information, too much to list here.

This really connected me to the history of the piece I was about to have on the wrist.

Finer Details Of Vortic’s The Boston

Custom details of a Vortic watch and strap

Packaging aside, the customization continued on to the strap with a nice embossed Vortic icon and the lettering “Built in the United States, for Vortic Watch Co.”

The real star of the show is the perfectly encased vintage movement, with both the dial and movement sides having large Gorilla glass. As with all exhibition casebacks, I could just stare at a movement for days, and this vintage piece was no different!

Macro shots of 1935 Hamilton pocket watch movement in Vortic watch

The dial’s patina really showed some age and character, whereas the movement looked brand new. That said, it had a lovely vintage vibe thanks to the refined detail work etched into the plates.3D printed watch case by Vortic

The Vortic case itself is rustic and very solid-looking. Surprised as I was to think so, this is a great marriage of old-school chic and new-age 3D metal printing technology. The merging of these two produced a visually appealing and solid look.

Macro shot of Waltham watch balance wheel

Again, that movement is like looking through a window back in time. Very impressive.

Watch Dimensions

At 46mm across, this is no small piece, but it was highly wearable with its downward sloping lugs.

Case width size of Vortic watch

The Boston model’s main dimensions are:

  • Case width: 46mm
  • Case depth: 12mm
  • Lug-to-lug width for strap:  21 mm (please note the need for custom straps to accommodate the crown, this may be a consideration)

Size of Vortic watch lug to lug height

Other interesting measurements that are important for a Vortic watch are:

  • Lug-to-lug:  54 mm
  • Case to crown: 54 mm (slightly different as crown is at 12 o’clock)
  • Lug to crown: 59 mm

Vortic Watch On The Wrist Review

Dial side of the Vortic American Artisan watch

Vortic Watch With Small Seconds Complication

I was very happy to wear the piece for the few days I had it, making me even more excited to get my custom piece made soon!

Being a fan of traditionally small watches, both new and vintage, I was pleasantly surprised at how wearable the watch was on the wrist. I think this comes down to three main points:

  1. Downward-sloping lugs
  2. Top-mounted crown
  3. Lightness (much lighter than I expected)

Vortic The Boston watch on the wrist images


  • Each watch is unique and captures a great time in American manufacturing
  • Fits very well on the wrist for its size
  • Great talking piece
  • Lots of bang for the buck considering it’s a 100% American-made piece
  • Offered with a 1-year revolving warranty
Vortic Watch Co. American Artisan model on the wrist

What could be more American?! A vintage, American-made movement at a baseball stadium.


  • Vortic Watch Co. - The Boston Model On The WristRegardless of how well such a large case size sits on the wrist, it’s still a bit big and may not be to everyone’s tastes
  • The case is NOT waterproof to any degree, would only be rated to 1 ATM
  • The need for custom / altered watch straps to accommodate the top crown

Final Thoughts Of Vortic Watch Co. – “The Boston”

I’m of two minds on the watch for a final recommendation.

On the one hand, it’s sad to see old pocket watch movements being uncased and used this way. But that’s the romantic in me, as the original cases are beyond repair in many instances. Furthermore, the vast majority of people have only sparse use for pocket watches.

On the other hand, it’s fantastic to see these watches being brought back to life again as functional pieces of American history, doing the job they were made to do! America was the great mass manufacturer of watch movements over 100 years ago, so it’s great to see this legacy honored in such a contemporary and innovative way.

Although not to everyone’s visual taste, I highly recommend a Vortic watch to any watch fan, history fan, or those who like things made in the good ole US of A.

I’m looking forward to receiving my requested piece and making it a cornerstone of my casual watch collection.

To see the latest innovation and collections, please visit VorticWatches.com.

Up close of Vortic Boston watch face

"The Vortic American Artisan Series pays great respect to the American watch makers of old, in a unique and modern way."
Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★★★

Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading my review of Vortic’s The Boston Series review, feel free to check out more related content:

Watch Content

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