The Vortic Heritage Watch Builder Represents the Past, and the Future, of American Watchmaking

If you’re a longtime reader of WatchTime, you’re probably well aware of all the cool stuff that RT Custer and Vortic Watch Co. are up to at their workshop in Fort Collins, CO. The basic objective of Vortic is the revitalization and preservation of America’s historic watchmaking culture. This takes its form in a variety of ways but the predominant thing that the brand is known for is the conversion of American-made pocketwatches from makers like Elgin and Waltham, among others, to functional wristwatches. This ability, to turn a family heirloom into a functional timekeeper, is how the company has carved its own successful niche in the watch industry since it was founded in 2013.

An Elgin railroad pocketwatch that has been converted to a wristwatch.

Vortic has recently announced the Heritage Watch Builder, a new service that will make the process of converting your watch easier than ever before. Where previously people interested in the conversion service had no way to visualize what their specific pocketwatch would look like once transformed into a wristwatch — they could only be shown previous examples of a watch that might be similar to theirs — the Heritage Watch Builder allows potential customers to upload images of their own watch through a private link. Once the images have been placed inside the existing Convert Your Watch window on the Vortic website, it’s easy to play around with the various design and personalization options and you can see what your timepiece will look like if you decide conversion is the right choice for you.

An Illinois pocketwatch that has been converted a wristwatch.

American watchmaking was once the global leader in precision timekeeping. There are countless pocketwatches hidden away in drawers and in storage units that haven’t seen the light of day in years, if not decades. I’ve been a big fan of Vortic’s operation ever since the company started because it places a spotlight on America’s forgotten past as a horological powerhouse. That being said, I also understand that with some precious pocketwatches that have been in a family for generations, it might be difficult to package up and send that timepiece away with no idea what the final product might end up looking like. The Heritage Watch Builder should offer those people that have a hard time saying goodbye to a watch’s past comfort while encouraging them to allow it to live on a new life on the wrist. Pricing for a pocketwatch conversion from Vortic starts at $1,500 and you can learn more here.

An Illinois pocketwatch that has been converted a wristwatch.

Click here for our interview with RT Custer of Vortic Watch Co. 

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