Manufacturing Watches with Vortic Watch Co.
Combining old world elegance with new age technologies, Vortic Watch Co. is one of the only companies manufacturing 100% American made watches. With their headquarters located in Fort Collins, Vortic preserves the tradition of watchmaking in the U.S. by converting vintage pocket watches into stylish wristwatches with a 3D printed casing.
Founders, Tyler Wolfe (a wristwatch aficionado) and R.T. Custer (who studied 3D printing in college) began researching the history of American watch companies and discovered that there were three leading businesses making high quality pocket watches from the late 1800s to mid 1900s. Tyler and R.T. wanted to preserve those timepieces and bring them into today’s world. As a result, they created Vortic’s first wristwatch, known as the American Artisan Series, and in 2014 launched a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $40,000.
Today, Vortic has three product lines, drawing inspiration from different American pastimes that include the American Artisan Series 2.0, the Railroad Watch Series, and the Journeyman Series (the newest small batch line). While incorporating modern 3D printing technology, each watch is made with a refurbished American timepiece, dial and hands from vintage pocket watches. Vortic also has an online watch builder where customers can design a watch to their personal liking. And what’s even more impressive is Vortic’s “Convert Your Watch” service where customers can ship an old pocket watch to be restored and set into an American Watch Series case.
After only a few years, Vortic has been recognized by publications like The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and NPR to name a few. And yet, the most challenging aspect of their business is maintaining the appropriate cash flow to keep up with inventory for purchase requests. After receiving initial financing from Colorado Enterprise Fund, Tyler and R.T. were directed to Colorado Lending Source where they were approved for additional funds under the Colorado Main Street loan program. As a result, Vortic was able to purchase inventory and production equipment, which has helped them stay on top of orders and expand product lines. Thanks to Vortic, what was once an American pastime is now a forever keepsake.