Vortic is among relatively few companies specializing in converting vintage pocket watches into wristwatches. While the majority of such pocket watches tend to be classically styled, Vortic’s newest project uses military watches from WWII, resulting in a unique, distinctly modern feel. These offer much more than the authentic looks that inspire so many vintage-themed and military watches today, modifying an actual piece of history adapted for the modern wrist.
The pocket watches used for the Military Edition are those produced between 1938 and 1950 by American companies Elgin, Waltham, and Hamilton and were utilized by navigators on bomber aircraft. Navigation requires high precision, so the best, highly decorated Railroad Grade movements were used that incorporated features like hacking seconds. Vortic had access to original replacement parts as well as service manuals, and the manually wound movements are on display in the Vortic Military Edition watches through a Corning Gorilla Glass case back.
Based on the sizes of the original dials and movements, Vortic fitted them into 49mm-wide cases. As this is on the large side for many watch wearers, the cases are in black DLC-coated titanium to keep them light, and the lugs are designed to be short and slope downward for a better fit. The black dials used are rare for antique pocket watches, as is the 24-hour dial format. The “GCT” on the dial stands for Greenwich Civil Time, what we today call GMT or UTC.
The first edition of the Vortic Military Edition watches will be limited to just 50 pieces and have a price of $4,995 each. For each sale, $500 will be directly benefit the Veterans Watchmaker Initiative that provides horological training for military veterans. The Vortic Military Edition comes with a Horween leather strap, a “Bomber Jacket” aged leather strap and a canvas strap made from vintage military duffle bags.
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