Industry / Watches

Vortic Debuts Watch Brand on Kickstarter With Two Models


Vortic Watch Company is expanding its universe with a sister business called Colorado Watch Company, which is debuting with two wristwatches that stay true to Vortic’s American-made promise and brand aesthetic.

Known for upcycling American pocket watches into one-of-a-kind wristwatches, Vortic announced the new company in sneak peeks to its email subscribers. Colorado Watch Company‘s two models, the Field Watch and the GCT Watch, can be viewed and preordered at a discount on Kickstarter from Sept. 26 through Oct. 26.

Cofounders (and former college classmates) R.T. Custer and Tyler Wolfe—who had their first Kickstarter fundraiser for Vortic in November 2014—are using the crowdfunding platform to support their new brand in its beginning stages, and they aim to raise $250,000 through it.

Colorado Watch Company
Colorado Watch Company is offering two timepieces upon its debut: the GCT Watch (black dial) and the Field Watch (white and metal dials).

They hope customers will jump at the opportunity to acquire these first Colorado timepieces through the preorder and marketing campaign. Supporters receive a logo T-shirt for a $25 donation on Kickstarter and a hat for $35. Clients can get one of the new watches at a reduced price, depending on how much they contribute.

“We’re starting a new company,” Custer says. “We’re positioning Colorado Watch Company as a watch we created for ourselves as much as for our customers. For example, the Field Watch is a watch that’s built to last a lifetime that is available under $1,000.”

The Field Watch is 40mm in diameter and has a white or metal dial and a steel or DCL black case. It will retail for $995, but during the Kickstarter period it’s available for $795 for the first 100 “early birds” and $895 for everyone else.

The 42mm GCT Watch comes with a black dial and a steel or DLC black case. Normally retailing at $1,395, it costs $1,195 for the first 100 people who order it through Kickstarter and $1,295 during the rest of the crowdfunding campaign. After the 30-day Kickstarter, the company will accept full-price preorders for the watches on its website.

GCT Watch Colorado
Priced at $1,395, the GCT Watch is an homage to a military pocket watch once used by the U.S. Army Air Corps but has automatic movement.

Designed to be a wear-it-anywhere kind of timepiece, the Field Watch is priced under $1,000 to make it accessible to more people. The GCT Watch is patterned after Vortic’s Military Edition 2019 watch, which was made from a U.S. Army Air Corps pocket watch, but is smaller, lighter, and also wearable for every day.

Colorado Watch Company is making its dials, cases, and most other metal components, including the crown and buckle, in Vortic’s Fort Collins, Colo., factory. Custer and Wolfe invited watch and jewelry media, as well as the general public, for a special tour of the facility in early September, showing how they have built it over the past decade.

Vortic watch tour
Cofounder R.T. Custer (left) met with media and the public at an open house earlier this month in Vortic’s Fort Collins, Colo., manufacturing facility, where visitors were introduced to the shop dog, Buddy.

Both new watches are at least 87% American-made, according to Custer. The custom black rubber straps of Colorado watches will be manufactured in Minnesota, and their sapphire crystals will be made in New Hampshire, he says. Colorado Watch Company works with Fine Timepiece Solutions, which assembles the watches in Arizona.

“We’re excited to showcase the manufacturing capabilities we’ve built here in Colorado across the 10 years of running Vortic, and we’re stoked to share what’s possible given our new collaboration with Fine Timepiece Solutions,” Custer says.

Top: The Field Watch is one of two models offered by Vortic Watch Company’s new brand, Colorado Watch Company, focused on making modern timepieces that are affordable for the everyday wearer and collector. (Photos courtesy of Vortic) 

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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