Additively manufactured watch cases bring life to vintage pocket watches

January 7, 2016


US watchmaker Vortic Watch Co, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, is combining vintage pocket watch movements with metal additively manufactured watch cases to form unique wristwatches. The company claims to be the only watch maker to currently utilise metal Additive Manufacturing for final product parts.   

Each movement in Vortic’s American Artisan Series is salvaged from antique pocket watches destined to be scrapped. The pocket watches were originally made in the late 1800s or early 1900s by American watch companies such as Elgin, Waltham, Hamilton, Illinois, Hampden, etc.

Each case is custom designed to fit the antique pocket watch movements. Using a two-piece design, the case encapsulates each movement between two custom made Gorilla Glass crystals. Each case is additively manufactured from stainless steel and bronze and is coated with a patina or plating to provide a unique finish.

An insert in the watch allows the movement to seemingly float inside the case. This part is individually designed to fit each unique movement and is manufactured using a photopolymer resin on Vortic’s own Formlabs Form 1+ stereo-lithographic machine.

All watches are assembled by hand at Vortic. After completion, the watches are tested on a professional timing machine for accuracy.



In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

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Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Revolution, not evolution: General Motors on building an AM culture and the AM Dream Machine
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  • Growing momentum and broadening recognition: A status update on the rise of Electron Beam PBF
  • Improving carbon capture efficiency through Additive Manufacturing in the race for a liveable climate
  • The System of AM Systems: How Metal Powder Works’ in-process powder production could change metal AM
  • The next generation: Using metal AM to drive emissions reduction and educate the engineers of the future
  • Advances in the AM of refractory metals and hard materials at the 20th Plansee Seminar
  • Additive Manufacturing needs you: Why you and your company should get involved in standards development

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