In 2019, Vortic Watch Company announced a partnership with non-profit, Veteran Watchmakers Initiative with the launch of the Military Edition Watches. The focus of the partnership was to bring awareness to the all volunteer technical school that provides jobs to the disabled war veterans through the art of watchmaking.
The Veteran Watchmaker Initiative (VWI) is the only technical school in the United States dedicated to disabled veterans. The small school, started in 2009, teaches war veterans the highly skilled art of watchmaking. The school is modeled after the Bulova Watch Co. program, which trained disabled veterans for decades after World War II but was shut down in the 1980s when electronic watches became popular. However, the increasing demand for vintage wrist watches and resurgence of American-made products has led to a skills gap in the trade of watchmaking.
Vortic’s exclusive Military Edition Watches are created from pocket watches commissioned by the U.S Army Air Corp (now known as the Air Force) during World War II and were used by aviators to aid in navigation.
The Military Edition is made from original pocket watch movements that are restored by watchmakers from the VWI and other partners. The straps are made with vintage military canvas bags, classic black leather, or bomber jacket material.
After the success of Military Editions released in 2019 and 2020, Vortic Watch Company has announced the launch of the latest addition to this famed collection.
The AN5740-1 was made to order by the United States Government at the beginning of World War II for the use of Army Air Corps. Built according to the strict military aviation specifications, this timepiece is an important creation in the American Watchmaking history.
Three of the Great American Watch Companies – Elgin from Illinois, Waltham from Massachusetts, and Hamilton from Pennsylvania – built mechanisms according to the specifications demanded by Army Air Corps. The dials of these pocket watches were all standardized to be black with simple, white 24-hour markings. Each had a set of white hands, and a long sweeping second hand with a hacking feature that allowed the timepieces to be used not just as pocket watches but as stopwatches.
Named the Master Navigational Watch, these pocket watches were used by the Navigator on Bomber aircraft like the B-17, B-24, and B-29. Each dial was marked with “GCT,” known at the time as Greenwich Civil Time.
Vortic Watch Company has restored the antique mechanical movements of these watches. Mostly produced between 1938 and 1950, these hand-wound calibers have been reinvigorated according to the modem timekeeping standards.
The Military Edition 2021 includes 50 watches featuring an original antique Hamilton 4992B movement. Each timepiece from this new series will be uniquely serial numbered and come with a certificate of authenticity.
Made of 316L grade stainless steel, the case measures 49mm diameter. Despite the massive dimensions, the sloped design of the lugs and the positioning of the crown at 12 o’ clock ensure comfortable fitting. Driven by an antique mechanical movement, this wristwatch displays hour, minute, and hacking sweeping seconds. Equipped with 22 jewels, the hand-wound calibre provides a power reserve of approximately 38 hours.
The dial side of the watch is fitted with a special domed glass handcrafted by White’s Crystals in San Francisco. For the transparent case-back, the brand has opted for Corning Gorilla Glass, which offers unobstructed view of the mechanical movement.
Every Military Edition 2021 watch comes with two straps, custom-made by Greg Stevens Design in Salt Lake City. The first is hand-cut from vintage military canvas duffle bags. The second strap is made of leather and known as “Bomber Jacket” due to its unique texture inspired by a well-worn vintage airmen coat.
The retail price of the Military Edition 2021 watch is US$ 6,995.00. From the sale of each Military Edition watch, $500 will directly benefit the Veterans Watchmaker Initiative’s mission to educate and certify the next generation of American watchmakers.
For more details, please visit Vortic Watch Company website.