The New Possible Podcast: Vortic Watch Co: Not Your Grandpa’s Pocket Watch

Emily Engle March 12, 2021 2 min read
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The New Possible podcast sheds light on the future of making things – from COVID-19 ventilators to sustainable motorcycles. Each episode tells the story of how a company unlocked their new possible using Autodesk’s Fusion 360. Follow along as we dive into the who’s, what’s, and how’s behind some of the most exciting innovations. Listen to the New Possible podcast on all major hosting platforms, including Apple, Amazon, Spotify, and Google.

Inheriting family heirlooms seems exciting, but the sad reality is that more often than not, valuable pieces passed down to us typically end up collecting dust on a shelf or at a pawnshop. Take American WWII-era pocket watches, for instance. 

There are quality and permanence to pocket watches from that era. It’s not rare to find one in an old drawer or store that still functions today, but their use is no longer relevant to modern life. The result? Pawnshops end up scrapping them for their gold or silver cases and then trash the mechanism inside. 

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When RT Custer and Tyler Wolfe, founders of Colorado-based watchmaker Vortic Watch Co., realized what was happening to many WWII-era pocket watches, they created a business model that would keep these pieces of American history alive and functioning in the modern world. After shifting gears away from their original watch business plan and launching a successful Kickstarter campaign for this new idea, Vortic was born.

Today, history buffs, collectors, inheritors, and enthusiasts alike can send their pocket watches directly to Vortic from anywhere in the world, and Vortic turns them into modern-day wristwatches as a service. In addition to this service, they also design their own limited edition watch collections using wristwatches they source from throughout the U.S. 

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To transform each piece from pocket watch to wristwatch, Vortic first restores the complications of the old pocket watch, then manufactures the rest in-house, including the case, crown, glass, and leather strap using Fusion 360 and Haas machines. Their focus as a company is on transparent manufacturing practices, keeping as many parts as possible made in the USA.

Throughout their journey as founders, RT and Tyler have pivoted ideas, launched a successful crowdfunding campaign, learned Fusion 360 from scratch, and brought their manufacturing entirely in-house. That’s a lot to handle in just seven years, and we’ve asked them to unpack it all for this episode of The New Possible podcast.

Listen to the full episode above via AppleAmazonSpotify, and Google. Stay tuned for the next episode of The New Possible podcast featuring CAMplete, which will drop next month.

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