Monday, August 24, 2020

A Contrarian Vortic

Courtesy of Vortic
From Vortic.

So this one speaks to me.  A Vortic that swims against the stream and is re-imagined twice! The concept behind Vortic is one that I think anyone can grasp without too much difficulty - under appreciated (not necessarily unloved) pocket watches, dials, movements and hands brought back to life as wrist watches that can be worn more "regularly" as we don't tend to wear vests with pockets.

I am the proud owner of a custom Vortic myself, so I absolutely get and appreciate the concept. But as pretty much anyone who knows me just a little bit will inform you, I am also a contrarian by nature.  My high school's population was crazy about Prince, I preferred Bob Dylan. While most pen fans worship Mont Blanc, I find myself decidedly in the Pelikan camp -
And as a Northern Youth growing up near Cleveland, I found myself more of a fan of Jack Brohamer -
than I was of Buddy Bell -
Needless to say, I am a forever fan of Frank Robinson -
The 1970s are well and truly in the rearview, but for those of us who grew up south of Lake Erie, those wild red jerseys still speak to us ; )

Okay, let's get back to watches. This was (by all appearances) a one-off put out by Vortic that I believe (unless I was misinformed) an exclusive news item for another outlet at its release.

It is based on a Ball pocket watch circa 1948. For those unaware the Ball Watch company started life as a strange convergence of events.  Webb C. Ball was actually a jeweler. And it might have stayed that way.  But following the horrific collision between two trains that never should have been in the same place at the same time in Kipton, Ohio (a little better than 5 miles from where I grew up), Mr. Ball was tasked to fix this problem. As a result, he helped establish standards for time keeping requirements for watch accuracy and performance that were adopted by not only the railways, but the watch brands wishing to make watches for use by engineers.  The Ball Watch company (which grew out of his jewelry business) itself was perhaps more akin to Auguste Reymond in Switzerland, acting as more of an assembler/reseller. Nothing wrong with that, by the way.  

Now as I have said, I am contrarian by nature, and this one not only speaks, it SINGS to me. 
Courtesy of Vortic
This one is really special. And in many ways, it is the "Ballest" Ball watch out there - the original movement refinished, adjusted and refined and put in an even more impressive case.  It is slightly steampunk in look and feel, and while I realize it might not be everyone's baby, I would be thrilled to have this time machine in my pocket.

My understanding is that this one has come and gone, but you never know what the Vortic team might pull out of their sleeves in the future.

Here are the pertinents -


  • Manufacturer: Vortic Watch Company
  • Model Year: 2020
  • Warranty: Full 2-Year Warranty
  • Case Dimensions: 
    • Diameter: 46mm
    • Height: 12mm
    • Lug-to-Lug: 55mm
    • Lugs: 22mm
  • Case Finish: Machined Titanium
  • Crown/Hardware: Stainless Steel
  • Water Resistance: 1 ATM
  • Crystals: Gorilla Glass
  • Case Back: Stainless Steel
  • Hands: Original
  • Strap: Leather


  • Original Manufacturer: Ball Watch Company
  • Original Serial Number: 1b11273
  • Manufacture Year: 1948
  • Function: Manual Wind, Lever-Set
  • Jewels: 21j
  • Size: 12s
  • Power Reserve: ~36 Hours

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