Don’t Give Up on “The American Dream” — R.T. Custer

Bill Gallagher

Contrary to popular belief, the American dream, as well as the classic statement wristwatch, are not a thing of the past. Today’s guest shares an incredible story of bringing both to life while legally battling an industry supergiant along the way.


R.T. Custer is a Colorado-based entrepreneur, speaker, and co-founder of Vortic Watch Company. He helps founders create a life of freedom through community, connection, and mentorship and is on a continual journey toward the American dream. Today he shares his “David vs. Goliath” story as he took on Swatch.


Watches are not currently made in the United States, but after learning that millions of pocket watches were created in the U.S. between 1850 and 1950, R.T. designed a way to create a 100% American wristwatch by upcycling an antique American-made pocket watch. The idea was crowdfunded and appeared to be a viable business model until Swatch served Vortic with cease and desist papers and a threat of copyright infringement.


A six-year legal battle ultimately resulted in victory, and R.T. learned a lot along the way about what it means to take on an industry giant and stand firm in what you believe in. The law is rarely as cut and dry as most of us assume it to be, and corporate bullying combined with navigating an unprecedented refurbishing business led to a landmark case that eventually won in court. This proved that the American-made dream is still alive and that fighting for something new and different just may be the key to finding the success you’ve been dreaming of.


Interview Links:

R.T. Custer



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Scaling Up is the best-selling book by Verne Harnish and our team for Scaling Up Coaches (formerly Gazelles). We share how the fastest-growing companies succeed where so many others fail.


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