Based in Detroit, Michigan, Shinola is a lifestyle brand that produces watches, clocks, jewelry, bicycles, leather goods, and more. Founded in 2011, Shinola recycles its name from the defunct Shinola shoe polish company. Due to its high quality products and gritty Detroit vides, the brand has gathered a cult following over the past few years.
At the time it was launched, no other American business had produced watches at any significant volume since at least the 1960s. In fact, every Shinola watch is assembled in the United States (right in Detroit), from parts manufactured in Europe, China, and Thailand.
Located in a former automotive research lab, Shinola’s headquarters and factory in the Alfred A. Taubam Building in Detroit occupy the fourth and fifth floors across 30,000 square feet of space.
Upon launching the factory, Shinola hired local Detroiters, many of whom only had automotive manufacturing experience and no watchmaking experience. But Shinola brought in expert watchmakers to train the assemblers and the factory is now capable of producing approximately 500,000 Shinola watches per year. Purchasing Michigan Made Shinola products supports more than 400 American workers.
The first Shinola watch, The Runwell Limited Edition 47mm, was released in March 2013 and sold out in less than one week (the company also reported that roughly ⅓ of those sales were made to Michiganders). Over the following years, Shinola would steadily grow the collection to include automatic movement watches, chronograph watches, and even a pocket watch.
But real watch collectors will appreciate the limited edition watches released as part of the Shinola Great American Series, which featured pieces honoring Henry Ford, Maya Angelou, Jake Burton Carpenter, and more.
Shinola bicycles are assembled by hand in Shinola’s Detroit workshop, with all components thoroughly tested for quality precision. With a small offering for men and women, Shinola bicycles are produced in limited quantities for a truly unique and head-turning ride.
Shinola Leather Goods
Shinola sources most of its leather from Horween Leather, based in Chicago, Illinois. And starting in 2014, Shinola manufactured all of its leather products on-site at its Detroit headquarters. Popular leather goods from Shinola include phone cases, wallets, backpacks, belts, and more.
The Lake Superior Monster Automatic Watch
From Shinola: Powered by the SW200-1 automatic movement, which features 26 jewels and a 38-hour power reserve, this high-grade 316L stainless steel timepiece is meticulously engineered to withstand extreme pressure and has a depth rating of 1,000 feet.
Why we love it: The Lake Superior Monster Automatic means no more watch batteries. Plus, it’s named after one of the best Great Lakes. What’s not to love?
The Canfield Sport Chrono
From Shinola: The Canfield Sport Chrono is our first watch built using a top loaded case construction for a larger face and clearer view — showcasing a refined minute track and slim, diamond-cut hands.
Why we love it: The details of The Canfield Sport Chrono are incredible and it’s impossible to overlook the fact that it is hand-assembled in Detroit with 85 different components. Plus, it’s perfect for dressing up and dressing down, with an understated face and slim profile.