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Detroit’s Shinola aims to make city watchmaking capital of America


We keep saying it’s time to do things in Detroit. It’s high time things changed. It’s time things changed around here.

But how will we keep that time? Well, if you have some extra coin to spend, it may just be with the new Shinola watch.

Close up of Shinola Runwell WatchIts national campaign launch was March 13, right out of Detroit. The company, which we visited earlier this year, is housed in the Taubman Center and shares the building with the Center for Creative Studies. It’s now taking pre-orders for the Detroit-made Runwell watch line.

The Runwell is powered by the Swiss Argonite 1069 movement, which is assembled here from almost four dozen parts, and features your choice of a 40mm  or a 47mm stainless steel case as well as vegetable-tanned Horween leather strap. Horween is a leather company that’s been around since 1905 and is out of Chicago. So, with the revival of the historic Shinola brand, it’s also tapping other long-lasting American companies.

Not only is there the manufacturing facility with Swiss-trained professionals here in the D, but the retail space is going to open soon in Midtown on West Canfield (between Cass and Second Avenues) in what’s become a block that is a center of revitalization.

Shinola retail site under construction in DetroitThe retail space will have neighbors on West Canfield like Traffic Jam & Snug restaurant, Motor City Brew Works, City Bird, Nest, as well as on the same block the Spiral Collective, Curl Up & Dye and Avalon Bread. Residentially, the new Auburn development (with retail going into that) as well Willy’s Overland Lofts are a stone’s throw away, not to mention one of the best blocks in Detroit, the section of Canfield that is covered in cobblestones, consisting of beautiful homes from days long ago.

This location will be paired with one in New York City.

Yes, at $550, the Runwell watch isn’t for every budget. And other goods the company offers, like the bicycles, will run into the thousands of dollars. But, with Shinola being a luxury line, it fits in perfectly. Detroit has a history of making beautiful things, and Shinola is continuing that tradition.

If you’re interested, pre-order your Shinola Runwell now. There will only be 1500 made of the 40mm version and a mere 1000 of the 47mm. They’ll ship in July.

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