Spotlight: Shinola — Made in America

As of late, I have been on the hunt for the perfect timepiece. Ultimately, what makes the “perfect” watch is truly subjective. For some, a time piece is a status symbol. It’s one of those things that are locked away in safes, and brought out for special occasions. Patek Philippe, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Greubel Forsey are all brands well-known to the ultimate peacock-er. For others, a watch is as functional as a pair of good running shoes; anything that ticks may do. And then there are those “middle-of-the-road” watch wearers, who are happy with Diesel, Michael Kors or other mainstream branded timepieces.

At the end of the day, whatever you choose is all good. For whatever your purpose is in having the perfect timepiece, you just have to go for what you want and what you like.

I have been on the fence. While I am smitten my the allure of the super-elite watch brands, I personally don’t wear a watch regularly enough that it would matter. In fact, I stopped wearing watches years ago when I felt that my life truly revolved around my raising my wrist to look at the time. My life, at that point, was dictated by time, and when I had enough of that I gave up the watch-thing altogether. Truth be told, it made for a much more comfortable way of life. I became less consumed with schedules and times, and really let myself live in the moment. Not a bad way to shift my life…

So why the urge to find a timepiece? Part of it is maturity. I think that in the place where I am in my life, I could use a quality timepiece for good measure. Another part of it is my semi-infatuation with a watch that I’ll love… something that I’ll actually care for and use for the right moments. Probably over-thinking this, as is usually the case for me. But regardless, I am on the search.

While my eyes are focused on Swiss-made watches (namely the more premium brands vs. true luxury brands; think Raymond Weil or Tissot), I’m truly curious about the American-made set. Topping this list at the moment is Shinola.

shinolaShinola is an American heritage brand out of Motor City. Yes, you read that correctly. It is a Detroit brand–which was best known for its shoe polish once upon a time. In 2011, however, the founder of Fossil, Tom Kartsotis, bought the rights to the name and re-established the brand with a focus on timepieces. It has then aimed to play against luxury watch-makers, namely of the Swiss-made market… even its parts are made by Swiss company Ronda. With a production goal of creating upward of 500K watches annually, and with the company’s strong marketing strategy, Shinola envisions a very bright future; a future that still holds its roots in Detroit.

Lauren Sherman discusses the brand’s hope to re-elevate Detroit’s manufacturing industry in an article that was published last year in businessoffashion.com. Read the write-up today and learn more about the company’s humble beginnings, it’s reincarnation through Fossil, and the plans it has for the future. Time, it seems, just might be on Shinola’s side.

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