Shinola Watch Review and Buying Guide

Shinola Watch Review

The USA Citizen Dream. It’s been imitated by many over multiple generations, and not always with success. For a long time, the constructing history of Detroit was one of the excellent examples of the American Dream coming to life. Families could earn high Middle-Class wages, save for a quality relax, own a home, raise kids, and live a great life.

Then the nice Recession hit in 2007. It kept going until 2009 and it gutted many facets of American constructing – specially the auto industry. Detroit as a city ended up filing a Chapter 9 bankruptcy in 2013. In some ways, the financial future of Detroit as a city is still up for grabs.

still in the midst of this chaos is a growing watch brand: Shinola. They have created “Built in Detroit” to become more than just a marketing effort. It has become a actual way to support the people of the city while getting your hands on a unique timepiece.

shinola watches review

What Is the Story Behind Shinola Watches?

Shinola is deliberated to be a luxury lifestyle brand and it is based in the USA. In extra to watches, Shinola also construct bicycles and leather goods, along with other specialty items. It’s a modern addition to our industry – the brand itself was establish in 2011 by Tom Kartsotis and is currently owned by Bedrock Brands, which is a Texas Investment Group.

If the name is familiar, it is because Shinola used to be a favored shoe polish that went out of business in 1960.

The first watches initiated by the Shinola brand hit the market in March of 2013. The first edition provided 2,500 watches and was available in two various sizes. These initial watches sold for 550 dollars  and the 47mm size sold out in just one week. A second limited edition watch was launch in October 2013 and sold equally well.

Now a number of watch models are obtainable, with particular outlook paid to the Signature Series limited editions for popularity. Many of the watches are also provide  in conjunction with their bicycles for cross-product marketing purposes.

Is a Shinola Watch a Good Timepiece to Wear?

Considering the building of many models in the different collections produced by Shinola, the quality is outstanding compared to the price point. Most of the affixed designs feature an all stainless steel case, though there are a few models that feature titanium. Many Shinola watches feature sapphire crystal and have some level of water-resistance created  into them.

Ronda AG offers the movements for Shinola watches. It’s the same movements that are put into some of the popular Fossil models that are provided for sale today as well. On the rear, this sounds wonderful. In reality, it must be pointed out that a vast majority of the designs provided by Shinola have a quartz movement.

Yet there is no sacrifices the fact that part of the cost which is built into the Shinola brand is the “feel-good” idea that you’re helping Detroit. At the same cost point of a Shinola watch, you can buy a mid-range European mechanical watch from several various brands: Stowa, Archimede, and Laco – just to name 3 of them.

In a direct comparison, Shinola watches are compared to the design and movement of Tissot watches. If you love the backstory and want to wear it on your wrist, then this is a superb brand for you to support. If you are looking for a specific watch with excellent quality and a proven history of sales, you could potentially save 200 dollars or more by buy a Tissot or a similar brand.

What Are the Prices of Shinola Watches?

Shinola watches goal the high mid-range fashion consumer with their designs and cost  points. An entry-level Shinola watch will usually be priced around $500. Many of the selection  offered by this craftsman are priced between $750-$1,000.

There are also various models that are priced in the $1,000-$2,000 range, along The Black Blizzard, The Shirley Fromer, and The Cass.

If you are looking for a higher-end watch than the previous examples, The Canfield with Diamonds is a accurate example. It has a suggested MSRP of $2,800. All current models provided by Shinola are priced for less than $3,000.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Owning a Shinola Watch?


#1. Shinola watches offer timeless designs. Shinola makes a pretty watch. This is for certain. They are striking, feel good when sitting on the wrist, and many models have a built-in stability that will allow you to wear them on a daily basis.

#2. You actually get to help people by buying a watch. Jobs can be hard to find in Detroit. When you visit the city, it’s clear that the same financial safety that were present a generation ago are no longer there. Homes are rundown. The homeless population seems to be growing. By buy a Shinola, you’re helping this factory continue to build watches.

#3. Shinola watches have high-level support for the brand. In April 2016, President Barack Obama presented a custom Shinola watch to UK Prime Minister David Cameron as a gift in a case that featured the Presidential Seal. Former President Bill Clinton is known to have bought over a dozen Shinola watches. Several other politicians have also approved the brand, which is then reflected personally when the watch brand is worn.

#4. The warranty offered is one of the best in the industry. Shinola provide a comprehensive limited guarantee that is less limited than most other watch manufacturers. Although wear and tear aren’t covered (and rarely is), many more material of the watch, including exterior element, are covered and that is rare for our industry today.


#1. There’s a difference between “American made” and “American assembled.” You are expressly helping Detroit when you purchase a Shinola watch. But you are also feeding into a clever marketing scheme. Before starting this brand, a survey was commissioned by Kartsotis about how much people would pay for products from China, the US, and specifically Detroit. The highest cost point came from Detroit.

#2. They are ultimately a quartz watch. Swiss-made quartz watches are at the same cost  point of some Shinola watches, but much to the dislike of most watch collectors. A common comment goes something like this: “If you want a quartz watch, then buy a inexpensive Casio. If you want a best  watch, invest into a mechanical.” And you could do that with the cost  of a Shinola watch.

#3. They don’t make for a good watch with the suit and tie crowd. Shinola watches are more about Denim and Flannel instead of suits and ties. They are a casual fashion watch brand, with a hint of luxury, but they are not generally workable for professional wear.

#4. Shinola watches do sometimes scuff a bit. The stainless steel cases of a Shinola watch do tend to be fairly lasting. They also tend to scratch fairly often with an impact and that kind of harm isn’t necessarily covered by the lifetime limited guarantee.

Could a Shinola Watch Be Right for You?

If you are looking for a fashionable daily wear watch, then you will find that the average Shinola watch review will recommend this brand for most consumers. The marketing practices of this brand may seem somewhat deceptive, specially with their “Made By” cards and “Made in America” phrasing, but there is no denying the clearness of their factory processes or desire to help Detroit either.

The cost  of these watches are high, but that’s worthwhile to those who wish to support this version of the American Dream. If that’s you, then you are going to love a new Shinola watch.