In The Know: Shinola

by Beau Hayhoe  |  in Accessories

There are certain items or brands I find myself drawn back to time and again, even for years on end.

Do you feel the same way? It’s always nice, even refreshing, to set goals along your journey — saving for an exceptional watch or a select bomber jacket will offer a tremendous reward. That happened for me the first time I glimpsed a Shinola timepiece.

On a similar hunt for grail-worthy items? Want to put more care into the process than normal? Start by learning about an American accessories and lifestyle company that does things a little differently.

Heck, even the brand’s name is a play off an old adage that’s too colorful to repeat here.

In The Know: Shinola

The Shinola Brand

Plenty of companies can tell their stories well, but some can’t back up what they say. When Shinola says it’s committed to creating jobs in its home base of Detroit, you should believe ‘em — especially when they turn around and announce plans to expand to a new manufacturing facility in the city.

But what does that all mean for you as a consumer?

The brand’s rise has been lauded the past few years for its efforts to turn around a once blighted part of Detroit, emphasize American manufacturing and, yes, design and build some stunning watches and accessories in the process.

Those efforts have also drawn criticism for what some say is merely a marketing ploy — make of that what you will. The bottom line is that Shinola is doing what was all too rare — producing crisp, classic and well-designed goods with an edge of Americana and a dash of refinement.

The Products

While they offer plenty of watches, their product assortment includes everything from leather bags to handsome wool bomber jackets.

The classic touches start with simple-yet stylish pieces like the Runwell Watch. It’s available in a dizzying array of colors and styles plus a variety of different case diameters (most commonly 41mm and 47mm – either should suit most wrist sizes)

That’s part of Shinola’s likability — the styles are approachable yet still goal-worthy, both in pricing and looks. If you’re just building up the cash needed to buy one, they can certainly seem pricey. Still, they’re nowhere near as eyebrow-raising as an Omega.

Take, for example, this cream-dial, dark brown leather 41mm Runwell — it’s nearly the definition of a great everyday watch.

In The Know: Shinola


This is the type of timepiece that would look refined with anything from a pocket tee and dark denim all the way up to a slim navy suit. The style also comes in a chronograph iteration if you prefer more functionality.

Its Moon Phase Collection is another more technical approach that watch fans will appreciate. It’s worth noting that while the brand does assemble its watches in Detroit, it does so using imported Swiss movements and other choice components.

Another great thing about Shinola: they’re continually refining their craft by adding unique touches like beautiful Oxblood football leather straps. And they even make sportier-leaning timepieces compatible with NATO straps.

Beyond WatchesIn The Know: Shinola

Shinola definitely doesn’t stop at your wrist, either. Its Detroit store features a full bike workshop.

That’s another crucial piece of the puzzle for Shinola — its global stores, from London to Los Angeles (and particularly Detroit) are well-curated, Instagram-worthy locations unto themselves.

In The Know: Shinola

The leather goods and watches on display are enough to make anyone want to grab one on the spot. If you believe that buying less quantity but more quality should extend throughout a lifestyle, Shinola has you covered. Even its journals are crafted using US-sourced components.

Does it get any better? If you’re looking for an investment-level timepiece that can stand up to daily wear and match plenty of different ensembles, the answer is no. What if you just want to upgrade your everyday carry with a nice journal or a card case? Start with Shinola and go from there.

Do you own a Shinola timepiece? Or is it still on your style wish list?

Any additional questions about the brand? Or thoughts of your own on Shinola and its many accessories? Share them in the comments.