Shinola: You Don’t Know Sh*t – the Detroit based watchmakers

Boldly striding forward, is Shinola; Detroit-based watchmakers and luxury fine goods brand, hoping to bring American manufacturing back to America….

The second half of the twentieth century has not been kind to the city of Detroit. The once-great ‘Motor City’ has been devastated by the largest municipal filing for bankruptcy in US history, spiralling unemployment and the deterioration of its once-thriving automobile industry.

The city’s struggle however, is not without its heroes. Emerging from the ruins, with the determination and esprit de corps reflective of the city’s former soul and vigour, is what many are calling a renaissance; a revigoration of Detroit’s glory days.



Within Ford’s former design building sits a team of devoted craftspeople who share the belief that US manufacturing is not dead. Many of them are General Motors veterans. Nostalgic, yet boldly striding forward, is Shinola; a brand of watches made in Detroit and luxury fine goods (also made in Detroit) hoping to bring American manufacturing back to America.

Craftsmen of classic timepieces, leather-bound journals, vintage-style bicycles and leather goods, the company is at the forefront of a new wave of the city’s industry.

Using hides from America’s oldest working tanner, Shinola is keen to showcase its creative enterprise, collaborating with great American suppliers to produce luxury products of the highest quality. Master Swiss watchmakers have been brought over to train their local staff in the art of fine watch-making, which simultaneously ooze timeless beauty. Launching in Europe on 4th November at Colette, Paris, Shinola is about to go global, flying the flag for Ford’s old factories. It is the grit behind this company which make it so compelling, but it just so happens that their products are exquisitely designed and created by proud and skillful Detroiters. The spotlight can now be welcomed back to Detroit, to focus not on their heartbreaks, but on their successes.

To find out more and browse the Shinola watches and Shinola bikes online collections, visit

words by Catherine Harris




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