Tuesday, June 18, 2013
We don't like to brag, but according to David Byrne (yes, that David Byrne), Detroit is one of the top eight cities in the world for cycling. We couldn't agree more. With its wide, lightly-trafficked roads, flat terrain, and over 43 miles of bike lanes, we sometimes wonder why there aren't more people biking here.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Our American-made leather goods are handcrafted from premium Horween leather by experts at the Missouri-based Eric Scott company. Their skilled craftspeople have decades of experience working with leather, and whenever possible prefer to get it done the old-fashioned way—by hand, which is evident in the hand-sewn whipstitched card pockets inside our Rolltop Backpack and Classic Tote (among other items). Given their exceptional quality standards, there's no other company in the world we'd rather partner with to produce our leather goods.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Carol Z., a sewing technician who has been with Eric Scott for over 22 years. Read below for the result of our conversation.
Friday, June 7, 2013
The Argonite movements that power every Shinola timepiece are assembled by hand in Detroit using anywhere from 46 to 100+ Swiss-made components. Requiring special tools, optical magnification equipment, and continuous testing to ensure our stringent quality standards are met, properly putting together an Argonite movement is quite the delicate process.
We think it's also a gorgeous process. Watch the video above to see the beauty of industry on display in the precise orchestration that goes into producing a Shinola Argonite movement.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
The return of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix in 2012--which had been suspended due to hard economic times four years prior--was more than just a point of pride for Detroiters. In many ways it marked a tangible turning point for the city, bringing in nearly 100,000 visitors from all over the world, generating millions in revenue for local businesses, and inspiring a new sense of optimism throughout the region.
It also turns out that watching high-performance cars tear around a 2.3 mile racetrack is a whole lot of fun--and really, really loud. So when we were presented with the option of serving as the official timepiece and timekeeper for the 2013 event, we jumped at the opportunity. We had a blast all weekend and awarded The Runwell watch to pole position and Dual in Detroit Indy Car winners Dario Franchitti, Mike Conway, and Simon Pagenaud.
We're already looking forward to next year's race. See you there?
Friday, May 31, 2013
When describing our watches, we tend to get a little carried away in the adjective department, using words like handcrafted, premium, and American-made quality, but who can blame us? Like new parents, we're just a little proud over here. Sometimes, though, we focus all our attention on the watch itself, and we forget about the straps.
The perfect finishing touch to a Shinola timepiece is our leather watch straps, made with vegetable-tanned leather produced by Horween of Chicago, the longest continuously-operational tannery in America. Horween is well known for using age-old techniques that require extensive, hands-on labor from highly experienced craftspeople. Because of the quality and durability of the leather, Shinola leather watch straps will only get better with age, gaining a unique patina over time.
To view our collection of artisanal leather goods featuring Horween leather, click here.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
We were prepared to scour the country to find a woodworking company able to build custom-designed displays for our watches, leather goods, journals, and bicycles. Turns out we didn't have to search any farther than our own backyard.
Great Lakes Woodworking has been a Detroit fixture for three decades. What started in the garage of co-founder Mike Mancinelli's eastside home has since grown into a thriving woodworking business that serves clients across the country.
We spent an afternoon speaking with Mancinelli and touring the factory—a sprawling warehouse decked out with machines that range from analog woodworking basics to enormous digitially-programmed machines that look like they were pulled off the set of a sci-fi movie.
We recently posted a gallery of photos from our visit. Check them out here!
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Detroit is a passionate city, and the community-minded folks here are living examples of what's possible when industrial ingenuity meets old-fashioned grit and determination. That spirit is what drew us to Detroit in the first place, and it's why we're such fierce proponents of this city.
But we feel the only way to truly understand Detroit—as well as Shinola—is to experience it firsthand. That's why our first question for all potential retail partners is, "When can you visit?" We insist that any retailer who wants to stock our Detroit-built timepieces must first come and experience the Motor City for themselves, and see our watches being hand assembled by the skilled craftspeople in our watch factory.
Really, though, everyone should visit Detroit, and right now is an exceptional time to come and witness an iconic American city in the midst of a dramatic reinvention. And while you're here, be sure to stop by our watch factory and see with your own eyes the work and passion that goes into every one of our American-made watches.
To schedule a tour of our factory, give us a call at 1-888-304-2534, or email us at email@example.com
Friday, May 17, 2013
We believe there’s no material more suitable than steel when it comes to producing a bicycle frame that is durable, highly responsive, and delivers an unsurpassed and pleasant riding experience. That’s why we’re proud to say our frames and forks are handcrafted in Wisconsin by Waterford Precision Cycle's master craftspeople using US-made True Temper double-butted chromoly steel tubing. Although steel has developed a reputation for being heavy, the 2,000 year-old alloy is an exceptional material for bicycle frames because of its remarkable strength-to-weight ratio, lasting durability and resistance to wear and fatigue (compared to aluminum and carbon). In fact, steel today is lighter, stronger and more versatile than ever. Its reliability has been tested and proven and it offers a superior and smooth ride because of its natural flex and vibration-dampening properties. If taken care of properly, your Shinola bike will be as rideable in 40 years as the day you buy it.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
There are few bicycle components that stir as much passion and affection as the saddle. We think that's probably due to the fact that the saddle is, simply put, a rider's most intimate encounter with the bicycle. A good saddle must be supportive, but also comfortable, while maintaining structural integrity over the long haul. The trouble with a synthetic saddle, which is typically made of foam and hard plastic, is that it will never fit any better than it does right out of the box.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
We built our watch factory in a previously raw space on the fifth floor of the College for Creative Studies in the New Center area of Detroit. Besides being in a historic building, the location provides us with the unique opportunity to collaborate with CCS students in Shinola-sponsored workshops, including design courses on watches, bicycles, and leather goods. The insight and new perspectives we've gained from the students has been invaluable—and as a result we've brought on board two talented students to the Shinola team. You can read about them here and here.
Watch the video above for a closer look at our partnership with CCS.
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