From Trash to Treasure: Sea Creatures

BY Taylor Rebhan


Since we hand-assembled our first Runwell with the finest materials in Detroit, Shinola’s mission has been to make non-disposable, heirloom-quality goods that are built to be lived in, worn out, and well loved. That’s who we are. But that’s not all we do. 


Every day, the people of Shinola establish and enrich deep roots in our communities. Whether that comes through partnering with American makers, celebrating the vision and voices of Detroit, or telling stories that need to be told, we hold ourselves accountable to making a difference where we can locally and nationally.


This World Ocean Day, we’re going global. 



Every minute, one truckload of plastic waste ends up in the sea. This disruption of our oceans affects every single living creature on this earth, on land and in the sea. The earth’s resources, climate, and ecosystems are what inspire and empower us to make. Without materials to craft, the creative hands of artisans and designers are left empty.


These resources deserve protection. Our protection. Inspired by the hauntingly beautiful art installations made of single-use plastic retrieved from the oceans, we asked ourselves: How can a watchmaker make a difference in the story of plastic on this planet? 


In looking for an answer, we turned to the foundation. All watchmaking begins with raw materials: Stainless steel, leather, titanium, resin, jewels and precious gemstones. There, turning over every leaf in the search, we discovered a way of turning mankind’s trash into treasure.





This World Ocean Day, Shinola is proud to introduce Sea Creatures. We crafted this unique sport watch’s case and strap from #tide ocean material® granules and yarn, an innovative and sustainable upcycled material made from 100% ocean-bound plastic waste. 


#tide ocean plastic material is made from ocean bound plastic collected on shores across the Indo-Pacific for fair and equitable wages by community members, including former fishermen and women whose livelihoods have been disrupted by plastic pollution. Before it can reach the ocean, the single-use trash is recovered and given a new story.



Sorted, cleaned, and shredded, it’s then transformed in Switzerland with proprietary methods that result in a pure, beautifully clean raw material with endless possibilities, from injection molding to woven fabrics.


Sea Creatures are living proof that single-use plastics can—and should—have a second life.


Just not in the ocean.





We won’t make something unless we can make it well. That goes for ocean plastics, too. No ordinary watch, Sea Creatures are designed with intention and innovation at every step. What we leave behind becomes our legacy, and we can’t wait for Sea Creatures to flourish for years to come. Let’s dive into the details.


Featuring the Argonite 715 Movement, Detrola Sea Creatures are Shinola through-and-through. If protecting the oceans is a movement we can get behind, then so is our very own Detroit-assembled movement. Made to last for generations, you’ll always know when it’s time for high-tide.


Certified water-resistant at 10 ATM (100 feet), Sea Creatures are built to handle adventure, whether that be on land or in the shallows.



Three-dimensional details abound, all made possible by the ingenuity made possible by the #tide material. Waved ridges, a submarine hatch-inspired case back, and the organic “squircle” case shape—an organic blend of a square and circle not possible with more rigid materials like metal—is a tribute to the real sea creatures we seek to protect. True to Shinola, everything has a story—from the water droplet on the seconds hand to the thick blue SuperLumi-Nova inspired by bioluminescent underwater critters.

This is the story of Detrola Sea Creatures. Made from ocean bound plastic. Assembled in Detroit with Swiss and imported parts. Built to last for generations to come.


Get updates on products,
people and places we love.

Follow Us On Social