Meet The Shinola Monster: Things To Know About Your Automatic Dive Watch

BY Taylor Rebhan

Driven by the SW200-1 automatic movement from Sellita, Shinola’s Monsters are powerhouse automatics, inspired by the powerhouse lakes: early-morning summer sunrises on Lake Huron, the green glow of the Northern Lights dancing across Lake Superior, and the sharp blue ice formations on Lake Michigan.

Trusted Traits For Deep Dives

A dive watch is a very challenging piece to design. Bill Guy, watch design director, said that many designers worked together to make the Shinola Monster both an accessory for style and for diving. “It was a huge team effort,” he said. “We all really worked hard on creating a timepiece that was impressive aesthetically and technically.”

The Shinola Monsters were designed with divers in mind, and their features show it: a micro-adjustable stainless steel bracelet or an expandable rubber strap to ensure a secure fit for underwater exploration; thick, anti-reflective sapphire crystal for durability and optimum visibility in deep waters; an anti-magnetic shield to prevent disruption in the movement; a unidirectional bezel that tracks time when it’s most precious; and Super-LumiNova hands for telling time, even in some of the deepest, darkest waters of a Great Lake. 

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Each Shinola Monster is tested in-house to meet ISO 6425, the industry standard for water resistance and reliability in dive watches. The Shinola watch team places the automatic watch heads into what they call the “dunk tank” or “swimming pool.” It’s basically an underwater pressure chamber. When a watch head passes the test, it means it has a depth rating of 1,000 feet.

The Automatic Difference 

An automatic operates differently than a standard quartz—the kind of movement that drives the majority of Shinola timepieces. Quartz movements are powered by a battery that sends electricity through an electric circuit to a quartz crystal. The crystal then vibrates at a precise frequency, and the electric circuit counts the number of vibrations and uses them to generate one pulse per second. This drives the motor and turns the gears, keeping the hour, minute and second hands moving. 

Unlike quartz movements, automatic movements do not have a battery. Instead, they harness their power from the movement of the one wearing the watch. As the wrist moves, the rotor oscillates and automatically winds the mainspring that stores the watch’s energy. This energy is released through a barrel to an intricate series of components, gears and jewels (26 in our Shinola Monsters, to be exact), driving the hands of the timepiece.

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The Shinola Monster has a 38-hour power reserve, but, as the power reserve drains, it will start to lose time incrementally until it eventually stops. Because an automatic watch is powered by your movement, don’t panic if the watch completely stops. It’s likely the watch wasn’t worn recently and there’s been no oscillation to restore its power reserve.   

Beyond Diving

Finding a balance between the technical and the beautiful can be a challenge, senior watch designer Molly Wang said. With thick sapphire crystal, an intricate automatic movement and an anti-magnetic shield, the case of this watch could become a heavy monstrosity on the wrist. But Molly and her team found a way to make the timepiece shine even with all its technical components. 

“I created a surface-cut underneath the side view of the case body and lugs to reduce the weight of the watch physically and visually,” Molly said. “It creates a unique look for the case design, and the cut was inspired by the curved surfaces of boats.”

Every detail—from the curve of the case to the sound the unidirectional bezel makes as it turns—is designed with intention by our watch team. Molly said the team worked closely with the factories to make sure every minuscule detail was precisely as it should be. 

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“Being able to design the first dive series for Shinola, I already feel like that’s a privilege because it’s such an important collection for us,” Molly said. 

Whether you wear it for your deep dives or simply for its sharp characteristics, the Shinola Monster is a trusted tool for endless exploration.  

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