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Our Story

Why Open A Watch Factory In Detroit?

Picture of a person working on assembly a watch

The answer: why would you want to see American jobs go anywhere else?

We've always worked to bring manufacturing jobs back to Detroit and back to this country, creating luxury goods of the highest quality along the way.

We know there’s not just history in Detroit—there is a future. It’s why we are here. Making an investment in skill at scale. Creating a community that thrives through excellence of craft and pride of work.

In a world that’s rushing, we stand for something different. We believe our lives can be crafted just like our products, with intention. It’s about making time for the things that make you happy. It’s about investing in the things that are important. It’s about working with people who care the same amount, because it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.

We are Shinola.

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Our Detroit Watch Factory

  • Shinola employee inspecting a watch-dial
  • Shinola employee handling watch-dial faces
  • Shinola employees working in the watch factory
  • Shinola Employee sitting at their work-station inspecting a watch
  • Shinola Employee sitting at their work-station inspecting a watch
  • Picture of Shinola watch-factory worker assembling a watch
  • Picture of Shinola watch-factory workers
  • Shinola watch laying facedown on leather with tools scattered about
  • Person inspecting watch pieces

In 2011 we decided to build a watch factory in a city that was known for a lot of things—except watches. It might have been crazy—or maybe just crazy enough to work. We had to build a factory before we could build any watches, so we transformed 30,000 square feet of raw space into a state-of-the-art watch factory inside Detroit’s College for Creative Studies within the historic Argonaut building. We partnered with Swiss manufacturer Ronda AG to train our team on timepiece assembly. It was something that had never been done before, but we pushed though anyway and launched our first watch, the Runwell, in 2013.

Our production combines meticulous hand assembly with the most advanced technology available to ensure our watches are both beautiful and built to last. View this short film for a look at the process.

Our Leather Factory

The 12,000-square-foot Shinola Leather Factory produces the majority of our watch straps, using traditional labor-intensive methods as well as high-tech, custom-made Italian machinery.

Located next door to the Shinola Leather Factory is our Leather Studio where our bags and small leather goods are crafted from sketch to sample by our team of pattern and sample makers. Here, our artisans hand cut patterns and shape leather and fabric, inspired by our designers’ illustrations, to create what might one day be a Shinola classic. We’ve partnered with a hand-selected group of American manufacturers across the country to achieve our full production at scale. All of our leather products are designed, cut and sewn in the U.S. We work with international partners that meet our high quality standards for hardware and other components.

Our Bicycle Workshop

Each Shinola bicycle undergoes a precise, custom-level assembly by experts in our Detroit Flagship retail store at 441 W. Canfield Street in Midtown, Detroit. We believe there's only one way to properly build a bicycle—one at a time, by hand, with rigorous attention to detail and using only the highest quality components available. All of our bike frames are Made in the USA from U.S. and imported parts.

Click here to view a short film about our frame production in Wisconsin and our assembly
operations in Detroit.

The Journal

Picture of a man working

The Journal is home to Shinola news and events, including original content that celebrates the people, places and things that inspire us. We chronicle the stories of local makers and global groundbreakers that share our commitment to quality and craftsmanship.

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