create community, and deliver goods
WE ARE BUILDING A MODERN AND QUINTESSENTIALLY AMERICAN BRAND THROUGH THE
REINTRODUCTION OF DOMESTIC MANUFACTURING AT A SCALE THAT CAN SHAPE CULTURE,
CREATE COMMUNITY, AND DELIVER GOODS OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY THAT ARE BUILT TO LAST.
ESTABLISHED 1907, RE-IMAGINED 2011.
WHERE WE CAME FROM
Our company was founded as a small-scale shoeshine
manufacturer by the New York-based Shinola-Bixby
Corporation in 1907. Shinola’s business boomed during WWI
and the company achieved pop culture status for the WWI Iera colloquialism, “You don’t know shit from Shinola.”
The company’s fortunes—along with many other American
manufacturers—would diminish and fade out in the 70’s, but
in 2011 we adopted the name and launched the next era
of Shinola. Even though we’re producing a different fleet of
products, we feel the spirit of the original Shinola company—
as an iconic American manufacturer that began as a small
company with big ideas—matches the spirit of what we’ve
set out to accomplish today.
Shinola is part of a growing movement that celebrates the
beauty of manufacturing and investment in the American
workforce. We were founded in 2011 with the goal to make
quality products and to make them right here in America.
We started by partnering with a world class watchmaker
based in Switzerland to help us build a state-of-the-art
watchmaking factory in 30,000 square feet of the College
for Creative Studies (CCS) in Midtown, Detroit. We then
began training Detroit locals on the delicate process of
movement and watch assembly.
Having both our corporate headquarters and watch factory
housed within the College, Shinola relies on an open
and collaborative interaction with CCS students through
Shinola-sponsored classes. So far we have worked with
students on programs that range from graphic and interior
design to product and craft. These hands-on workshops
provide students with real-world experience and direct
access to Shinola executives. We believe the integration of
local creative talent with our manufacturing operations will
enable us to produce consumer goods that are beautiful,
meaningful, and built to last.
The engine that drives our watch is the Argonite movement—a
complex machine requiring precise assembly of Swiss-made
components. Our movement is named for the heritage-rich
building which houses our watch factory—the Argonaut, where
GM’s legendary design teams produced countless industrial
innovations, from the first fully automatic transmission to the
first heart-lung machine. We hope to embody that innovative
spirit in our own company, and drive the industrial legacy
forward with every product we create.
HOW WE MAKE EVERY PRODUCT SPECIAL
The Shinola lightning bolt—which appears in numerous
locations on every watch—symbolizes the beauty of industry,
our respect for craft, and a commitment to quality.
Standard across all styles but unique to a Shinola watch—our
signature iconic case back plates are individually numbered,
beautifully designed, and proudly display “Built in Detroit.”