Detroit's Shinola Tries for U.S. Watchmaking Boost

After a quick sellout of its limited Runwell line, three models head to Barneys this summer: The Brakeman, the Wabash and the Birdy.
American watchmaker Shinola's Runwell, left, and the Gromelsky.
Courtesy of Shinola

Shinola aims to resurrect quality watch manufacturing in the U.S.

The Detroit-based watchmaker -- named after the iconic shoe polish -- is the brainchild of Tom Kartsotis, founder of Fossil Inc.

Partnering with Swiss movement maker Ronda, Shinola produced 2,500 Runwell models in March, which sold out in a week. Next up? Three new models, available at Barneys New York this summer: the Brakeman, which emulates a classic Panerai; the Wabash, a feminine cushion shape; and the demure Birdy, with a double leather strap.

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Prices range from $500 to $600.

Shinola also has teamed with quality-driven U.S. manufacturers to produce bicycles and more.

Says Jacques Panis, director of strategic partnerships, "If we can make watches in Detroit, we can make anything in the U.S."