As I've mentioned before on this blog, Shinola knows that real watch enthusiasts want mechanical watches. 5 years in, they've made it pretty clear that they don't care what real watch enthusiasts want, because they're too busy selling watches with quartz movements. For $550 and up. As to how much they're actually made in the US with Swiss parts, as opposed to merely assembled in the US, from Chinese parts, let's just say that Shinola and the FTC disagree about that. Which is unfortunate for a company which constantly presents itself as 180% pure local Detroit manufacturing.
Or maybe it's not unfortunate for them. Maybe they're totally getting away with their scam. Maybe their executives don't often wake up screaming in the middle of the night because their subconsciouses are not okay with what they're consciously doing.
The company seems to be doing very well. They have brick-and-mortar stores springing up all over the place. One of them is about a mile and a half from where I am right now. I've been in there. They seems to be doing brisk business. I honestly admired the looks of the watches, and bought a notebook.
But that was a couple of years ago. Since then I've gotten tired of waiting for them to finally roll out a mechanical watch, and things like their differences of opinion with the FTC have made me wonder more whether they're just basically straight-up MBA Starbucks-and-Nike-style hucksters, hot-air salesmen, who DON'T actually care about Detroit, or integrity, or craftsmanship, or quality watches, or anything else other than your money and mine.
And I don't really know much of anything about this other Detroit watch company I just stumbled across, either, except: they DO make mechanical watches. But maybe, just maybe, they're more of a company with a soul than Shinola, which has been riding this huge marketing campaign about how they're a company with a soul. I see a few encouraging signs in this other Detroit watch company.
This other company's name is really easy to remember: it's called the Detroit Watch Company.
They use movements which aren't made in Murrka, but on their hompepage, under "Movement," they tell you what movements they use: Sellita, Eta and Miyota. They prominently feature a thorough rundown, on their website, about exactly what happens in what country in the making of their watches. Completely unlike Shinola. (And maybe because of Shinola, and aimed at those of us who've noticed how Shinola is less than 180% honest? Hm. Maybe. Who knows. Maybe it's a total coincidence, and the guys at Detroit Watch Company have never even heard of Shinola.)
The movements are the same as those used by many prestigious Swiss firms, and by high-end watchmakers in other countries. All of the watches are automatics which can also be hand-wound.
The retail prices for Detroit Watch Company watches run from $845 to $2050. Does this make them good deals compared to other watches in general? Or would a true expert tell you OMG no! Not when you could get -- say -- an Omega for the same price? I have no idea. I don't know enough about the Detroit Watch Company, and I still don't know nearly enough about watches in general, to be able to tell you that. But it's hard to imagine that watch aficionados wouldn't find those Detroit Watch Company prices awfully attractive when compared to the prices of Shinola's quartz watches.