INTRODUCING: The “I Voted” Shinola Detrola 43mm Limited Edition watchZach Blass
Shinola is an American luxury design brand that manufactures various products – from timepieces, leather goods, jewellery, and even audio equipment. Founded in 2011, the company operates an in-house watch and leather factory based within the fifth floor of the historic Argonaut Building, where a team of artisans hand assembles timepieces and crafts premium leather straps.
A year after Shinola was founded, in 2012, they transformed 12,000 square feet of raw space into their very own state-of-the-art watch factory in Detroit. Their watch teams continually participate in extensive training with their Swiss partner Ronda AG. The factory assembles between 500 and 700 watches per day, with more than 30 people participating in the assembly of a single watch. The brand is known for accessibly priced watches that have a clear American influence. Their products range from more basic “fashion watches” to a growing lineup of mechanical watches. While the parts are typically sourced from Swiss and international vendors, every Shinola watch is built and assembled in their Detroit HQ. This is their latest release: the “I Voted” Shinola Detrola 43mm Limited Edition Watch.
With the election coming up here in the states, Shinola is trying to do their part by encouraging Americans of all political backgrounds to engage in the election. Shinola explains, “No matter why you vote or who you vote for, it’s vital to get out there and actually do it. But the reality is, voting can be difficult for many—and it shouldn’t be. To that end, we’re spreading the word on how to get heard with help from I am a voter.®” With a weakened postal system, and an ongoing pandemic causing anxiety outdoors, this is a great effort to encourage and assist American voters to participate in the polls.
The 43mm case is fashioned from Red TR90 resin and has a double-domed K1 crystal protecting the dial below. The red really pops with its high-gloss finish and creates the beginnings of a very patriotic package, working with the dial and strap to make the quintessential USA offering … but more on that later. The crown is large in size and knurled to create an easier grip for adjusting the date or time. The caseband and lugs match the crown – all of which are steel. The steel caseband, or ‘core’ as Shinola refers to it, creates an interesting break in the red gloss and works to make the watch that more rugged and ready for daily wear.
I can’t help but wonder, as a last finishing touch, if the caseband, lugs, and crown would have been better off treated with a white coating of sorts. With the nation’s colors being red, white, and blue it could have been a nice touch – but by no means ruins the offering. Even without the pop of white in the case and lugs, I still find myself totally getting Captain America vibes, and this is not even a Marvel watch. The red gloss reminds me of the Cap’s shield, and the colour scheme as a whole of reminds me of his suit.
The grained blue dial and white numerals, paired with the red gloss resin case, really drive home the sense of patriotism. Whether it is reminiscent of the vintage barbershop poles, or Captain America, it is totally a USA-inspired look that works to be playful on the wrist. The dial features hours, minutes, and second hands with a black on white date window at the 3 position. The hours and minutes hands are treated with Super-LumiNova which will allow for legibility in darker settings.
What is really neat about the straps, especially at this price point, is the built-in easy-release. While the factory configuration would be hard to beat, I could see the watch paired with a rubber white strap as well – as that would also maintain the USA theme at play. The bright-blue strap is made of silicone and perfectly matches the dial of the watch. It is fastened with a pin buckle with dual loops to ensure the wearer doesn’t have a strap tail on smaller wrists – and there are plenty of holes for strap adjustment to ensure a nice fit.
The movement inside the “I Voted” Shinola Detrola 43mm Limited Edition Watch is an Argonite 705 quartz movement, with Swiss and other imported parts. While this is by no means a a haute horology movement, it is still quite reliable and works well to keep the price point down – especially when the real focus here is getting the word out to vote. Regardless of where the components are from, it is assembled in the USA at their Detroit HQ.
Shinola makes it very clear – their mission with the “I Voted” Shinola Detrola 43mm Limited Edition Watch release is to call voters to action through participation, no matter their political affiliation. The company explains, “this Detrola is powerfully built—and a symbol of civic duty. Wear it while you register your friends, give your family a ride to the polls, or fill out your absentee ballot.” It is a nice way for Shinola to turn consumers into voters and I believe this would make a great gift for someone who has just become eligible to vote and serve as a wonderful memento of the patriotic milestone.
As Shinola would say: “Look the part, while you do your part”.
“I Voted” Shinola Detrola 43mm Limited Edition pricing and availability:
The “I Voted” Shinola Detrola 43mm Limited Edition is available now, for $395 USD, and can be purchased here.
For readers within the USA, to make sure you are registered and to make your plan to vote, head to iamavoter.com or text VOTER to 26797