Are Shinola Watches Good? Are They Worth It?

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Shinola Detroit is a controversial yet major player in the American-made brand category. It is a designer luxury lifestyle brand known for its premium products like watches, bags, accessories, jewelry, and many other lifestyle products.

Are you planning to buy a Shinola watch and wondering if it is worth the money? In this article, I will share my knowledge about the Shinola brand, its history, controversy, and the watches it manufactures. So without any delay, let’s get straight to it.

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Quick Takeaway
Shinola makes quality watches using good materials and great craftsmanship. They feature a vintage look with functionality and durability. However, these watches are overpriced and are only assembled in Detroit so technically, they are not made in the USA.

History Of Shinola Detroit

are shinola watches good

Shinola Detroit was inaugurated back in 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. It was founded by an American entrepreneur Tom Kartsotis who also happens to be the founder of the famous Fossil group. He rebranded the old shoe polish company Shinola into Shinola Detroit with the main theme of being American-made and committed to providing jobs and opportunities in the struggling Motor City.

Shinola Detroit is owned and operated by the brand-developing firm Bedrock Manufacturing Co. which is also owned by Tom Kartsotis.

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Controversy Around The Brand

In 2016, Shinola Detroit faced a false advertising lawsuit regarding the components of their watches. The FTC ruled that Shinola Detroit had to change its slogan “Where America Is Made” since most of the watch components were imported and the other parts were sourced from Swiss-owned companies.

Are Shinola Watches Good?

To be straightforward, Yes. Shinola watches are good quality watches, they are made using good materials and first-rate craftsmanship. They flaunt a vintage appeal along with elegant designs. Their looks may be vintage but they boast modern features and great build quality.

are shinola watches worth the money

All Shinola watches feature premium sapphire crystal glass which is incredibly hard, scratch-resistant, and durable. All of their watches come with a minimum water resistance rating of 3 ATM. Many celebrities and important people like Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Kimmel, and many others have worn and endorsed Shinola Detroit.

Are Shinola Watches Made In The USA?

Although technically all Shinola watches are made in Detroit, they are not made in the USA. This is because all the watches are assembled in their Detroit factory but most of their parts are not made in the USA. Most of their parts are made in Thailand, Europe, and China and are manufactured by Rhonda AG.

Do They Hold Their Value?

Shinola watches are very unlikely to hold their value. This is because most luxury watches hold their value due to their high demand in the secondary watch market.

Shinola watches are not iconic, the brand is new and therefore does not have a rich history, neither do they make watches that have attractive complications and thus they are not sought after by watch collectors. Due to all these reasons, Shinola watches are highly unlikely to hold their value.

Are Shinola Watches Worth It?

shinola watch

Despite being excellent quality Shinola watches can have a hard time justifying their price tags. Their watches can range from $400 to as high as $3100. The majority of their watches are quartz movement which is one of the most accurate movements.

However, in the world of horology, mechanical and automatic watches are considered better as they have more complicated and intricate machinery and movement. Brand history and prestige are also major factors that add to the value of the watch, which is missing in the case of Shinola watches.

Shinola capitalizes on its American heritage and patriotism to charge a premium price from its customers for watches that are not in essence American-made. Frankly, in my opinion, Shinola watches are overpriced and not worth the money. Their components are not that expensive and not worth the premium they charge you for.

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Final Verdict

In conclusion, Shinola Detroit makes good quality watches with great craftsmanship. They feature vintage designs with modern functionality and are assembled in Detroit having most of their components imported from Thailand, China, and Europe. However, they are overpriced and not worth the money according to many watch enthusiasts.


Are Shinola Watches A Good Investment?

It is not a good watch brand for investment purposes as they are highly unlikely to hold their value.

Are Shinola Watches Considered Luxury?

Shinola watches cannot be considered luxury like Rolex or AP. However, they are made luxury in terms of pricing.

Is Shinola Owned By Fossil?

No, Shinola is owned by Bedrock Manufacturing Co. however both Fossil and Shinola are founded by the same person.

Tom Nielson

Tom's love for watches started when his grandfather gifted him his Rolex watch when he turned 18! Being a teenager it was a big deal for him. Later when he got his first job he bought Fossil Palm Pilot back in 2003 which was a smartwatch. Since then smartwatches have come a long way and so is Tom's love for them. His experience with watches inspired him to start Wearholic and share his knowledge of wearables including watches, smartwatches, smart glasses, & smart clothing.

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