Primarily based in Detroit, Shinola watches launched with the unique Runwell timepiece roughly a decade in the past. The headline story on the time was how Shinola was assembling its watches in Detroit, due to a significant funding from Bedrock (its holding firm) in a formidable facility close to downtown Detroit. A contemporary firm based by consultants with a deep information of brand-building and promoting to customers in America, Shinola was not initially arrange as an fanatic’s watchmaker. Ten years on, issues have modified. Shinola has refined and improved its merchandise, whereas additionally rising its technical experience. The corporate’s workers started with assembling Swiss Ronda quartz actions and has since moved on to mastering the meeting of Swiss mechanical watch actions.
This explicit Shinola Runwell Station Agent watch I’m reviewing as we speak features a Sellita computerized motion equipment that was assembled and examined in Detroit. I just lately visited the manufacturing facility and noticed them placing this watch collectively. I discovered the power to be most analogous to these assembling watches in Europe or Asia. It was heartwarming to see staff in watchmaker’s robes sitting on the benches who had been fellow People, a considerably new expertise for me. I additionally noticed how Shinola produces its leather-based straps in-house. The method produces among the many better-made straps in the marketplace. Even in case you aren’t into the theme of Shinola timepieces, there may be nonetheless a viable option to benefit from the model by means of its high-value American-made straps.
The Shinola Runwell Station Agent represents the most recent feel and look of the Runwell whereas paying homage to the model that has maintained a good bit of consistency because the model’s founding. That visible look begins with a “pocket watch on the wrist” case sized at 45mm-wide and a wall clock-style dial that feels pleasant, acquainted, and mid-century Americana-inflected. The Runwell was a cleverly designed watch that took years to show its benefit and has additionally benefitted from loads of upgrades. This Runwell Station Agent is sturdy and sturdy, with nice case sprucing and detailing that feels higher-end than the retail value would counsel. It’s, in reality, a superb worth at its sub-$1,500 value level.
The Station Agent title (which comes from prepare station brokers, who, throughout busy instances in American historical past helped usher numerous each day passengers to their locations) is supposed to indicate the brand new Runwell computerized assortment, which encompasses a subsidiary seconds dial (versus a central seconds hand). It is a classier look, and extra successfully connects a central a part of the design theme with the look of traditional pocket watches. The subdial is barely recessed and encompasses a snailing end. The remainder of the dial particulars are wonderful, together with the form of the date window (which doesn’t minimize off the three o’clock hour indicator) and the size of the fingers. Shinola presently produces the Runwell Station Agent in three dial colours, together with the pictured off-white, a stunning blue, and a traditional black. Whereas additionally it is considerably off-brand (given that target the in-house made straps), Shinola does supply a bracelet for Runwell Station Agent watch that I feel works fairly properly with this case. Over the dial is a barely domed sapphire crystal that produces some glare, however it isn’t too unhealthy.
In the event you balk on the 45mm-wide case dimension, then bear in mind that Shinola does make a smaller model of the Runwell. That stated, the watch doesn’t put on overly massive. The case is just 12mm-thick (not together with the lugs), and the lug-to-lug distance is just a bit beneath 50mm. Which means this wears relatively modestly for a 45mm-wide dimension. The rounded and polished metal case has a slender bezel and presents ample house for the environment friendly dial. The hour markers and fingers are painted in Tremendous-LumiNova, and the matte-black outer fingers supply wonderful legibility and distinction in opposition to the principle face. (Shinola refers to this off-white hue as “vellum.”) The subsidiary seconds dial can be useful in making the perfect use of house on the face, which is a designer’s love letter to traditional American clocks.
Hooked up to the case is a 22mm-wide made-in-Detroit leather-based strap in a brown colour and texture that Shinola calls “Cattail Grizzly.” For comfort, the strap is paired with quick-release spring bars with the intention to simply put others on the Station Agent watch. Although the case has a screw-down crown, it’s only water-proof to 50 meters. I feel it’s because the caseback is secured utilizing screws (for model functions) versus being screw-down. I’d wish to see Shinola improve water resistance to 100 meters for the inventory Runwell sooner or later, however that could be a very minor level. By way of the caseback, you’ll be able to view the automated mechanical motion with a customized black-colored Shinola computerized rotor topped with the corporate lightning bolt emblem.
The motion contained in the Runwell Station Agent is a Swiss Sellita caliber SW260-1 computerized. That is primarily the SW200 with a subsidiary second dial. It operates at 4Hz, and has roughly two days of energy reserve. Once more, the motion relies on a equipment made (an ebauche) in Switzerland that’s assembled by Shinola in-house at its manufacturing facility in Detroit. So whereas this isn’t a purely American motion, I feel it’s about as emotionally satisfying as one, and it combines practicality with motion reliability that almost all customers will most likely find yourself appreciating.
For years, I’ve seen quartz Shinola Runwell watches on the wrists of standard individuals who appreciated the model. Now with its computerized fashions in improved merchandise just like the Runwell Station Agent, Shinola has opened up the world of its hottest timepiece assortment to extra lovers. The model is steadfastly together with extra assembled-in-America mechanical watches alongside the now-familiar assembled-in-America quartz actions. After all, there are actually total Shinola mannequin collections that characteristic mechanical watches solely.
By design, the Shinola Runwell Station Agent is a conservative vintage-style timepiece meant to rejoice a way of nostalgic Americana, with an genuine story about city revival within the nice metropolis of Detroit. That may be a story that can actually attraction to some customers greater than others, however I feel there may be loads in america for a product like this to be a significant hit. Although this can be a newer mannequin, Shinola is doing properly with it. As a humble-yet-handsome each day watch or reward, the Runwell Station Agent is a very nice merchandise from Shinola. Value (each bit has a person serial quantity) is $1,450 USD. Study extra on the Shinola web site.
>Mannequin: Runwell Station Agent (“vellum” dial colour as examined.)
>Measurement: 45mm-wide, 12mm-thick, and ~50mm lug-to-lug distance.
>When reviewer would personally put on it: As a wise and comfy casual-wear watch anytime I wish to really feel a little bit of American pleasure.
>Pal we’d advocate it to first: Mechanical watch lovers within the Runwell design looking for a bold-faced gown look ahead to versatile put on.
>Greatest attribute of watch: Refined case and dial design. Nice story for anybody with an curiosity in American meeting or Detroit. Fancy packaging. Fashionably versatile. Priced pretty.
>Worst attribute of watch: Slight glare because of the sapphire crystal form.