The engine of a Shinola watch is the Argonite movement—a uniquely American-made movement that is produced in our Detroit factory from nearly four-dozen Swiss-made parts. The complex assembly of each movement—a process that hasn’t been undertaken at this scale in the US in decades—requires highly-trained craftspeople skilled at manipulating miniature parts utilizing custom-made tools and optical magnification equipment. The movement is tested at every step of assembly to ensure it’s performing to stringent specifications.
Fossil founder Tom Kartsotis launched Shinola with the aim of restoring quality American manufacturing in the economically battered industrial capital of Detroit, my hometown. Shinola takes its name from the mid-20th-century American shoe polish that was popularized in the expression, “You don’t know shit from Shinola.” This no-nonsense Midwestern attitude also comes through in retro-tinged designs that evoke an era when “Made in the U.S.A.” was a badge of quality and reliability.
The only chronograph watch that tracks the return of American watchmaking with split second precision. Entirely hand assembled in Detroit, including the Argonite 5021 high-accuracy quartz movement that drives the hours, minutes, date indicator, stopwatch function, and multiple subdials. Once the movement is tested, it gets attached to the dial, the hands are set, and it’s secured in a stainless steel case. Then the case gets closed and the backplate is attached. Each fully-assembled watch undergoes pressure testing to check for an atmosphere-proof seal and proper fitting of the stainless steel case, gaskets, and sapphire crystal. Following mechanical testing and a close visual inspection, the watchcase is fitted with high-quality straps of US-made Horween leather or stainless steel. The end result is a beautiful timepiece that is built to last, and built right here in America.