Motor City watches
How a new American watchmaker is helping to keep Detroit alive and ticking
Posted: 28 Oct 2013
It's a DNA Shinola is keen to inherit. It's even moved into two buildings once central to the car business here. The newly opened retail store is in an old Willys Jeep warehouse, refurbished to hipster standards with golden hardwood and bare metal, while the watch factory lives in the monolithic Argonaut building, once home to GM's design centre (the place where the original Chevy Corvette was styled, among other things). This is where the watches are assembled under the scrutiny of master watchmaker Stefan Mihoc, starting with the Swiss movement, which arrives as about 50 tiny components. Once it's been put together, it moves down the line and the face is placed on top. Then the hands go on before it goes to the casing section. Here, workers make sure it's clean, unscratched and dustless, before the caseback is screwed on. Next, the pressure is adjusted and the time set. Finally, it's on with a strap (hand-stitched leather made in Florida), before shipping out to the stores.