Introducing the Lake Erie Monster, Shinola’s First Mechanical Watch

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When Shinola burst onto the scene in 2013 (the company was founded in 2011), it did so in a big way. The story of an American watch company setting up shop in hard-hit Detroit was undeniably huge and hard to ignore (in part because Shinola had behind it the full marketing might of Bedrock Brands, the venture capital firm out of Texas that also owns companies like Filson and Reel FX, among others). Rather quickly the brand built a lot of buzz and a following. In fact, other than a Sub, for a while it seemed as though the watch I would most commonly see on people’s wrists while walking down NYC’s streets was a Shinola (this was before the Apple Watch).

But Shinola was not without its detractors. From a watch enthusiast’s perspective, one of the biggest critiques focused on the brand’s price point and aggressive marketing. With regard to the former, Shinola watches are all quartz (Ronda) and range between $500 and $1,500, which is undeniably on the higher end of the spectrum for quartz. The latter then took aim at the brand’s emphasis on American manufacture, which some in the public (and the FTC) took issue with. Today, Shinola is answering some these past grievances with the Lake Erie Monster, the brand’s first mechanical timepiece and diver.

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First, a bit about the movement. The Argomatic R-150 was designed to directly compete against ETA’s 2824, and it features a date complication, 25 jewels, bi-directional winding, 40 hours of power reserve, and a beat rate of 28,800. Additionally, it hacks and hand winds. We first wrote about this movement in 2016 after it was unveiled by Ronda at Baselworld, and at the time it was simply called the R150. We had our suspicions that this movement would eventually make its way into Shinola’s catalog, we just didn’t know when. The movement will be assembled by Ronda in Switzerland.

R150.

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The Lake Erie Monster features a 316L stainless steel case that measures 43mm and is rated to 1,000 feet. The bezel is unidirectional and features a ceramic insert. The watch is tested in-house to meet the ISO 6425 industry standard for dive watches. The dial is black enamel with broad contrasting indices filled with Super-LumiNova. The marker at 12 is designed to look like an alpha flag. Matching hands ensure legibility, and a discreet date complication at four o’clock features white numerals against a black base. A double-domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the underside tops off the case, and around back is a solid case back with a stamped portrayal of the Lake Erie Monster with a blue sapphire eye. Final assembly will take place at Shinola’s Detroit facility.The watch comes with a stainless steel three-link bracelet, a black rubber dive strap, and a black fabric strap. Also included is a strap-changing tool, a Princeton Tech diver’s flashlight, and a diver’s map of the Great Lakes. The watch is limited to 500 units and retails for $2,250.

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For the launch of the watch, Shinola has teamed up with StockX, who will be offering five unnumbered (“000/500”) units on StockX.com in what they’re calling an IPO of Shinola’s first-ever mechanical watch. Bidding on StockX will start at $2,250 and the auction will run from November 7, 2017 at 10 am EST through the 12th at 10 pm EST. Included in the package is a tech portfolio and a special authenticity card. Proceeds will go to support the Detroit Children’s Fund, Project ACT, and the Empowerment Plan.


For more information, visit Shinola and StockX.

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Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.
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