Shinola Runwell 47mm Review: The American In Argentina!

Shinola Runwell 47mm Review: The American In Argentina!

Shinola Runwell 47mm Review: The American In Argentina!   wrist time watch reviews

Shinola. Yes you can giggle about the name, but let's move on... Shinola was (re)formed to make the best possible products for reasonable prices, and specifically in the USA. Once a producer of shoe polish (actually they once again make shoe polish for about $8.50 per can), the still new and hot brand makes a range of items but primarily timepieces. aBlogtoWatch took you inside Shinola watch manufacture in Detroit here.

They build their watches in Detroit, Michigan, with a good old "Born in the USA" mentality. The team spirit is all about rolling up your sleeves and supporting America, and being proud of our domestic abilities to make a great watch. Sounds great, doesn't it? It is an interesting concept that for now relies on mostly foreign-made parts (such as the kits to produce Swiss movements) that are assembled in Motor City.

Shinola Runwell 47mm Review: The American In Argentina!   wrist time watch reviews

If you are conscious, and live in the USA, you can't help but see Shinola ads... everywhere! I, of course, had to see the watch in person. Most intriguing is that the watch is made in America, and at that, in Detroit. To see the watches, I ventured to a place you'd usually not associate with the Detroit of today. I went to Saks 5th Avenue here in New York City.

I found the Shinola display, and was immediately drawn to the Runwell 47mm with the black matte case and the natural-colored leather strap. As the salesman handed it to me, I was really shocked. I knew that the watch was $600.00 and truly expected to think "oh, that's cute." I say this because my tastes usually run four to six digits to the left of the decimal point. The watch was handed to me, and I was truly overwhelmed. I loved the size of the case (47mm), the weight, the dial, the strap, the buckle, the back, the lugs, the band... I was, as the English say "gobsmacked." I then decided to find the flaws. I stood with the very patient salesman for about seven minutes, examining every detail. What did I find? Considering the price, nothing really in my opinion.  The only way to improve the watch was to swap out the quartz movement with an automatic one, but then it would not be a $600.00 watch. The case, quality design, and execution deserve an automatic movement. As I learned though, that is in the works!

Shinola Runwell 47mm Review: The American In Argentina!   wrist time watch reviews

So, what would I do with this watch, and how would it fit in with my life? Well, in a week I was leaving for Argentina, and I do not like to travel with expensive watches, for a few reasons. The most important, being safety. Why would I want to have to worry about an expensive object on a trip? That always seemed silly to me. I thought that this would be the perfect traveling companion, because of its price and styling. The eight days and nights spent with the watch would give me an extended period of time to evaluate its character. I wound up loving the watch by the end of the trip, and you can see it photographed in Lima and Buenos Aires.

It was a great choice for the trip and it was interesting taking my American watch out of the country. Usually I bring a foreign watch into America. The Runwell feels great on the wrist, and makes me smile each time I look at it. Why? Well it is inspiring to see American's produce watches, the majority of which are mainly made overseas. This American made a splash with the American on his wrist. I went it to one high-end watch boutique and the manager loved it. I took it off to show him, and told him it was made in America. He was astounded, and immediately put it on his wrist and posed for the classic "Wrist Shot" as we watch folks call it. That was an interesting sign and proof that even people internationally are interested in the resurgence of "American made..." more »

24 comments
LesRoberts
LesRoberts

I am English and I have a new Shinola 5021 acquired on a recent visit to the USA. For 20 + years I have been a Breitling wearer. Not any more. I would like to endorse all that this reviewer says. This watch is a cut above the average and I am very pleased with it. It looks good, feels good, and it is bold without being brash. It feels in every way a premium product. A tribute to American workmanship. Well worth the price. I wish the company well and reccommend they offer them for sale in the UK.

Staedtler
Staedtler

Frankly, I'd hate to buy a watch from a company that spends so much on advertising, where the premium you pay could instead be siphoned into developing and improving the product itself. Great examples of such companies are Lum-Tec and Halios.

gmtmin5
gmtmin5

I bought one, and promptly returned it.  No doubt the watch is nicely built and high quality but I couldn't get over the price tag for a time-only quartz watch; not even a date!?  


You seem to gush about all of the extra features, box, notes, plaques etc, perhaps if they cut back on that stuff the watch could be sold much cheaper.  You are buying the watch, right, not the packaging?

Lurch
Lurch

I did discover that Nordstroms sells them.  Perhaps if you want to handle and try one on before buying, you may want to go to Nordstroms.

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

The wrist shots look absolutely painful!

Crown digging into the back of the palm...."ouch!"

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

How many Shinola articles can we cram in to aBtR in a week? Going for the record I see. 

Ryan B
Ryan B

Kinda pricey for a wooden storage box, but at least it comes with a toy pilots watch to beat around in.

LapYoda
LapYoda

I really want to like Shinola, and having grown up just an hour away from Detroit (and visiting there every year for the auto shows), I would like very badly to see something from Detroit finally get some positive attention.  But I can't pull the trigger on one, and it boils down to three things:


The price, the movement, and the name.


The first two go hand in hand. Why would I want to spend $600 on a quartz watch, no matter how nicely finished it is, when I can get a Swiss automatic or a cool microbrand with a proven Japanese automatic movement for a similar price point?  Yes, I get that Shinola assembles its movements, but these are quartz movements from Ronda which are found in watches less than half that cost, and just because Shinola assembles them doesn't make them a manufacture.  Put an automatic in one, price it at less than $1000, and they can start collecting money from watch nerds.


However, the name still conjures up the old phrase, "You don't know shit from Shinola." I thought about getting one for my dad, and he bluntly said, "Are you kidding? Shinola? The shoe polish?"  This company must be banking on Americans' horrendous knowledge of history, which is ironic given that most of the watch industry tries to play up its history - no matter how manufactured it is.

marbstiu
marbstiu

it just looks like an oversized   Timex Weekender

JonnyD
JonnyD

The title of the review and opening shot initially confused me, as Lima is in Peru, but William obviously travelled via that airport. It's a good move for Shinola to eventually introduce mechanical movements. They will sell more with two movement options.

marbstiu
marbstiu

47mm? a post-panerai-era panerai wannabe

AtotheG
AtotheG

Finally, a Shinola review on ABTW!

Snow1
Snow1

such a pathetic watch, i would really be embarrassed to wear a shinola watch.

antjay
antjay

I am not trying to cause offence here but from my  personal experience  ( Old Harleys , Chevys and jeeps . ) made in America equates to shoddy , unreliable , and old tech' . This is probably not the association that they are aiming for .

Having said that I do like the look of this watch and wish them well and in spite of everything   I still love my old Harleys , Chevys and Jeeps .

Neil C
Neil C

You really have to try this watch on before complaining about the price. They feel great on the wrist. One could easily bemoan the price of quartz Omegas, and likewise, Tudor and Tags with base ETAs. But a Jack Heuer Tag is still a very nice watch. Go out and try one on, these are not the Fossils you are looking for.

aworon
aworon

Another Shinola I don't like aesthetically.  There are more attractive watches even lower than that price with automatic Swiss movements.  It just doesn't make any sense unless you really like quartz I guess.  They are selling to people infatuated with things made in America.  Personally, having been in and out of that city many times I wouldn't want anything from there touching me.  The place and its story are just so damn depressing.

williamslerner
williamslerner

@Kris CMine was completed long before the other Runwell Chrono article. The Chrono was a new product announcement. I do see your point. Sorry!

williamslerner
williamslerner

@LapYodaThanks for the input...However Patek does make Quartz movements. Incredible, but true...

williamslerner
williamslerner

@JonnyD 

You are right! I submitted many photos of the watch and the trip. I stopped in Lima to change planes, and took that shot. The Editor put that photo in. Thanks for being so observant!!!

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

@williamslerner@DG CayseThanks for responding to the comments re:your article. Sometimes 'commenters' forget that real people write these things.

Good Fortune to Ya.

LapYoda
LapYoda

@williamslerner True enough, but I die a little inside when I see a Patek quartz. And Shinola ain't Patek.