March 7, 2023
Over the course of the last decade, we have seen Shinola evolve and start to cater to a more enthusiast-driven demographic. That said, Shinola is a brand that produces everything from record players to bicycles, and it will always be a company that is intended to have widespread mass-market appeal. In addition to producing an increasing number of mechanical pieces, including both chronographs and GMT models, Shinola has also settled into its design language over the years, and the brand’s current lineup offers a number of more promising offerings than it did just a short while ago. The latest addition to the Canfield collection serves as a perfect example of this, and in addition to drawing its inspiration from the architecture of Michigan’s General Motors Design Dome building, the new Shinola Canfield Model C56 is arguably the best looking version of the Canfield that the brand has put forward thus far.
Crafted from stainless steel, the case of the Shinola Canfield Model C56 measures 43mm in diameter, although it is not the exact same case as the one found on the original 43mm time-and-date model that is currently part of the Canfield collection. As the Model C56 is inspired by the General Motors Design Dome building located in Warren, Michigan, the smooth upper part of its bezel is larger and has more of a pronounced curve to its overall profile. Additionally, while the Shinola Canfield Model C56 still features a coin-edge textured case band, a domed sapphire crystal, and solid stainless steel caseback, the lower part of its case slightly extends to offer a small amount of protection for the signed screw-down crown at the 3 o’clock location. While no specific mention is made in regards to water resistance, it is relatively safe to assume that the new Model C56 offers the same 50 meters as all the rest of the models from the current Canfield collection.
At the time of launch, the Shinola Canfield Model C56 will be available in two different colorways, although both versions offer an identical overall design and layout. One version is black with small white and orange accents, while the other features an alabaster white central dial with black text and a bright orange chapter ring. On both versions, the chapter ring appears as a large angled structure that adds visual depth to the face of the watch, while the applied Arabic numeral hour markers are each riveted by hand to the dial’s surface. Both models feature a trio of centrally-mounted baton-shaped hands, along with date windows at the 3 o’clock location, and while the hands are finished white on the black dial version, they are polished with a turquoise-colored seconds hand on the alabaster white and orange dial model.
Powering the new Shinola Canfield Model C56 is the brand’s Argonite 715 high-accuracy quartz movement, which is essentially Shinola’s version of the popular Swiss Ronda 715 that the brand assembles for itself in Detroit. While most enthusiasts would have likely preferred to have seen a mechanical movement (along with a symmetrical time-only dial), it’s important to remember that these Shinola watches are also supposed to have mainstream appeal, and they are intended to be sold to a much larger audience than something produced by a small-scale microbrand. In addition to guaranteeing a more attainable price point, most people outside of enthusiast circles ultimately do want the accuracy and convenience of quartz movements, much in the same way that they also prefer to have date displays on their watches, regardless of the fact that a date window can often throw off the symmetry of a dial.
Fitted to the 20mm lugs of the Shinola Canfield Model C56 watches are leather two-piece straps, with the black dial version receiving a matching black strap, while the alabaster white and orange dial model is fitted with the same style of strap, but in a light bourbon brown color. Additionally, despite their differences, both models are accompanied by an official retail price of $695 USD, which makes them the exact same price as the standard 43mm time-and-date version of the Shinola Canfield that is fitted with a leather strap. Personally, I’ve always felt that the design of the original Canfield was slightly generic (although it’s also extremely non-objectionable), and the prominent chapter ring and small refinements to the dial and case give the Model C56 its own unique identity, while still very much feeling like one of Shinola’s designs. For more information on the Shinola Canfield Model C56 watch, please visit the brand’s website.