November 29, 2022
As a brand, Shinola is intended to have widespread appeal outside of just watch collector circles, although a decent number of its more recent releases have been characterized by more of an enthusiast-oriented angle. Many people who aren’t explicitly into watches are fans of Shinola due to the company’s old-school American roots and for its ties to everything from shoe polish and candles to home goods and bicycles. While some watch enthusiasts may turn their noses up at the company because it is not exclusively a watch manufacturer, Shinola is a brand that resonates with many Americans, and it could probably get away with producing much lower-quality watches while still being just as popular among the general non-enthusiast public. That said, it’s extremely encouraging to see Shinola continuously improving its greater watch offerings and creating more enthusiast-driven pieces — and the latest addition to join the brand’s lineup is a new version of the Shinola Monster GMT that features a stainless steel bezel and a Dark Olive dial.
Other than its dial, hands, bezel, and additional included fabric strap, this is largely the same watch as the previous Monster GMT that had a blue dial and blue ceramic bezel insert. This means that the new Dark Olive version of the Shinola Monster GMT features the same 40mm stainless steel case with brushed and polished surfaces and 20mm lugs. Just like before, a convex sapphire crystal sits above the dial, while a caseback secured by four screws is set with a sapphire display window and works together with the signed screw-down winding crown to help provide 100 meters of water resistance. While the bezel insert still features a 24-hour scale to correspond with its GMT functionality, it now appears in brushed stainless steel, rather than blue ceramic like the previous edition of the watch. The overall appearance of the bezel has slight vintage Rolex Explorer II vibes in its font and finishing, although it features a luminous inverted trapezoid at the top to denote the zero-marker.
The Dark Olive color of green dial fitted to the new Shinola Monster GMT features a sunburst finish, and it follows the exact same overall design as its blue counterpart, with bold applied hour markers, a minutes track printed along the contrasting angled rehaut, and a date window located at 3 o’clock. Not only are the hour markers and hands the exact same style on both models, but both versions also include small bright orange highlights on their hands and the “GMT” signature on their dials. With that in mind, rather than having a 24-hour hand with a matching blue shaft, the new model features the same style of hand but with a green shaft paired with its bright orange triangular tip. Swap out bright blue for dark and smoky green and you more-or-less have the design for the dial and hands of the new Dark Olive edition of the Shinola Monster GMT; however, the additional update of the stainless steel bezel ultimately makes the new model feel like a more significant revision compared to if it had just been a straightforward color variation of the existing GMT watch.
Just like before, powering the Dark Olive green version of the Shinola Monster GMT is the Sellita SW330-2 automatic movement. Running at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 50 hours, the Caliber SW330-2 is a “caller style” GMT movement, meaning that its 24-hour hand and date display can be set independently, rather than featuring a local 12-hour hour hand that can be adjusted forward or backward in one-hour increments. I’m sure there are a number of people out there who would have preferred to see a “traveler-style” GMT movement used here instead, although the Cal. SW330-2 is a tried-and-true option and the single most frequently used mechanical GMT movement in the watch industry. While an independently adjustable local hour hand is undeniably better suited for frequent travelers, a caller-style GMT is actually the more practical option for anyone who simply interacts with other timezones more frequently than they physically visit them.
Similar to the previous blue version of the Shinola Monster GMT, the new Dark Olive model comes with both a stainless steel bracelet and an additional single-piece fabric strap made from #tide recycled ocean plastic. The bracelet is identical to the one fitted to the blue model, and it features a brushed three-link design with a quick-release system built into the end-links to make swapping between the strap and the bracelet a simple tool-free process. While the blue edition includes a light blue fabric strap, the new green Shinola Monster GMT comes with its additional strap in a matching Dark Olive color, with the Shinola name and logo engraved on its stainless steel hardware. Personally, I’m a big fan of watch brands providing their owners with both strap and bracelet options, as this eliminates the somewhat uncomfortable scenario of buyers feeling compelled to always opt for the bracelet version, simply because they know that it will end up costing them more to purchase the bracelet separately should they ultimately want to own it later. Realistically speaking, it costs relatively little for brands to include an additional fabric strap with a watch that cost north of a thousand dollars, yet it ultimately creates a much more complete overall package, especially now that quick-release connectors enable users to take full advantage of owning both options.
Shinola produces watches at a fairly wide range of prices, and while the most budget-friendly quartz models start out at a few hundred dollars, the Monster GMT is a sports watch on a bracelet that is powered by a Swiss-made automatic GMT movement, and this makes it one of Shinola’s more complex and premium models. Consequently, it is priced near the higher end of the brand’s catalog, although it is right in line with the rest of the offerings. With an official retail price of $1,995 USD, the Shinola Monster GT Dark Olive Edition costs the exact same as its blue-colored counterpart, which represents less than a $500 increase in price compared to the Shinola Monster dive watches that are powered by standard three-handed automatic movements. Although you are still paying a bit of a premium for the Shinola name, this price isn’t outrageous considering what many other brands charge for watches that are powered by either this same movement or its virtually-identical ETA counterpart. Although many die-hard enthusiasts will still likely look elsewhere when buying a GMT watch with a budget of $2k, Shinola is a brand that reaches countless people outside of just the deep watch-enthusiast crowd, and this latest release appears to be quite a promising offering, and one that I would personally be interested in getting a chance to experience in the metal. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.