Shinola Launches “Great Americans Series” With Wright Brothers Limited Edition Watch & Bicycle

Shinola Launches “Great Americans Series” With Wright Brothers Limited Edition Watch & Bicycle

Shinola Launches "Great Americans Series" With Wright Brothers Limited Edition Watch & Bicycle Watch Releases

Shinola has just announced (today) a new type of watch collection it calls the "Great American Series." The first model is The Wright Brothers Limited Edition, and more on that in a moment. The purpose of the Great American Series is to celebrate American inventors, innovators, and all-around important folks. It is a brilliant marketing concept and makes total sense coming from a brand that somehow was able to make it cool to have watches produced in Detroit based on the name of an old brand of shoe polish.

In addition to two different versions of The Wright Brothers Limited Edition watch there will be a limited edition bicycle. Why a bicycle? Well, given the fact that I did multiple book reports on the Wright bothers in elementary school I know why. Orville and Wilbur Wright had a bicycle store in their home town of Dayton Ohio. They later went on to play around with the world's first flying airplane, but they still really liked bikes. Their store was called the Wright Cycle Exchange (later Wright Cycle Company) and it was opened in 1892. In 1896 they began making their own bicycles. Some of the machinery and skills the learned helped them in their quest to fly, which they eventually did by setting a record for the first powered flight in 1903.

Shinola Launches "Great Americans Series" With Wright Brothers Limited Edition Watch & Bicycle Watch Releases

The limited edition watches are based on the Shinola Brakeman timepieces and the two versions are the same save for a difference in size. Shinola has produced both a 46mm wide and 40mm wide version of The Wright Brothers Limited Edition watch. Each has a cushion-shaped case and black dial. The case is steel with a Shinola produced Argonite 715 or 705 quartz movement and it has a sapphire crystal. A unique Wright Brothers logo was designed for the series and is placed on the dial. Each of the watches is limited to 500 pieces.

Shinola Launches "Great Americans Series" With Wright Brothers Limited Edition Watch & Bicycle Watch Releases

Shinola Launches "Great Americans Series" With Wright Brothers Limited Edition Watch & Bicycle Watch Releases

The limited edition The Wright Brothers Runwell Bicycle is more limited and more expensive. I've actually been curious about their bikes. There are design elements (such as the seat) which hearken back to antique bikes similar to the ones that the Wright brothers themselves produced. The Wright Brothers Bicycle is limited to just 25 pieces. It isn't clear what the next Great American Series product will be or who it will honor, but I have a feeling that Shinola intends to produce at least one or two series of them each year. Prices for the Shinola The Wright Brothers Limited Edition watches is $1,000 and the price for the bike is $2,950. Pricey for a quartz watch, but who doesn't love the Wright Brothers?

What do you think?
  • Thumbs up (2)
  • Interesting (0)
  • Classy (0)
  • I love it! (0)
  • I want it! (0)
See more articles about:

Watch Brands

  • Kris C

    I am done hearing about Shinola. Crummy watches, questionable story, and the bikes don’t cut it either. 

    Not even people from Detroit want products that say Detroit on them.

  • srs144

    Kris C is spot on. $1000 for a quartz Panerai rip off?

  • JasonDunn

    As excited as I am to hear about the return of American manufacturing, the American-assembly-of-foreign-made-parts story just doesn’t have the same appeal, especially when it comes at a premium price for a ho-hum product.

  • Fraser Petrick

    Kris C Grumpy, petulant response.  This Canadian sends best wishes as Detroit rebuilds, in image if nothing else, with the help of such companies such as Shinola.

  • DangerussArt

    ” I have a feeling that Shinola intends to produce at least one or two series of them each year.”  Why not? All they need to do us create a new logo. Seems like the old agage about not  knowing 5h!t from Shinola is truer than ever.

  • timmyj01

    Being originally from Detroit, I’m really rooting for Shinola. I fail, however, to see what’s different about the Wright Brothers watch. Is it really just a logo and a number that make it limited edition?

  • Ryan B

    Everything that Kris C said reflects my thoughts so he saved me a lot of time.

    Also hey celebrate one of the greatest mechanical achievements in history by throwing in a quartz movement? …… blasphemy I tell you!

  • Neil C

    Kris C
    I have the Shinola Mustang 50th Anniversary watch, and despite it being Quartz have really taken to it!  Also I’ve seen their bikes, the frame are made by Waterford if that means anything to you, and they are really nice bikes, and spec’ed out well.  Alfine 11 vs the more common 8 for instance.

  • Kris C

    Fraser Petrick

    I am nowhere near sulking. I’d have to care in order to sulk. 

    And this Canadian likes to read between the lines and peel back layers of the onion from time to time. Shinola and Fossil may not be ‘directly connected, but Shinola is funded by Fossil’s owner, and Bedrock Investments. Shinola launched by purchasing like $15 million in real estate to house them – not very grassroots or Detroit. Shinola has a folksy marketing outlook that decries modesty and local craftsmanship, but it’s backed by huge corporate dollars, and little of anything they produce is ‘local’; bike frames for their $3k+ rides are made by Waterford, and nothing about the watches is even produced in North America – they just assemble them and put a hometown spin on them. 

    Shinola will probably do more to HURT the small local businesses they are pretending to be. Tribeca? Neiman Marcus? Yep, sounds like a heartwarming David and Goliath story if I’ve ever heard one. 

    Detroit used to be a manufacturing superpower: cars. Coke used to come in on ships, enter one end of a plant, and then a car would come out the other end. Outsourcing anything and everything gradually over time while they still pretended to be local, as the products got shittier and shittier was exactly how Detroit became the dumpster of a battleground it is now. Shinola is basically following the exact same model, but they are skipping the first part where you start off by actually making the stuff you sell.

  • Ulysses31

    I confess, I really like a lot of their watch designs.  I think this one looks cool.  Considering what i’ve learned about the Shinola brand over the last year, I really have a problem with their ambitious pricing.  I might pay $500 for a fancy-looking quartz… might… but $1000?  People who spend thousands of dollars on watches tend to do their research and not purchase on a whim, and as Kris has pointed out, the brand hardly has an illustrious history.  Perhaps one day they’ll be able to manufacture every part on native soil, and if a huge company is backing them (as it appears to be) then it’s possible.  The problem is, that particular company has a stack’em high sell’em low philosophy so I don’t think they’d have any desire to risk profit on such a venture.  I get the feeling that they’re toying with nostalgic patriots who really want to be able to “buy American”.

  • village idiot


  • Waltermaximus

    Ulysses31 totally agree, while their stuff looks nice, but Shinola is not a luxury brand, outside the US the brand is still used under license for shoe polish, so the pricing seems off to most of us, all across their product line.
    i like the whole detroit approach there doing but, the pricing is not according to the brand equity.

    $1000 for that watch?, maybe if it had a nice wind up movement…

  • Seems ‘too inspired’ on the Panerai Radiomir

  • MKRoma

    A thousand dollars for a fake Panerai…

  • PhilMaurer

    I’m like you, I want to love these and own them, but close to 1k for a quartz….  I’ll pass.  I thought the original plan was for them to be building automatic movements. Well assembling them from Swiss made parts.  It seems like they are doing that with quartz which seems somewhat skill less to me.


  • aworon

    I’m not forking over $1,000 for a quartz watch made in that stinkhole.  That city is not coming back, and I don’t understand the novelty of making watches there.

  • Now I get it. Instead raising my watch prices to pay for the 2014 cost of an Elabore ETA 2824-2, I should drop my retail prices by $100 and slip in a quartz movement instead. And here I thought a thousand dollar quartz watch had to be something special. Thank you Shinola for opening my eyes.

  • aleximd2000

    I think the designers from shinola are in a great lapse of inspiration and they were staring to much at the panerai site. The changed the hour and minute hands and write something on the dial ( I am a great fan of wright bros) for ex leonardo da vinci or albert einstein or benjamin franklin or little wayne and put out on a limited series waiting everybody will hurry to buy them as collectables. Instead the should put a mechanical movt and draw something original !!!! folks there are out there several people who know the truth.

  • aleximd2000

    Or buy an engine which is not pending anymore and try to make something honest like the russians did with wostok and Poljot . They are making inexpensive mechanical watches , many of them are really nice and you can stand out with proud that you are not selling cheap garbage !

  • I don’t think the Swiss  Ronda quartz movements Shinola uses are bad in any way (except for being quartz of course, ha ha). However they do call it the: “Detroit-built Argonite 1069 high-accuracy quartz movement” which I guess is technically true as they are assembled in the U.S. but it is still a Ronda design and uses Ronda parts from what I’ve read. But this would not be the first watch brand to call an industrial movement by they own name.
    I looked the Shinola website a minute ago and they have a dizzying number of watches. But nothing looked like a stand out to me. Some were ‘distrinctive’ but those were also the ones I found unattractive. But that’s just me…

  • aleximd2000

    I agree 100% but in the case that you are invited to me at my office door there is a drawing made by me which says no quartz no dogs and icecream allowed. Of course it is overreaction and i don’t say that quartz movt especially ronda are bad. But if we are talking about watches it must be mechanic to be worthwhile. I myself and me are using quartz watches when I make handyman stuff in my garage and make drillings and so on vibrating activities when if the watch brakes nothing happens. that’s my point. Me to when I browse through the shinola site I am looking for mechanical movts. Take care

  • DG Cayse

    SeaGull my friend….SeaGull….

  • marbstiu

    MarkCarson ewwww  the white date window

  • marbstiu Looking at their website, none of their watches with the date have anything but a white date ring. A black date ring seems beyond them. So much for Detroit manufacturing prowess.

  • Pingback: Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 GMT 1903 Watch Celebrates The Wright Brothers | aBlogtoWatch()

  • Pingback: Zenith Pilot Montre d’Aeronef Type 20 GMT 1903 Watch Hands-On | aBlogtoWatch()