Shinola Debuts Automatic Flagship Timepiece

Shinola founder Tom Kartsotis, left. (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Labor)

DETROIT, MI – The Runwell Automatic was recently launched by Shinola in Detroit, building on the company’s original flagship watch which debuted in 2013, Detroit Business (DB) magazine reported.

Retailing for $1,095, the watch includes several leather strap styles, with bracelet styles at $1,295, available in April at Shinola stores and online: Shinola.com.

According to DB, “the New Center-based timepiece manufacturer says the automatic version of the Runwell has been on the drawing board from the beginning, and that this is an ‘evolutionary moment for the brand.’”

Greek-American Tom Kartsotis, founder of Bedrock Manufacturing, Shinola’s parent company, said that “the Runwell Automatic includes micro-tracking, a printed dial, and a caseback with a window that shows the inner workings of movement, called the Sellita SW200-1,” DB reported.

“This Swiss automatic movement drives the hours, minutes, seconds, and calendar aperture function,” he told the magazine. “Twenty-six jewels help reduce friction to maintain accuracy, and the timepiece features a 38-hour power reserve.”

The polished case with a pumpkin crown and double-domed sapphire crystal is available in 39.5mm and 45mm, while the domed case back features a sapphire exhibition window offering a view of the rotor, decorated with “the signature Shinola bolt, oscillating in the movement,” DB reported.

According to Shinola’s website, the watch took six years to develop, “the Runwell Automatic’s rectangular red oak box features a certificate of authenticity with handwritten details,” and “the velvet textured insert provides the perfect place for the timepiece to rest, protecting it from scratches.”

Kartsotis’ association with watches began when he founded Fossil in 1984 following the suggestion of his older brother Kostas Kartsotis to venture into importing fashion watches. Since that time, Fossil evolved into a well-known brand including not only watches, but other leather goods, wallets, handbags and accessories, among other items.

Kartsotis was interested in creating an American watch brand to compete with Swiss watchmakers, but at a more affordable price. After hearing the early 20th century phrase “You don’t know sh** from Shinola,” discussions began to revive the Shinola brand name. Shinola was originally a shoe polish company which operated from 1877-1960.

Kartsotis founded the new Shinola in 2011 in Detroit. The company’s first watch was released in March 2013.

Among the fans of Shinola watches, are former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. President Obama in 2016 also presented a special Shinola watch, engraved with the Presidential seal on the back and with a case also featuring the seal, to then-UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the Washington Post reported.

More information about Shinola watches is available online: shinola.com.