Having grown up right outside Detroit, I can tell you firsthand that the city has seen better days. In the 1950s the population hovered somewhere around 1.8 million people and has dwindled year after year because of many factors, among them the shortage of industrial jobs. Despite all the negative press surrounding the once great city, there are glimmers of hope sprouting up all over town. One of them is Shinola, a watchmaker that decided to plant its roots in the Motor City.
The Shinola mission is to create high-quality handmade timepieces you can pass down to your grandchildren in 60 years. The company hires locals and crafts all its products in the Detroit facility—the converted fifth floor of the Argonaut building—formerly used by General Motors.
Shinola also partners with other U.S. companies to produce curated items like footballs, journals, and even bikes. But back to the watches—they are stunning. Simple and masculine, classic and timeless. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for Valentine’s Day, Shinola has it. They have an elegant line of women’s watches as well. You can view the brand’s custom curated Valentine’s Day collection here.
My top pick is the Runwell Chrono (47mm). It’s a simple design with a high-accuracy quartz movement and a black leather band. The face is also black, with orange accents on the second hand and subdials. Your grandfather would be proud. Pick one up at Shinola.com. $750