Time for America: 4000 miles from Switzerland a new gold standard in watchmaking is being built by hand in Detroit.
While Made in China plastic watches are available at Walmart and Target for the price of a few packs of gum, the Made in America watch industry has once more taken up the challenge of producing notable timepieces.
In Detroit, the Shinola brand, once famous for shoe polish, has produced a range of wristwatches which complement the 20th century designs of the early American made watch. Think of your great grandfather’s pocket watch and the classic Waltham watch known as the “Traveler”.
Established in 2011, Shinola watches are designed and assembled in a new state-of-the-art factory located in the old motor industry area of Detroit with Ronda quartz movements and sapphire glasses. They come in a variety of styles such as the “Brakeman” and the “Runwell”.
Recently, the outdoor clothing line, Filson teamed with Shinola, to create its own brand of wristwatches. Assembled by hand in the Shinola factory, these watches are built to withstand a lifetime of use. They also carry the Filson name and that name comes with a history and a pedigree.
Born in 1850, C. C. Filson inherited his father’s pioneer spirit and love of the outdoors. After homesteading in Nebraska and roaming the country as a railroad conductor, he moved to the small city of Seattle, Washington in the 1890s.
Filson’s timing couldn’t have been better. By 1897, the Great Klondike Gold Rush was on, and thousands of fortune hunters were stampeding into Seattle, headed north. Armed with a strong work ethic, a reputation for honesty and several years’ experience operating a small loggers’ outfitting store, C. C. Filson was ready to stake his claim to fame. Here is what he had to say in the 1914 catalog:
“To our customers: if a man is going North, he should come to us for his outfit, because we have obtained our ideas of what is best to wear in that country from the experience of the man from the North — not merely one — but hundreds of them. Our materials are the very best obtainable, for we know that the best is none too good and that quality is of vital importance. You can depend absolutely upon our goods both as to material and workmanship.”
So whether you’re going North or South, East or West do stop by HGs and check out our new line of Filson watches.