If you grew up in Michigan, the Petoskey Stone likely holds a special place in your memory. For those not so fortunate, just know that the Petoskey stone is a stone that?s more of a fossil (fossilized coral, to be exact), and was named the state stone of Michigan in 1965. The designers over at Shinola realized that they could further underscore Michigan roots by making a dial of this material, and that brings us to the Shinola Vinton Petoskey.

We first told you about the new Vinton model back in January (LINK), I was excited to see that they introduced a new case profile and design, but was saddened to see the case medallion dropped. While I still miss that aesthetic, it is nice that the smooth steel caseback here not only leaves you room for engraving, it also helps keep the slimmer profile of the watch intact. For the Vinton line in general, I think that is the key.

The stainless steel case of the Shinola Vinton Petoskey is a compact 38mm, and features an 18mm lug width. So, you can tell, this is a smaller piece than you might be used to finding, but it also means it can fit a variety of wrists. For my 7.25? wrist, I thought it fit very nicely (but again, that?s a preference), and I did have a few links I needed to remove to get things sized properly on the bracelet. Oh, and that bracelet! It?s a familiar Oyster-style look, and it fits the classic lines of the watch. Here, you?ve got brushed outer links and a polished center, which gives just that bit of sparkle that I like.

That extends to the polished case of the Shinola Vinton Petoskey, which has a narrow bezel, allowing you a great view of that Petoskey stone dial. Short of pulling, say, steel out of the Renaissance Center or Cobo Hall, this is the best – and quite literal way – to carry a piece of home (well, home for me) with you. The Petoskey stone, being a natural material, is going to have a different look in each watch (and even in the cufflinks I?ve got, and show here). On the watch, it lends an interesting warmth – not just from the coloration, but also from the organic patterns that can be seen from the fossilized coral.

Over the the top of the very-Michigan material, the dial has a simple numbers-and-indices track around the outer edge, and some simple printing at the top and bottom. These are done in a black paint, which is (unfortunately) not luminous at all. I?m sure this was a design consideration, as black paints – when they?re luminous – don?t give off a lot of light. Any other color may simply have been tricky to have been able to see against the dial. Spinning over the dial, you?ve got a simple set of baton hands, which do have luminous strips, so you would be able to have some nighttime visibility.

On the wrist, the Shinola Vinton Petoskey presents – in my mind – very much as a dressier watch. Sure, it doesn?t have a dark dial – which would be traditional – but the compact sizing, bracelet, and clean dial (read: no date and limited text) lend itself to that impression. Then again, with the the lighter dial tone, it can bend to a more casual look as well.

Of the entire Shinola lineup, I?ve long held the Shinola Brakeman to be my favorite watch. Well, friends, a new king has been crowned here at the end of the year. You read it here first – the Shinla Vinton – and particularly, this Petoskey stone version – is now my favorite in their catalog. It wraps together my own watch preferences (compact sizing, mix of brushed and polished finishes, and a bracelet) in with a literal piece of my home state. I get it, the the $650 Shinola Vinton Petoskey isn?t going to be for everyone – but this hit all the right spots for me. shinola.com

Review Summary

  • Brand & Model: Shinola Vinton
  • Price: $650
  • Who?s it for? You like your watches compact and classic, and you?ve got a special spot in your memories for the Petoskey stone
  • Would I wear it? Absolutely, with extreme delight
  • What I?d change: Let?s have some fun with the crown. Perhaps just an enamel fill on the recess – or go really crazy, and get some Fordite inset.
  • The best thing about it:Well, the dial, of course!

Tech Specs from Shinola

  • Case: 38mm, stainless steel; 18mm lugs
  • Dial: Petoskey Stone with Super-LumiNova hands, Arabic numerals, and hour markers
  • Crystal: sapphire, double-domed
  • Movement: Argonite 713 quartz
  • Functions: Hours/minutes/seconds, date

ByPatrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.