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The Shinola Black Blizzard Review

 

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Titanium seems to be a popular material for watches these days. At least, that is, for watches that have been crossing my desk. As we saw with the Tempest Commodore, titanium helps cut down the weight of a watch while still offering strength and durability. Today, we’ll take a look at another one that leverages those attributes, the Shinola Black Blizzard.

In Review: Shinola Detrola Sea Creatures

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Back in June, we brought you word about the latest entry into the Shinola Detrola lineup, featuring materials made from recycled ocean plastic courtesy of the crew over at #tide. As we talked to the brand about the watch, we realized that the Detrola line was one we’d not actually seen in person. So, in came a loaner of the Shinola Detrola Sea Creatures.

Hands On with the Shinola Omaha

I probably sound like broken record as of late, but Shinola has really been coming up with some releases that have resonated with me. Call it good design or the fact I?ve not been back home for awhile, but whatever it is, these are hitting like an ice cold sip of Rock ?n Rye. And just like that Faygo offering is different from most other pop you?ll experience, the Shinola Omaha is giving you something that you don?t see much from brands these days.

Patrick’s Top 5 Watches of 2015

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A little bit earlier this month, Matt brought you his thoughts on what the top 5 watches of 2015 were. That seemed to click pretty well with you, and, as we all have our own opinions and preferences, today is my turn to pontificate. Given the wide variety of watches that crossed my desk this year, this was tougher than I thought it would be. To sort of self-filter the list a bit, I kept my candidate pool to only those watches that I actually spent time with. Without further ado, presented in no particular order, are my top 5 watches of 2015.

The Shinola Runwell Contrast Chrono Review

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Quick, how many watch brands are there producing products in Detroit? Two that I know of, actually (we wrote about the lesser-known one here). The most well-known one, of course, is Shinola. We’ve reviewed their watches before, and I continue to have a soft spot for the brand given my ties to the area. Today, we’ll be taking a look at a more complicated version of one of their most popular models, the Shinola Runwell Contrast Chrono.

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As you can tell from the images (and my reference to complication up above), we were sent over a Runwell Contrast Chronograph for review. This particular one carries the Contrast appellation due to, well, the high-contrast dial. In this case, it’s primarily grey, with white showing up on the subdials and chapter ring, and some bits of orange accent. Paired up with the grey leather NATO strap as it is, you might be tempted to call the monochromatic fellow boring.

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Perhaps it’s just my own personality and preferences, but I found it anything but. Rather, I saw it as a well-sorted (at least in terms of styling) outing, doing what they set out to do (making a not-quite-high contrast dial) in a slick way. Oh, and as long as we’re talking about the dial, I just want to touch on the one and only numeral on the dial.

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That number, of course, is eight. If you’re at all familiar with the Detroit area, you know that 8 Mile Road is one of the boundaries of the city of Detroit (yes, the same one that Eminem popularized). So, I dug into this a bit with the brand, and oddly enough, it wasn’t actually an intentional reference to the road. Rather, it was just a styling decision to try and balance out the dial (against the date window). Be that as it may, I’m surprised they didn’t jump for the 8 Mile reference, as it makes for a much better story associating the brand with Detroit.

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That’s probably enough of my editorializing on the styling, let’s have closer look at the watch. As with many in their lineup, the Runwell Chrono is no petite watch – it’s polished stainless steel case measures in at a hefty 47mm. Surprisingly enough for that, paired to the leather strap, it only weighs in at 120g. Some of that surprisingly low weight can certainly be attributed to the quartz movement inside the case, this time being an Argonite 5030 (assembled in Detroit, of course).

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Also surprising? How well the large case actually fit to my wrist – both literally and visually. For the former, I attribute that to the curvature of the wire lugs, paired with the flexibility of the 24mm leather NATO (made by Hadley Roma). As to the latter, well, that comes back to the styling again. The curved sides of the case drop off pretty quickly from the dial, and the wire lugs really reduce the visual “bulk” of things (as compared to what standard lugs would look like). In short, this is one of the most compact “big” watches I’ve reviewed as of late.

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This all went a long way to comfort in daily wear as well. The watch performed just as you’d expect a new quartz to (flawlessly), and the grey contrast palette worked well, whether it was in the office or a more casual setting. In the end, I was surprised I liked this watch as much as I did. While it was a bit larger than I personally prefer, the overall fit paired with the color scheme really won me over. If we have the Runwell show up in a more compact size (which I’m told is on the way, and we’ll review when available), it will be a very tempting option, I think. For now, though, the Runwell Chrono – coming in at $775 – is what it is – a stylish (and relatively compact) big watch from Detroit.   shinola.com

Review Summary

  • Brand & Model: Shinola Runwell Contrast Chronograph
  • Price: $775
  • Who’s it for?: This is for the guy who’s been admiring the Shinola style, but has been waiting for something in a different colorway
  • Would I wear it?: Yes – but perhaps not as much as I would if it were sub-44mm
  • What I’d change: How about something even more different – let’s toss some lume into those subdials!
  • The best thing about it: For me, it was the overall use of grey in the watch, with the strap coming in as a close second

Backgrounds courtesy of Gustin and Renaissance Art

Shinola is honoring art and architecture

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In what we’ve written about here, we’ve showcased watches that are influenced by – or even designed by – artists and architects. One of my favorite brands has dipped their pen into that inkwell now, with new limited-edition clocks and a watch.

Introducing: Shinola Detrola Sea Creatures

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Just in time for World Ocean Day, Shinola is introducing new versions of their versatile Detrola platform. This time around, the watches are known as the Shinola Detrola Sea Creatures.

Hands-on with the Shinola Canfield Sport

As  I mentioned in our preview article the day the watch launched, I felt more drawn to the 40mm variants of the Shinola Canfield Sport.  While the 45mm might be the more technically interesting with the extra date-related complications, it’s the compactness of the smaller sibling that does it for me.  We recently spent some time with a 40mm Shinola Canfield Sport, and now it’s time to share our thoughts.

Recently Released: Shinola Canfield Speedway Lap 04

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Back at Thanksgiving time, we brought you word of the Shinola Canfield Speedway Lap 03. That one was all stealthed out, ready to take you on some nightime racing. Well, now the warmer weather is here, and the classic red, white, and blue color combo is going to picking up steam. If that’s what you’re looking for, then you’ll want to check out the Shinola Canfield Speedway Lap 04.

Introducing the Jake Burton Carpenter Shinola

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Even if you’re not a snowboarder (I most certainly am not), you are no doubt familiar with the snowboarding gear brand Burton. Well, as with most brands, it actually started out as the brainchild of one person. In this case, it was Jake Burton Carpenter back in 1977 who decided standing sideways on the snow was the way to go. He passed about a year ago, and this new Jake Burton Carpenter Shinola is being done in honor of what he built.