I have made no secret my affinity for the watches that Shinola produces. Sure, not every single one of them is a home run for me, personally, but in general I like what they’re doing, and in specific, I like how they brought some industry back to Detroit. I have also long admired Filson (and one day hope to add a tin cloth jacket to my closet) as they have produced some amazing, long-lasting gear. Well, these two companies have teamed up to create a new line of Filson watches.
Now, make no mistake, these truly are Shinola watches. They are driven by Argonite movements, and they are assembled right in the Detroit factory where all of the other watches are made. Where these Filson watches differ from their Shinola cousins really boils down to styling.
What they have done with the Filson designs is create watches that look ready to head to the outdoors. The 43mm Mackinaw watches are in a field watch style, and can be had in a simple three-hander (Argonite 715) or chronograph layout (503). These watches have a variety of case finishes, with pricing starting at $600, and topping out at $900 for the three-hander, while the chronograph will range from $850-$1,000.
The 44mm Journeyman case has more of a military look (to my eyes), showing off a GMT complication (courtesy of the Argonite 515.24H movement), while the Chronograph version runs the 5030D movement. As with the Mackinaw, there are a variety of finish options, as well as strap/bracelet choices to make. These start out at a price of $800, and tops out at $1100 for the Chronograph.
All told, there are a planned 25 different variations across the four models that Filson is introducing. While some of the strap options for these seem pretty standard, they do have some unique materials in the mix. Since they are known for their use of tin cloth, some of the straps showing up on these watches make use of the material, along with various leathers (bridle or Horween), as well as nylon and rubber options.
All told, I think its an interesting way for Shinola to start expanding their lineup into some different looks (and complications, I am glad to see that GMT in there) without cannibalizing the core they have. Partnering with Filson seems like a great match, as (at least publicly) the two brands share some similar visions and commitment to quality.
As with the main Shinola watch lines, these Filson watches (all of which have a 200m WR rating and sapphire crystals) do command a premium over what you might expect. Will that Filson name on the dial be enough to make it worth it? Frankly, that is only a decision you can make. Most models will be available come March, with two of the Journeyman models making an appearance in April. If you’re already a fan of Shinola, though, it would not be that much of a leap to check out the Filson watches. We will, of course, be working to get in a sample for some hands-on impressions. filson.com
- Brand & Model: Filson Mackinaw and Journeyman
- Price: $600 – $1,100
- Who we think it might be for: You like the Shinola story, but want something a bit more oriented to your outdoor proclivities
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: I would say I am cautiously intrigued by the GMT Journeyman models
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Get rid of the oversized (ie, see three dates at once) date window, they simply do not look good.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: Basically, how these two brands came together to create something new