I make no bones about my fondness for what Shinola produces. Their latest brings us a nouveau vintage look (complete with an almost-cushion case) and one very, very interesting dial. Meet the manually-wound Shinola Mechanic.

Given the Detroit (and Detroit’s auto-industry roots) ties for Shinola, you might think that the story behind the Shinola Mechanic would be around the folks who keep our cars and trucks running – but that is not the case. Instead, it’s all about the sign painters that lived and worked in Detroit.

The Mechanic was inspired by the rich history of sign painters in Detroit, who called themselves “mechanics” in tribute to their precision and skill in conveying information with clarity and style. The dial numbers’ shadow, outline, and fill harken to classic sign painting techniques. 

While I like the case shape, it’s really those numerals on the dial that sell the watch for me, particularly the bright yellow and orange on the green and black dials. Sort of calls to mind the signs that I’d see when we’d head out to the fruit and veggie markets, really.

The movement in the Shinola Mechanic is also some newer ground for the brand as well. While they’ve featured automatic movements before (as well as quartz), this is the first one that I can recall that has a manually-wound movement. Here, it’s the Sellita SW210-1 that shaves some thickness from the case, and brings you a very tactile connection to your watch. Want to put one on your wrist before heading out to the market? They’re available in three dial colors for $1,450 directly from shinola.com

Tech Specs from Shinola

  • Case size: 39mm
  • Case material: stainless steel
  • Case finish: circular brushed
  • Movement: SW210-1
  • Strap: leather

By Patrick 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.

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