Submitted by 2ndfloorbalcony t3_11avag4 in BuyItForLife

I really wanted to love Shinola. American made in Detroit, excellent aesthetic, and a fantastic strap? It ticked all my boxes. But in reality, it’s just another company hocking planned obsolescence products under the guise of American craftsmanship. I inherited my Shinola field watch from my uncle, and was very much looking forward to keeping his memory alive with it; however, after getting the ENTIRE MECHANISM replaced by Shinola themselves, it stopped working after 8 months. By that time, the Shinola store in my city had closed up shop, and that any repairs I’d want done would now be a mail-in job, because their case backing is unique to Shinola and can’t be opened by a regular watch repair man. I’m done with them. Swiss, Seiko, or Swatch; otherwise, fuggettaboutit.



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Orangebk1 t1_j9ua2je wrote

There's a reason people refer to the nicest of watches as "Swiss watches". Its the most expensive BIFL item you may own, but you really are buying one for not just your life but for many additional generations.


New_Acanthaceae709 t1_j9voqx2 wrote

I mean, most of the Swiss companies brutally overcharge for what they're doing. If you're charging $5k+ for a watch, it'd be inexcusable for it *not* to last decades.

The Japanese seem to value honest pricing, and make excellent watches that hold up. You need to filter out the ones that aren't going to age well, as they're willing to take cosmetic changes the Swiss would be appalled by, but my Citizen Promaster Diver I'd put head to head with an Omega Seamaster at 1/10th the cost.


lingueenee t1_j9w3zqr wrote

Good grief. The watches you're referring to do triple duty functioning as status markers and jewelry as well as timepieces. $50 Casios can withstand more knocks and outlast Swiss watches costing a 100 times more.


Orangebk1 t1_j9wx0ap wrote

Suppose you're right. Thats a watch trait. Its also man jewelry.


Revolutionary-Two457 t1_j9udcbi wrote

There stuff isn’t actually made in Detroit. Most people in this city who don’t have their head up their ass have known they’re shit. Sorry for your experience, but happy to hear outsiders are realizing this now - a Detroiter


Most_Good_7586 t1_j9wsvuq wrote

As a Detroiter I always feel like it’s my responsibility to tell people Shinola was started by the guy who made his millions from fossil. They are mall watches gilded with lies.


Yars107 t1_j9vy37o wrote

You want the best value for money, go Japanese.

You want something that you will pass on in your family and will hold value and can be used as an asset, buy Swiss.

You just care about the aesthetics and price, buy Chinese or "US made" with foreign parts.


mustachioedcat789 t1_ja2386x wrote

>You just care about the aesthetics and price, buy Chinese or "US made" with foreign parts.

That's what OP did with Shinola. It's all cheap Chinese quartz mechanisms "assembled" in Detroit


mcnabb100 t1_ja6cvfz wrote

Hey man, you can get some amazing chinese watches with seiko automatic movements for incredible prices. The steeldive SD1970 is a great example. 100 bucks, seiko movement, sapphire crystal.


Character-Fondant-26 t1_j9w2zyl wrote

My Seiko 5 series is beautiful, all mechanical, and while it’s relatively new I expect it to be BIFL


xeroxchick t1_j9vwfzo wrote

Mine has been disappointing too. My MoVado has worked for over 30 years with no problems except the latch needed to be tightened.


mmorris-500 t1_j9y9ki4 wrote

Perhaps they are named Shinola for a reason.


waggletons t1_ja553c5 wrote

Shinola is not made in the US. They're assembled in the US. Phenomenal design aesthetic, mediocre watches.

The movements they use are not expensive or hard to obtain. Unless they've done something recently, any competent watch repair shop should be able to service them.


unionlunchbreak t1_j9uc46i wrote

That’s disappointing to hear. I have one of their wallets and it’s been great so I was thinking of getting one of their watches too.


DrKennethNoisewater- t1_j9ul5d8 wrote

Ever look at Weiss? I don’t have one as it is too much for me at the time. But once I can afford it that’s likely what I’m going with.


nomorerainpls t1_j9uqmvo wrote

I’ve heard some crazy stories about Shinola service. There are a lot of similar Indy brands that use third party movements and price at the low end of the luxury market. I think most people expect a $1500 watch to make it through the warranty period and remain serviceable for years beyond that.

Even the most expensive automatic watches eventually need servicing - if they can’t do that I’d say definitely not BIFL.


bad-monkey t1_j9v2pyk wrote

dang, a Shinola costs $1500 bucks? I bought my Omega Seamaster Pro (used) for only $150 more than that. A $1500 shinola feels like paying $400 for a swatch...


MrWieners t1_j9yoc8a wrote

They can do that, not sure what OP is talking about. As you say, it’s just a regular automatic with a sellita movement that any watch guy can repair


bad-monkey t1_j9v2x6g wrote

FWIW I have to send my watches in for repair at the local repair center (which is across town, but with 2 hrs of LA traffic in between) to get the movement serviced on my Hamilton Khaki field. It's a bummer but mail-in service is almost the industry norm.


OnlyFreshBrine t1_j9y8hiw wrote

But the Ween album has some timeless gems.


MrWieners t1_j9ynz52 wrote

Okay so this seems untrue to me. Shinola has well known shady marketing practices with the whole “made in Detroit” thing. But ultimately shinola uses the same movement that shit tons of other watches use and they are not unreliable. The mechanical watches use Sellita movements which are high quality Swiss movements that are mass produced

Also, whoever told you a regular watch guy can’t do the job is full of shit.


2ndfloorbalcony OP t1_j9yrjhw wrote

It’s not the mechanism but the casing itself. The shinola casings can only be opened with a specific machine that shinola and their affiliate watch repairmen have access to. It’s not a case that anyone could open, like my Seiko 5.

Regardless of the movements reliability with other makers, what I experienced was far below the standard lifespan of any other battery power watch I’ve owned before.


MrWieners t1_j9yrva6 wrote

I still don’t believe that. Who told you this?

Edit: that’s also not true for the seiko 5, which is a common mod watch for amateurs


2ndfloorbalcony OP t1_j9ytv7m wrote

I don’t know what to tell you dude. I have a model that my uncle bought early on in the brand’s life so maybe they’ve changed the casing since then. I’ve taken it to multiple watch repairmen in the large city I live in and they’ve all told me the same thing that shinola told me. Re: Seiko 5, the case back can be opened by anyone with a small screwdriver, so I’m not sure what you meant by that. Regardless, I’m just trying to give a warning to other folks who had high hopes for a nice looking watch like Shinola makes. They co opted Detroit’s reputation for American made goods to hock their shit watches for high prices, and that bums me out.


MrWieners t1_j9yuj9u wrote

I misunderstood what you meant in the seiko 5 comment. My bad.

Also, didn’t realize we were talking about a battery powered watch. That’s even more silly.

Here’s a video of the battery replacement for a shinola runwell. Takes the dude like 30 seconds to open the case.


2ndfloorbalcony OP t1_j9yw1z1 wrote

Amazing! In that case, shinola is full of shit. Glad to potentially get this baby working again tho!


MrWieners t1_j9ywsxu wrote

Well, most watch manufacturers will strongly recommend you send it to them for repairs, but for them to tell you it’s required just for a fucking battery replacement is pretty bonkers. Not clear why 3rd party watchmakers agreed with them too.

I like the runwell style, but shinola is about as as shady as they come with their marketing practices.


LazloNibble t1_ja04e97 wrote

Revivals of “classic” brand names (Shinola, Crosley, Victrola, et al.) are an instant red flag for me.


beefhorfun t1_jaduzfb wrote

Shinola has fabricated history and "provenience". it was founded in 2011 by the co-founder of Fossil. It's a fake brand.

Get a Hamilton, Oris, Seiko, Citizen, Orient, Sinn, Tissot