DETROIT — Shinola, the makers of modern, handcrafted watches, bicycles, leather goods, journals, and pet accessories, today announced the opening of a new dial manufacturing operation in Detroit.
The brand is teaming up with the Taiwanese company BAT Ltd., manufacturer of dials for more than 30 years. BAT will train Shinola’s Detroit-based craftspeople in the art of dial manufacturing through a rigorous coaching program and meticulous hands-on instruction. Shinola is excited about this evolution of the brand, as watch dial manufacturing at scale left our shores several decades ago.
The build-out of the watch dial production facility will consist of two phases, allowing Shinola to consolidate fabrication locally while focusing on producing world-class dials for its timepieces. During phase one, which launches this month, the factory team will begin learning the printing process for dials for The Runwell, the brand’s popular watch. This operation will use 700 square feet of the facility; the remaining 1,300 square feet will be allocated to phase two, scheduled to launch in January, when capabilities will be expanded to include metal-stamping and painting of dials for The Runwell.
“Our long-term goal is to create Shinola watches that are predominantly American made,” says Heath Carr of Shinola. “This development also gives Shinola the opportunity to be part of work-force development in the local community. The phased approach allows us to master the detailed steps in manufacturing dials one stride at a time to ensure quality standards are met at every stage.”
Shinola has taken a “cut-no-corners” approach in developing the dial manufacturing facility with a brand new state-of-the-art facility that includes all new equipment and ventilation and filtration systems, in addition to a glass- enclosed workroom that allows visitors to Shinola’s flagship Detroit store a view into the domain of dial manufacturing.
Ten employees will be trained on dial manufacturing practices. This facility will reside inside the original Shinola flagship store, which is where Shinola bicycles are assembled by hand. This store is being expanded next year to accommodate other innovations to come.