Shinola Manufactures Field Watches for Filson Jan 29, 2015


Detroit’s Shinola has produced a line of watches for one of the oldest outdoors companies in the US. Filson continues to manufacture almost all of their apparel in the USA, so it would make sense that they would join forces with Shinola, who assembles all their watches at their Detroit facility. These watches look amazing. Dark earth tones like olive drab and many references to classic timepieces really go a long way for the Shinola aesthetic.

While these watches shouldn’t hold the Made in USA label Filson has proclaimed, it’s still a step in the right direction for the United States and domestic production.

See the entire line at Filson.

  • Ultraclyde

    They are pretty, but the only thing I find more ridiculous than a $10,000 bike is a $1,000 watch. Ouch.

    • John Watson

      A watch, or timepiece as the pretentious say, is by definition a “luxury” item – but a $600 – $1,000 watch that’s assembled in the USA (chronograph mind you) is pretty affordable when compared to other brands. By comparison, Timex’s similar models are all made in China and they’re still $200

      • Paula Product

        John, I understand your point that “nice” watches are a luxury item, but if the marketing folks from Filson are going to jump on here to correct Ultracycle’s pricing info, it seems only fair to point ought that Timex’s similar watches don’t cost anywhere near $200. The closest watch in Timex’s line costs a whopping $36. Sure, it’s not “Made in USA,” but as you point out – neither are Filson’s. I’m sure these Filsons are fine watches, and I suppose one might hand them down. But they seem (to me) to occupy a weird space in between utilitarian items and heirlooms. If truly fancy watches are like beautiful custom built frames, these seem like mid-level Treks. Totally fine, gets the job done, and good-looking too. But a little pricey for what they are.

    • Guest

      Thanks for the shoutout John. Ultraclyde, these watches start at
      $600.00 and carry a lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. As with most fine watches, you
      should be able to pass this down to the next generation. If you’ve
      followed Filson’s product at all, you’ll recognize that our product
      holds its value extremely well and I suspect these watches will be no

      • Ultraclyde

        I have no doubt that they are high quality, well made and will last a lifetime or more, and yes, they do start at $600. Which, to me, is in the range of slightly crazy instead of full-on ridiculous. Building a brand partially on the importance of US Manufacturing is a great idea. Pricing out of reach of most Americans limits the impact. Could the people assembling your watches afford to buy one? The idea of spending a month’s food budget on the least expensive watch in your line is laughable to me, but I guess I’m not your target market.

  • ez

    Saw these a few days ago and was saddened that these all seem to have quartz movements. For the same price you can get something from Detroit Watch Company, Weiss, Maratac, etc which are all also assembled in the US but feature automatic movements.

    • John Watson

      Weiss is not automatic. It’s a manual winding watch. Weiss is however the ONLY company making their cases, bands, faces, saphires in the USA.

  • Papi

    Hey John- Why should these watches not hold the Made in USA Label? They were built in Detroit, Michigan, United States, right? I assume you’re pointing out the fact that they’re made with a Swiss movement rather than a a movement made in America, but that’s like saying a bike (frame) built in the US with Shimano or Campgnolo components was not Made in USA.

    • John Watson

      Everything but the band on that watch is made overseas. Casing is Chinese, quartz is Chinese, face, screws, hands, etc etc all Chinese. The movement is Swiss and the band is US. To me, that’s assembled in the USA and to the US Government, saying this watch is Made in USA is illegal…

      And regarding the “bike made in the USA” no one says that. They say “frame made in the USA”… There are legal reasons for that. Which is why Shinola’s bikes say “built in Detroit”.

      • Dew Ber

        Not to be nitpicky, as if that’s out of place but Cannondales said “Made in the USA” when only the frame was and Treks said “Made in the USA” when they were merely assembled here.

        • John Watson

          … yeah and they got in trouble for it.

          • Dew Ber

            I’m sorry but I never saw anything to prove that. Again, not trying to be contentious.

          • John Watson

            Is Cannondale still making frames in the USA? Half joking of course, but…

          • Dew Ber

            Cannondale went overseas for many reasons but breaking the law wasn’t one of them. Trek (actually a pretty decent company) acted within the law as well but to a layman, their bikes were assembled in the USA of foreign parts. Simple fact is, the Made in the USA thing grows increasingly blurry and holds very little clout with the American consumer consequently. Shinola is claiming to bring jobs to Detroit and they just might be. Those jobs might actually be going to American citizens. That should be the focus of their image. Point is, John, never say never. Plenty have used this label within the bounds of the law but left us scratching our heads as to whether it’s true or not.

          • John Watson

            I totally understand. I guess when you hear “insider” information from time to time, it’s best to be taken lightly. I know good and well it’s not the reason they went overseas.
            That said, I think it’s a cop out to make everything that makes a watch a watch overseas, slap a leather band on it and say “made in USA” like the Filson watches are marketed as. Shinola has been good about saying “Built in Detroit” but this collaboration in particular needs to be tightened up a bit, as far as the legal terminology is concerned, IMO.
            Besides, I think we all know when a frame has a Made in USA sticker, we know that means the frame, not the entire bike.

  • mp

    I have to say, these watches look great!

  • ChrisDefiance

    Its worth noting that Shinola’s parent company Bedrock Manufacturing bought Filson in 2012.

    • ctmo85

      Yes, a conglomerate created by the co-founder of Fossil. Shinola’s story (to me at least) is more than a bit disingenuous.

      It’s more of a brand conceived in a boardroom rather than a product created to fill a need. Unless that need is ludicrously priced quartz watches, of course.

      • PurpleGang42

        I think the ‘need’ is jobs in Detroit.

  • asdfsky

    nice watch but I will buy a Hamilton in this price range.