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Thread: Other watch brands similar to Shinola?

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    Junior Member Ethrey's Avatar
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    Other watch brands similar to Shinola?

    Recently picked up a Shinola chronograph watch with leather band from Nordstrom Rack for about $600, about 50% off the original retail. I'm fine with the price, but I'm not obsessed with the gold-tone face.

    I've read mixed reviews about Shinola, and honestly I'm not as concerned with the mechanics as I am the warranty and aesthetic. What are some other watch brands with a similar aesthetic and price? I'd like a watch that is respectable and can last me a few years until I can upgrade to something nicer.

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    Varsity Member Brent k's Avatar
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    Openly I'm not a fan of Shinola at all. Orient would be my pick and would be cheaper than Shinola for the most part.

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    Varsity Member Kroaker's Avatar
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    Take a look at Detroit Watch Co. I haven't seen one in person, but I like the looks of them.

    http://detroitwatchco.com/

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    Take a look at Hamilton, they make some nice watches

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    Varsity Member Rocco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Token View Post
    Take a look at Hamilton, they make some nice watches
    I second this. In that price range, you are getting more for your money with Hamilton. You can also be sure that Hamilton will be around for a long time if warranty issues arise. Shinola may not be. You are paying for fluff marketing with Shinola, honestly.

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    Super Moderator hornsup84's Avatar
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    Not sure what your particular Shinola looks like, but if you're into chronographs and don't mind quartz, Alpina makes some lookers in that price range:

    http://www.jomashop.com/alpina-startimer-watches.html

    Not promoting jomashop per se, but shows a variety of Alpinas in one spot.

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    Super Moderator DocDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Token View Post
    Take a look at Hamilton, they make some nice watches
    Third this. For the price range of the Shinola watches, I'd much rather have a Hamilton. I think Shinola tends to get some respect because they hammer home the point about being made/assembled in the US and bringing jobs back to Detroit.

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    Super Moderator LesserBlackDog's Avatar
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    I find that people who pooh-pooh Shinola are those who haven't ever seen or held one in real-life. I own a Shinola Runwell chrono and it is a really attractive, solidly-built watch. Overpriced? Yeah, sure, but part of what you are paying for is the romanticism of a brand that has moved at least a portion of its manufacturing/assembly back to the U.S. - not really any different than the "romance tax" you end up paying on virtually any luxury watch, whether it's Rolex or Omega or whatever. Except that a $700 Shinola is a helluva lot more accessible than a $7,000 Rolex.

    As a fan of Hamilton and an owner of several Hamilton watches, I wouldn't say Hamilton is really any better than Shinola unless you are really set on an automatic/mechanical movement. I honestly think the fit and finish on my Shinola is nicer than on most of the Hamiltons I've owned, particularly in the Khaki/field watch series.

    Responding to the OP's original question - I'm not sure what you'll find in the $600 price range that is similar in aesthetic. Shinola has developed a fairly distinctive aesthetic across its product range.

    Something like the Hamilton Navy Pioneer has a similar wire-type lug.

    The Steinhart Military 42 has a very bold, clean dial design that is somewhat reminiscent.

    There are a number of Seikos that have a similar-ish bold dial design, but they won't have a similar quality of fit/finish and lack certain features like the screwed-down crown and domed sapphire that you get on the Shinola.

    http://www.amazon.com/Seiko-SNE329-S...keywords=seiko

    http://www.amazon.com/Seiko-SNZG15-A...keywords=seiko

    http://www.amazon.com/Seiko-SSC231-S...keywords=seiko

    http://www.amazon.com/Seiko-SNDA57-B...keywords=seiko

    The Alpina suggestion by @hornsup84 above is a good one. Alpina is owned by Frederique Constant, which makes a really good quality watch for the price. The aesthetic is obviously different, though. But Alpina does a good job with texture contrast in terms of polished vs brushed surfaces, which I think gives a similar high-end feel to what you get from a Shinola.
    Ben

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    Varsity Member Rocco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesserBlackDog View Post
    I find that people who pooh-pooh Shinola are those who haven't ever seen or held one in real-life. I own a Shinola Runwell chrono and it is a really attractive, solidly-built watch. Overpriced? Yeah, sure, but part of what you are paying for is the romanticism of a brand that has moved at least a portion of its manufacturing/assembly back to the U.S. - not really any different than the "romance tax" you end up paying on virtually any luxury watch, whether it's Rolex or Omega or whatever. Except that a $700 Shinola is a helluva lot more accessible than a $7,000 Rolex.
    I've tried on a couple, and they are finished very nicely and I love the aesthetic. But I just feel like if I'm paying "romance" tax, I at least want the "romance" of a mechanical movement (and the romance of Shinola just feels so manufactured to me). I guess this is where personal preference comes in: OP said he cares more about the aesthetic than the guts, and that's fine, just not for me. I'll probably never spend more than $150 on a quartz watch.

    For $600, I'll take a mint vintage Seiko chronograph + money left over for service, please.

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    For $600 I will take an Orient, a Seiko, and a Casio, then take my wife out for a nice steak dinner and a concert. I stay in the $150 range because I don't see a ton of difference until you get to $1k. That price range really just brings you more variety and some better build quality...but still not an "heirloom" quality. As a former sales person, I highly recommend your search go more like "here are the features I want" instead of "I want to spend this much money". You may find that you can get what you want for much cheaper than you expected...or that you need to bump up your range to get what you really want.

    EDIT - there are so many brands int hat price range, if you could post your particular watch so we have an idea of what you are looking for, more suggestions may be forthcoming.
    Last edited by idvsego; January 29th, 2016 at 01:00 PM.

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