The Detroit-based Shinola has made a habit of weaving intricate stories into the foundations behind its newest watches. The stories themselves are quite interesting, recalling obscure moments in American history, with the brand then matching the aesthetic details of the newest watches to reflect them. The new Bronze Monster Automatic Timepiece is no exception.
The new Monster watches features a bronze case and dark colorways, elements cited by Shinola as inspired by Prohibition times and by the stealth of the rum-runners on the Michigan-Ontario waterway that thrived in those times.
In the 1920s, during Prohibition, Detroit was a hub of international liquor smuggling, with an intricate network of rum-runners crossing the Great Lakes from Canada to deliver the in-demand goods. Under the cover of night, often in the freezing cold, and in the grittiest environments, “the art of the smuggle” was carried out as fishermen and pleasure boaters steadily adapted to the lucrative underground industry.
By 1929, it was estimated that Detroit was supplying three quarters of the county’s illegal alcohol, and in 1933, with the passage of the Twenty-First Amendment repealing prohibition, Michigan was the first to ratify it. The new model works to channel this history, described by the brand in the same descriptive language as the rum-runners it channels: dark, hardy, and filled with a spirit of grit.
The watch itself uses the same design as the previous Monster watches, though now with a bronze case. Like the other Monster editions, this newest model also uses a 43-mm case size, featuring thick crown guards and allowing a depth rating of 300 meters (1,000 feet). The new watch does differ in its lack of a three-link metal bracelet, now opting for two straps instead: a quick-release brown leather strap and a khaki G10 nylon strap.
The face of the timepiece is outlined by a bronze unidirectional bezel with a black inlay, topped with Shinola’s trapezoid marker. On the dial you’ll find the brand’s Monster-style composition, with applied hour markers, a white outer minute ring, and a subtle date window at the 4 o’clock position. Powering the uniquely styled hands is the automatic SW200-1 movement, holding a 38-hour power reserve and protected by a solid steel caseback decorated in Shinola’s utilitarian style. The watch is priced at $1,650.