American watch brand Shinola has announced that it will begin to manufacture its own dials, which represents the latest step in the company’s goal to become a watch manufacturer.
Shinola currently assembles its watches in Detroit from components sourced from other specialist manufacturers around the world with the only other component currently produced by the company being its leather straps.
Starting this month Shinola will work in conjunction with its current dial supplier, Taiwanese company BAT Ltd, to implement Phase 1 of its strategy towards dial manufacturing. This will involve BAT employees training Shinola’s Detroit-based craftspeople in the art of dial production through a coaching programme to include hands-on instruction, devised specifically for Shinola.
Phase 1 will be complete when Shinola takes on all printing of dials for its Runwell watches using 700sq ft of the new 2,000sq ft watch dial factory. The remaining space will be devoted to Phase 2 of the project, which will launch in January 2015 and see Shinola begin metal stamping and painting all of its own Runwell dials.
In total 10 Shinola employees will be trained to produce dials and according to Shinola the project will see volume watch dial production return to the US for the first time in decades.
Heath Carr, of Shinola, said: “Our long-term goal is to create Shinola watches that are predominantly American made. 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.”
The new 2,000sq ft facility will be based inside Shinola’s original flagship store in Detroit and has seen the company invest in state-of-the-art equipment, ventilation and filtration systems. A glass-enclosed workroom inside the store will allow visitors to witness the process firsthand.
The Detroit store, where Shinola’s bicycles are also produced, is being expanded in 2015 to accommodate further innovations.