History – Shinola Installed Vintage-Style City Clocks In Detroit

Detroit’s local watch brand, Shinola, has now gifted Detroit with four clocks within the city limits. The new brand known for its Detroit-built watches, bicycles, paper products, shoe polish, and leather goods unveiled the first of four Shinola City Clocks on Friday. Installed at landmarks across greater downtown Detroit, the company chose a day just before Daylight Saving Time 2014 was to begin to make the announcement.

Inspired by the city clocks that were popular fixtures on sidewalks of American cities in the late 1800s, Shinola has installed them at Cobo Center (where the Detroit Red Wings hockey team plays and the Detroit Auto Show is held); Eastern Market, the largest historic market district in the United States; at the intersection of Cass and Canfield, near Shinola’s own first retail location; and at the corner of Milwaukee and Cass, in front of the College for Creative Studies A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education. This latter location is meaningful as it is where the original Argonaut building is located, the original GM design center and Shinola’s current factory and headquarters.

These American-made city clocks accomplished by collaborating with Electric Time Company – an 80-year-old specialty city clockmaker located in Massachusetts – are mounted either on a pole or wall, and closely resemble the style of Shinola’s future pocket watches. The double-sided clock face encased in stainless steel is more than three feet in diameter and stands at 13 feet tall on the pole-mounted version. LED lights allow passersby to see the time at night as well.

“Since we began our journey in this great city, we have been overwhelmed with the enthusiasm and support shown by the Detroit community,” said Steve Bock, CEO of Shinola. “We feel privileged to have the city clocks among some of the most notable places in Detroit and hope they are enjoyed by all.”

Shinola partnered with the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority to install the first city clock outside of Cobo Center, which was unveiled in a ceremony on Friday morning. One of the largest convention centers in the nation, Cobo draws millions of visitors each year. Currently located at the corner of Washington Boulevard and West Larned Street, the clock will be moved to the newly developed Cobo Square when construction finishes this fall.

Elizabeth Doerr is the editor-in-chief of Quill & Pad, an online magazine that keeps a watch on time.

Shinola Detroit Website

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