Shinola is making lemonade out of lemons.
The Detroit-based brand with the Made in the U.S. ethos has rejiggered the messaging around its latest timepiece, pivoting from its planned launch for the now-canceled Olympic Games to instead support health-care workers fighting the coronavirus.
Shinola had originally planned to introduce “The Champ,” a Detrola watch, at the Olympic’s Opening Ceremony in Tokyo next month. Now The Champ will be launched to honor “the real champs,” the company said — the health-care workers in its hometown of Detroit.
The watch is available for pre-purchase beginning today and is expected to be delivered in late July, pending the reopening of the Shinola factory. It retails for $395 and is limited to 500 units.
The Champ features a multicolored matte dial in a striped pattern of red, gold, bright blue, bright green and black along with the Shinola Detroit and Detrola collection logos. The cream colored 43-mm. case in TR90 resin is anchored by a stainless-steel core and Argonite 705 movement that was hand-assembled in Detroit, and the dial features a double-domed K1 crystal. The unisex watch also has a black silicone strap.
To coincide with the launch, Shinola has pledged to donate $197,500 to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, earmarked for the health-care workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
”We are grateful to Shinola for the opportunity to help those working in health care during this crisis,” said Mariam Noland, president of the Community Foundation. “Health-care workers put themselves in the path of the coronavirus and kept us safe. We applaud their bravery.”
Shinola’s Detrola collection was introduced last summer and retails at a lower price point — about $100 less the opening price point for its core product.