As our relationship with Shinola continues here at RG, I wanted to take some time to highlight two of my most recent arm candy acquisitions from our friends in Detroit: The Bronze Monster and the Detrola I Voted. They live at opposite ends of the pricing spectrum, but both are equally comfortable at home in my collection, and I think they’d make solid additions to yours, as well.
I’ll start with the Monster.
Shinola wasn’t messing around with this watch. Its bronze and stainless steel case make it a substantial timepiece that announces its presence with authority. You won’t easily forget that the Bronze Monster is on your wrist—it’s the heaviest watch that I own by a decent margin. The movement inside is a Swiss-made Sellita SW200-1, a upgraded version of the popular SW-200. It’s a real workhorse of an 26-jewel engine that provides up to 38 hours of power reserve.
The dive watch aesthetic of the Bronze Monster is no stranger to watch lovers, and won’t win any points for originality. But it does manage to evoke memories of a similar, much more expensive timepiece—the Tudor Black Bay Bronze. And what’s interesting is that it does it in a way that’s even more attractive to this owner’s eye. The black face of the Monster, tastefully adorned with only the words “SHINOLA” and “Automatic,” matches tastefully with the bronze and black unidirectional bezel.
In the six weeks or so that I’ve owned this watch, it’s become my go to watch for nearly every situation. Shinola provides both a NATO-style band and an American-made leather band in the Monster’s box, which adds nicely to the watch’s versatility. The leather band, although a bit incongruous with a dive watch’s supposed function, dresses it up a bit and lets the Monster into the boardroom without too much fuss. It would have been nice to have a bronze bracelet option, as well, but I suspect that would push the price of the Bronze Monster into a level of the atmosphere that’s a little out of the comfort range of its target audience.
Ah, yes, the cost—I should probably mention that. Purchasing the Monster will set you back about $1,650, which positions it near the top of the Shinola range. But it’s hard for me to imagine finding a watch that I’d like this much for a similar price. In fact, I liked the Bronze Monster so much that I bought a Lake Michigan Monster last week—more to come on that soon.
The litmus test for me on any watch (because I am who I am) is whether or not anybody notices it, watch fan or not. The Bronze Monster passes that test with flying colors. But if you don’t have $1,650 to drop on a watch, I’ll show you another watch that passes the same test with less strain on your budget.
See? Same setting, and equally attractive. The Detrola I Voted comes in colors and materials that catch the eye of almost any passerby. Even better, you could buy four of them for less money than just one Bronze Monster—the I Voted rings the register at just $395. I wrote extensively about my Detrola No. 2 just a couple of months ago, and all of the characteristics that I loved about that watch carry over to this model—still made of durable, attractive TR90 resin, and features a stainless steel core, a hand-assembled quartz movement, and a quick release rubber strap. I wore it all weekend at my son’s soccer tournament in 85 degree heat, and it handled the sweat like a champ.
It’s called the “I Voted” because it evokes memories of those lovely, slightly less attractive stickers that we all get as participation awards when we vote. Shinola, ever socially conscious, styled the I Voted as a tribute to democracy, and as a reminder to all of us to participate in it.
I personally love the Detrola watches so much that I now own three of them, and I recommend them highly to anybody looking for a fun, stylish, and durable everyday watch.
Just as a reminder, Riverside Green has an affiliate relationship with Shinola, and every watch, leather item, or piece of jewelry that you purchase through our link supports our site.