We already told you about the Shinola Bixby in our 2013 Perfect Things awards. What we didn’t mention is that bikes are only a small part of this new brand’s offerings.
Shinola is a homegrown effort to create a U.S.-based luxury brand that will help to revive American manufacturing. The company is first and foremost focused on building state-of-the-art watches, and to that end they have opened a 30,000-square-foot factory in a former GM building in Detroit. With the expertise of their Swiss partner, Ronda AG, the company trained their craftsmen in the meticulous hand-assembly techniques it takes to build fine watch movements. Shinola will launch its watch brand at Baselworld next month, but they began taking pre-orders for the limited edition Runwell watches today.
In addition to watches, Shinola has partnered with a handful of high-end American manufacturers in the Midwest to offer a range of goods, from fine leather products and handcrafted journals to bicycles. All bike frames are built at the Waterford Precision Cycles factory in Waterford, Wisconsin, and then assembled and finished at Shinola’s Detroit headquarters. The company currently has three bike models for sale, the aforementioned three-speed Bixby, a mixte version called the Women’s Bixby, and the flagship tig-welded 11-speed Runwell.
To commemorate the debut of their watches in Switzerland, the company has produced this one-of-a-kind Runwell. Conceived by Shinola creative director Daniel Caudill and executed by bike-industry luminary Sky Yaeger (formerly of Bianchi, Spot Brand, and Swobo), the bike is built around a Runwell chassis that is completely plated in brass. Fenders, chain guard, and a vintage rear-facing lamp are all plated as well, and the entire bike has been given a patina finish to complete the look.
This special edition Runwell, which is not for sale, is the only one that will ever be built, and it is currently in transit to Switzerland for the start of Baselworld. However, Shinola is currently shipping all three of its other models.