Do Shinola Watches Hold Their Value...? Here’s the Answer!


Updated April 20, 2020 @ 10:16PM

In This Article

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If you’re a watch owner and looking to level up your wristwear, it has to be said the number of choices can be mind-blowing. Whatever activity you enjoy in your downtime, such as cycling or running, it seems there’s a new brand out there for you popping up every few minutes!

There does seem to be a bewildering array to study up on. If you drop by any online store, you’ll most likely be presented with a whole wealth of options.

Many buyers are looking to purchase watches for long-lasting value, so in this article today we’re going to answer the many questions you may have surrounding Shinola watches. Touted by some as ‘the coolest brand in America’ ... but do Shinola watches hold their value?

Shinola is all about making handcrafted goods with an unwavering commitment to crafting products that are built to last. They also play an active role in their community and focus on local manufacturing -- Definitely something we can respect.

So before we get down to the real stuff, let’s take a quick look at whether Shinola watches are a good investment at all!

Do Shinola watches hold their value?

The Shinola watch delivers great value in a number of ways. Although not the same bracket as Rolex for investment purposes, it holds its own in terms of desirability. Its superb vintage design, all American back story, and its ability to create great marketing campaigns will ensure its value lasts into the future.

Now we’ve given you a little taster as to whether the uber sleek Shinola is likely to hold its value, let's start by looking a little more closely as to the background of this stylish high-end watch brand.

Shinola: Where did it all start?

Shinola was established in 2011 in Detroit, working out of the old historic Argonaut building which had previously been a General Motors research facility.
This makes it a fledgling company by usual watchmaking standards and other giants in the industry.

Their first watches went on sale in 2013. These were the legendary 40mm and 47mm Runwell models. Both of them were released as special editions with a limited production of 2,500 pieces in all, which flew off the shelves in less than a week.

This amazing success was repeated later on in the same year.
“Shinola was established in 2011 in Detroit, working out of the old historic Argonaut building which had previously been a General Motors research facility.”
You may be wondering that if they are so desirable, what kind of people are rocking Shinola watches?

Let's take a look below and find out.

Who owns Shinola watches?

Presidents and first men

A number of well-known celebrities and household names own Shinola watches, including former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama.

During his speech at a Democratic National Convention, he was wearing his Shinola Runwell, a vintage-looking oversized 47mm quartz watch which sported:

● A dark dial
● brown stitched strap
● onion-shaped crown

President Clinton, who is well known for his love of watches, seems to have given the Runwell a permanent place on his wrist, calling it ‘elegant and informal.’

This collection helped to establish Shinola as an industry runner and helped to give a robust design tick to their fledgling brand, which went on to be imitated by many other brands, establishing it as a market leader.

CEOs and hipsters wear shinola

Hipsters and CEO’s

It also appears that those with a serious love of authentic and vintage brands are cozying up to Shinola too.

The gorgeous deluxe elements of the Runwell such as a topstitched strap made by Hadley-Roma for Shinola and a curved sapphire crystal were not the only features that helped this brand increase its wearability amongst the trendsetters.

It cleverly combined those stylish features with its brand message true to its origins by making sure all its components are assembled in Detroit. This helped to give this fabulous timepiece an authentic ‘‘blue-collar coolness.’

This could explain why the Hipster crowd is feeling the love for Shinola too as they continue to be impressed and feel a connection to heritage brands that have an authentic feel.

Runwells success can also transport us right back to when baby boomer CEOs first started sporting jeans to the office, to show that they were just like you and me. In later years, Runwell resonates with 2020 startup millionaires who don’t feel the need to wear a watch with thousands of dollars price tag, to show that they hit the big time.

So now we’ve seen where the Shinola watch sits in its brand category, let’s take a look at how value is perceived with watches and then we can understand a little better about the value of a Shinola watch.

shinola watch value

What makes a watch valuable?

Value can be perceived in a number of ways to different people. So what actually is the value of a Shinola watch -- or any watch for that matter -- valuable to the wearer?

Let’s explore this a little further.


You could be tempted to think that value is purely recognized in relation to the cost of a watch or its monetary value as a collector’s item.

Obviously, when we think about watches bought as investments, we more often than not think about the gold standard of watch price value, the Rolex.

Or perhaps we might be thinking of value in terms of even the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction. The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime fetched a staggering US$31.19 million in Geneva on November 9, 2019.

However, watch value is not only seen in terms of the price tag or the fact you are looking for a long term investment.Let’s take a look below at some other kinds of values that are relevant to watch brands and see if we can understand a little more easily how that might relate to a Shinola watch.

Emotional value

Emotional value is really important when discovering the value of many types of jewelry items including wristwatches.

We all know how important our wedding bands or engagement rings are to us, in terms of how they make us feel when we look at them every day.

If we have a watch that has been as a present by a loved one for maybe a special birthday or anniversary, we understand the value that has in our lives, regardless of the price tag. It could be your fiancé who bought you a fabulous vintage style Shinola as a wedding gift.

Obviously this will have more value to you personally, than someone else’s Rolex.


It stands to reason that any potential scarcity of any kind of accessory such as a wristwatch will send the demand through the roof, which in turn increases its desirability value.

As mentioned previously, we saw how Shinola created that ‘scarcity’ model by only manufacturing a certain amount of their introductory Runwell models.
“You could be tempted to think that value is purely recognized in relation to the cost of a watch or its monetary value as a collector’s item.”

To sum up…

So we think that a Shinola watch’s value shouldn’t be limited to its price tag. Of course, those looking for big investments could look to the bigger players such as the Gucci’s and Rolex’s of this world but then, of course, expect a heftier outlay in terms of cash.

Shinola’s desirability, it’s the ability to create a great marketing campaign around its superb design which keeps people on the edge of their seat along with a great American blue-collar back story, means your Shinola should continue to give and give value for many years to come.

To learn more about why we love things that are handcrafted and high-quality, click the link here where you can check out our production facility in San Diego, CA!

Products mentioned in this article

Accordion Wallet

2-15+ cards, folded bills, coins, Micro Pen


Coin Wallet 2.0

4-24 cards, bills, receipts, coins, micro pen


Card Holder

2-12 business cards OR 2-6 credit cards


Hybrid Card Wallet

3-10 cards, folded bills, micro pen


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