Companies in the past have honored iconic Americans, but Shinola has given that tradition a local flair with the new Henry Ford, limited-edition pocket watch unveiled at the historic Fair Lane estate.
Shinola is a Detroit-based designer and producer of luxury watches, bicycles and other goods. They have a “Great American Series” that honors iconic American innovators and industrial pioneers.
The first timepiece honoree were the Wright brothers, and they were commemorated with not only a wristwatch but a bicycle. This second watch, which happens to be Shinola’s first pocket watch, pays homage to an automotive icon, Henry Ford.
“Inspiration for this pocket watch was drawn from pocket watches Mr. Ford worked on and designs that were from that period of time,” Jacques Panis, President of Shinola.
Shinola, The Henry Ford Organization, as well as the Edsel B. Ford II and family began a partnership about 13 months ago to create this one-of-a-kind pocket watch.
“I have to make sure that in my heart I believe Henry Ford would have liked this watch and after all, that’s the whole reason we’re doing the watch. I looked at the watch today and I think, he could read the numbers, it’s about the right size, we got the chain right. These are the important kind of things we had to worry about,” said Edsel B. Ford II, chairman of the Board of Trustees at The Henry Ford Estate/Fair Lane.
The end result is a polished stainless steel 49mm timepiece that is engraved with Ford’s signature, includes a limited edition number, and is adorned with a metal chain and leather fob. It also comes with some accessories including a number plated leather pouch, a wooden stand, and a collector’s book.
“We had a lot fun working together on this pocket watch,” said Edsel at the unveiling. “It has been a real honor and a real pleasure to work with Jacques and the entire team at Shinola because after all it’s all about product.”
The event took place in the historic Henry Ford Estate, the last home to Clara and Henry Ford. The beauty of the property from another age was apparent. The estate was the first in the nation to receive a National Historic Landmark from the National Register of Historic Places. The good news is that it is now being restored to elegance.
On display was what is believed to be Henry Ford’s first pocket watch he tinkered on. Ford had a workbench in his kitchen as a child where he worked on watches.
“Many may not know that great grandfather shared a love of timepieces and in fact tinkered with watches in his workshop in his home, Fair Lane. I think it is fitting that we will honor him with the launch of this new Shinola timepiece at the very place he lived. He would be pleased both with the craftsmanship of the watch and the work we are doing to carefully restore his beloved home, built nearly 100 years ago,” said Edsel.
There are only 1,000 of this limited pocket watch that will be produced and they’re on sale for a cool $1,000.