Shinola is unleashing another beast of a timepiece from its Great Lakes-themed Monster collection--a special edition dive watch inspired by Prohibition-era rumrunners who smuggled booze from Canada into Detroit.
The Bronze Monster is a brawny 43 mm beauty with a bronze case that's designed to tarnish and develop a rich patina over time. It has a stainless steel caseback plate, a glossy black dial embellished with Super-LumiNova indices, a calendar aperture and a diver-down flag as the 12 o’clock marker.
The automatic diver has a depth rating of 1,000 feet and features the same anti-reflective sapphire crystal and SW200-1 movement from Swiss manufacturer Sellita as Shinola's other Monsters. It comes with two straps: a quick-release leather strap in teak and a khaki G10 nylon strap.
Aside from the Bronze Monster's rugged good looks, the new dive watch draws inspiration from the boldly industrious ethos of Prohibition rumrunners who smuggled liquor by boat from Canada into Detroit via the Michigan-Ontario waterway, which included Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and the St. Mary’s River.
Many of these smugglers were local fisherman and pleasure boaters who were exceedingly familiar with the water along the “Windsor-Detroit Funnel" and used their nautical know-how to turn a handsome profit during Prohibition. The Motor City historians at Shinola report that by 1929, bootlegging was Detroit's second biggest industry, and supplied an estimated 75 percent of America's illegal alcohol trade.
In addition to transporting booze by boat, the rumrunners are said to have employed a variety of ingenious methods to smuggle their hooch, including installing a pipe underneath the Detroit River that connected a Windsor distillery directly to a Detroit bottling plant, creating a factory-to-bottle operation in which booze flowed freely into the city.
It's high time these unsung heroes who righteously supplied America's speakeasies with booze during the 1920s are celebrated with a striking dive watch. The Bronze Monster is available for $1,650 beginning November 6 at Shinola stores and Shinola.com.