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This Watch Is Made for Surfing in Detroit, of All Places

Shinola’s The Duck is a sub-$1,000, quartz-powered diver available in four colors meant for riding the waves of the Great Lakes.


Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) and Baselworld 2020 are canceled but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. To stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases, visit our tag page.

You have to hand it to Shinola. Their latest dive watch is pretty good looking, IMHO. Maybe that’s because it takes aesthetic cues from the best of vintage dive watches, but hell, so does everybody’s watches, and at least here they’re packaged together in a fairly pleasing way, in a watch Shinola has dubbed “The Duck.”

The Duck isa 42mm, quartz-powered diver made with surfing in mind. But Detroit, MI, home of Shinola, is landlocked, you say? Well, yes and no. It seems Shinola has surfing on the Great Lakes in mind, which, yes, is a thing. Of course, you could conceivably take The Duck to an actual ocean, but that’s up to you.

The watch is available in four colorways: blue or orange dials with matching rubber straps ($650); fully blacked-out with a matching black strap ($700); or black with “vintage-style” lume and a steel bracelet ($850) with an additional rubber strap included. Specs include 200m of water resistance, a 42mm stainless steel case, a screw-down crown, a unidirectional dive bezel, Super-LumiNova-coated hands and indices, and the expandable rubber strap.

Not bad. The watch looks like a love child from the partnership of a vintage Blancpain and a vintage Glashütte Original, with a steel Oyster bracelet thrown in for good measure. I like all those things, and overall, I like the look of The Duck.

Do I wish it were 39mm and mechanically powered? Yes. Especially considering that you can cop the vintage look for this kind of money with a microbrand watch and still easily get an automatic movement. However, your average Shinola buyer probably isn’t a dedicated watch enthusiast. And if The Duck draws that person in and sells them on the Good Word of Horology, then I can’t complain.

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