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Traditional watch crafter mocks smartwatches: brilliant or insane?

When the world is focused on the next best technological invention, what is an old school craftsman to do? Smartwatches or traditional, let the best watch win.

shinola watch vs smartwatches

Samsung mocks Apple, Shinola mocks them all

When a product comes out that gains a lot of attention in the news, as a competitor you have to decide how to change your own marketing plan. Many companies just go forward with their own goals, ignoring the new item, but just as many have turned to mocking their competitor. One of the biggest rivalries is the Pepsi/Coke debate. Samsung has long turned to mocking in their ads to try and beat out Apple. With the advent of the smartwatch, traditional watchmakers are wondering how it will affect their own product.

Shinola, a fairly new company in the world of watchmaking, released its first watch in 2013. They produced just 2,500 watches, in two different sizes. In two weeks, it sold out. It was priced at $550. Since that time, they’ve released other watches, also in limited editions. They make their watches in Detroit, Michigan, sourcing as many parts as possible from American manufacturers.

With the release of the Smartwatch, Shinola launched what might be called “snarky” advertising, mocking the updated technology of the Apple product. The Runwell watch, made by Shinola costs about the same as the lower-end Apple watch. Both come in around $550. Here’s the theme of the advertisement.

shinola vs. smartwatches

Opportunistic marketing or brilliant?

Smart enough that you don’t need to charge it at night. Smart enough that it will never need a software upgrade. Smart enough that version 1.0 won’t need to be replaced next year, or in the many decades that follow. Built by the watchmakers of Detroit to last a lifetime or longer under the terms and conditions of the Shinola guarantee.”

Shinola has been accused of “opportunistic marketing” because located its factory in Detroit, which has been in the news as needing an economic injection of business and money to rebuild.

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However, the watchmaking industry in America is part of a slow dying breed, and Shinola brought in experienced watchmakers from Switzerland to train the native Michiganders in a new trade. Shinola deserves kudos for helping the native Detroit citizens that need opportunities to build a career. Taking advantage of marketing opportunities is what most people would call “smart.”



Dawn Brotherton is a Sr. Staff Writer at The American Genius with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an experienced business writer with over 10 years of experience in SEO and content creation. Since 2017, she has earned $60K+ in grant writing for a local community center, which assists disadvantaged adults in the area.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Loren Nason

    April 22, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Smart marketing is opportunistic

    And I agree with their statement and think “smart” watches are stupid.

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