Watch brand Shinola was all set to debut a watch—the colorful Champ Detrola—designed to celebrate the agile athletes of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Then COVID-19 happened, and the Olympics were postponed to summer 2021. And the brand had to decide what to do with the chic-and-cheerful design it had created.
Its tagline, “Athletic to the core and not one to shy away from a little competition, the Champ Detrola embodies the pride of giving it your all,” no longer resonated. But, in the era of COVID-19, there was a whole new stable of champions to celebrate—those working on the front lines of the global pandemic. Voilà, the brand found a new group of champions to toast.
Shinola noted in a prepared statement that “the real champs are hard at work fighting the most unprecedented pandemic of our lifetime all over the country, and in our hard-hit hometown of Detroit.”
In tandem with Friday’s launch of the Champ, the company announced it will be donating $197,500 to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan to help support health care workers. The foundation has a history of leading important initiatives in Detroit: It played a major role in helping to remake the city after its 2013 bankruptcy.
The unisex Champ timepiece is priced at $395 and is limited to 500 units. The watch’s multicolored matte dial features a striped pattern and the Shinola Detroit and Detrola logos. The cream-colored 43 mm case crafted from TR90 resin is anchored by a stainless-steel core and Argonite 705 movement and topped with double-domed K1 crystal.
As of Friday morning, it’s available for pre-purchase on Shinola.com. But the company’s factory is still closed due to the pandemic, so it’s expected to ship in July. “As we slowly and safely start to bring our team back to our facilities, assembling the Champ will be the first and most important thing we do,” according to the company.
Follow me on Instagram: @emilivesilindFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine