Shinola and What It Means to Be "Made in America"

Analysis

I’ve been heavy on the “Made in America” beat lately, talking about some of the best American watches, covering Timex’s new American Documents collection, and asking presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg why he wears a Skagen.

But I wanted to take a step back and ask what it means to be “Made in the USA,” at least according to the U.S government, or more appropriately, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency tasked with promoting consumer protection. Thanks to Shinola, we have a pretty clear idea of the threshold a watch must cross for a company to be able to label it “Made in the USA” or something similar.

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The Best American Watches in 2019

Guides

I recently posted about why I want Merci’s LMM-01 field watch so bad, but there was a small detail about that watch that’s stuck with me: French President Emmanuel Macron wears one. Like President Obama, Macron seems to find joy (and easy political points) in wearing a watch from his home country. But as I thought about it, it’s an idea I’m drawn to as well. Sure, we’re all citizens of the world, but we’re also proud of where we’re from. “American made,” especially in the context of watches, can be a hard term to pin down; it’s part marketing ploy, part statement of origin. And it’s not without controversy.

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