Oscar de la Renta is a Dominican Republic-born, New York-based designer known for super-feminine, much-embellished gowns and dreamlike wedding dresses – recently seen on Mrs Clooney. Shinola is a fast-growing, three-year-old lifestyle company dedicated to breathing life back into industrial Detroit by manufacturing high-quality but accessible watches, clocks, leather goods and bicycles – and giving back to the local community. The first has a sleek London shop on super-luxe Mount Street, the other is about to open in rather more alternative Newburgh Street, between Carnaby Street and Soho.
So, no obvious link beyond a shared American background, yet a collaboration between the two is about to drop in the form of the Lattice (£1,300-£2,450), the first designer-name watch that Shinola has created. De la Renta last had watches in his portfolio 30 years ago, but an article about Shinola in Women’s Wear Daily inspired his CEO Alex Bolen to go to Detroit and suggest the project after he found that “we share important values – products designed and manufactured to the highest standards of quality, and the belief that these standards are exemplified by American craftsmen”. For its part, Shinola has already created watches commemorating the Wright Brothers and Henry Ford, but this is the first in the new Shinola Salutes series.
The watch, which can be pre-ordered now, is different from Shinola’s usual plain, no-nonsense styles, but has the same built-to-last quality. Inspired by the intricacies of the de la Renta jewellery range, it has a distinctive decorative lattice over its white mother-of-pearl dial. The hand-built, 36mm case contains an in-house quartz movement and there are three variants – gold-PVD-plated with a navy alligator strap (first picture), stainless steel with a red strap (second picture) and stainless steel with a diamond bezel and black strap. And only a thousand will be made in total, all numbered. They will be available at the Oscar de la Renta London store from Monday October 13 and on Shinola’s new e-commerce site later in the month. No surprise if Mrs Clooney is first in the queue.