That doesn’t mean getting your hands on one will be easy.
There’s a vast sea of diver watches that hit the market every year and while most don’t get past wannabe Submariner status, a select few manage to bring something new to the all-purpose silhouette. You can add the Shinola Lake Erie Monster watch to that list, the latest entry into the Detroit-based brand’s timepiece lineup and their first-ever automatic watch. It’s ticks off all the bell-and-whistle boxes that a great diver should: an ultra durable stainless steel case (43mm in case you’re wondering) with a 30 ATM depth rating (equal to about 990 feet), a sapphire crystal dome with anti-reflective coating, uni-rotating bezel (to help you keep track of oxygen usage), and LEM Super-LumiNova indices that make this watch easy to read in any light (or lack thereof). But this watch also comes with one very unique backstory, one that involves a freaky sea creature turned urban legend.
The Lake Erie Monster, a.k.a. Bessie a.k.a. the U.S.’s answer to the Loch Ness Monster, was first spotted in the late 1800’s and various sailors and locals have claimed to see it’s 40 foot-long snake-like body in the Great Lake about once a decade since then. While the sea creature has never actually been recorded on film or iPhone, it has provided the area with an easily identifiable mascot suitable for everything from sports teams (NHL’s Cleveland Monsters), beer (Lake Erie Monster Imperial IPA), and now, one handsome timepiece. Shinola’s newest watch pays homage to Bessie in a myriad of ways, the most literal of which is a caseback that features an illustration of the monster and is adorned with a genuine blue sapphire eye. And to encourage your own search for the creature (or just your keys), the watch comes with a Princeton Tech diver’s flashlight and a diver’s map of the Great Lakes. It’s easy to focus on the novelty of the Shinola Lake Erie Monster, but the watch’s Argomatic R150 movement—crafted with Swiss movements in Detroit—is a big step for the seven year-old brand and puts it in a new field of competitors. But with only 500 of these timepiece in existence, getting one of your own is almost as rare as seeing Bessie in real life.
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