Is it a good thing for a watch to be a monster? In the case of the Shinola Forged Carbon Monster Automatic, a new dive watch from the Detroit-based brand, the answer is yes—and with its unusual color scheme and large case made from durable forged carbon fiber, it definitely lives up to the name.
Instead of the usual stainless steel, the Shinola Forged Carbon Monster Automatic utilizes carbon fiber for its case material. To create the case, carbon fiber is chopped into pieces, mixed together, and molded with resin using high heat and pressure. The result is a durable, ultra-tough material that weighs half as much as steel but is five times stronger, according to Shinola.
On this watch, the forged carbon case measures 45mm wide and is paired with a stainless-steel core, and it wears an unusual color scheme: black with orange swirls throughout. Although it might remind you of Halloween, the color pattern is actually inspired by Black Beach on the shore of Lake Superior in northern Minnesota. The beach is a testament to the long history of iron mining in the area: Taconite, a byproduct of mining, turned the beach black, while iron ore in the nearby cliffs has turned them a bright rusty orange.
Colors aside, the Forged Carbon Monster Automatic is designed to be a capable dive watch. It features a unidirectional rotating bezel for tracking elapsed time underwater, and the lume-filled hands and indices make it easier to read in low-light conditions. The dial also features a diver down flag at 12 o’clock—another reminder of the watch’s intended purpose.
The black enamel dial has a subdued look that balances the attention-grabbing colors of the large case. There’s a date window at 3 o’clock, but the plain indices and hands keep things from looking too cluttered. There’s plenty of detail elsewhere, however. The case back comes with an etched image of the Great Lakes, and the watch is paired with two straps—leather-backed orange nylon and black rubber—that echo the colors of the case.
It’s powered by a Swiss-made SW200-1 automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve for reliable timekeeping, and it’s water-resistant down to 300 meters. Whether you’re scuba diving in Lake Superior or caught in the rain, it can brave the elements.
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