Bill Clinton is a fan of Shinola watches. The 42nd president and founder of the Clinton Foundation owned two of the timepieces before being presented with a third today while touring Shinola’s Detroit headquarters and factory inside the College of Creative Studies’ Alfred A. Taubman Building.
So what does a stylish past president wear? The 47mm Runwell, which retails for $550.
He has two – one with a black band and one with a tan band – and his third, which was given to him by Shinola employee Krystal Bibb, has the presidential seal embossed on the back.
“It is elegant and informal,” Clinton said of the Runwell, adding that the large numbers are good for his eyesight.
Clinton is in town for the Michigan Democratic Party’s annual Jackson-Jefferson Dinner being held tonight at Cobo Center.
Knowing that the president owned a Shinola watch, the company invited Clinton to tour the facility while visiting Detroit. The former president agreed, and spent approximately an hour on the watch floor, meeting some of the company’s 260 employees.
“Having President Clinton visit our headquarters in Detroit was a great honor and true highlight for the team,” said Steve Bock, CEO of Shinola/Detroit LLC. “We hope Shinola can act as a business model that can be replicated in cities like Detroit across the U.S.”
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Willie Holley was given the honor of leading the former president – and Mayor Mike Duggan and Sen. Debbie Stabenow – around the manufacturing lines, where everyone but the president and his entourage was garbed in a clean room suit and booties.
Holley had earned the honor. He was a guard at the Taubman Center when Shinola first hired them. Since then Holley has worked his way up from assembling the movements – the engine of the watch – to leading an entire production line. “He was very interested in all the little pieces,” Holley said of the former president.
Shinola opened its watch-assembly facility in the Taubman Center in 2011. The company has since expanded into bikes and leather goods. The company opened its flagship retail location in Midtown last summer, where sells its goods and assembles Shinola-branded bikes.