Smartphones and wearables may have replaced a lot of standalone items we traditionally rely on, but have not diminished our fascination with intricate mechanical systems. Hence, people still buy wristwatches as a fashion statement or just to flex their financial capabilities when it comes to the more luxurious options. On the other hand, if you prefer an even more old-school timekeeping instrument, Shinola has you covered with the Elijah McCoy.

Before watchmakers eventually developed manufacturing processes to fabricate even smaller components, gentlemen at the time relied on pocket watches. These fancy accessories usually came with a flip cover and a chain, but some models were sold without these. As such the Detroit-based outfit presents a reference that honors “one of the world’s first Black American inventors.”

This limited edition production run not only pays homage the its namesake but also to the machines he prolifically worked on — locomotives. Shinola evokes this with a 45 mm stainless steel case which flaunts a stealthy coat of black PVD. The sandblasted finish adds to its understated aesthetics. The Elijah McCoy’s blackout motif continues to the full exhibition case back.

The rear cover proudly shows off the laser-etched serial number, along with the words ‘”The Real McCoy,”‘ and “Built in Detroit.” A matte black dial graces the front with Arabic numeral hour markers, gold hours/minutes hands, and a red seconds hand. A golden crown adorns the top of the pocket watch. To further embody a classic vibe, its functions are powered by a manual movement.

Shinola equips the Elijah McCoy with a hand-wound SW210-1 caliber, which owners can view through the open-worked case back. It promises a 42-hour power reserve, but try not to forget to prime it when needed. The pocket watch ships with a black stainless steel chain and a custom wooden display stand. Only 350 examples are available.

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Images courtesy of Shinola