Lincoln isn’t the first automaker to form an alliance with a watch manufacturer, but it may be unique in coming up with a concept entirely based around a Detroit-based timepiece company.
The Lincoln Aviator Shinola Concept making its debut at the upcoming Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is an eye-catching study featuring a variety of exterior and interior design details crafted by Detroit-based Shinola.
“Shinola opened up their showroom to us as a playground — allowing us to explore how their brand’s lifestyle ethos could be woven into a new theme for one of our vehicles,” said Kemal Curic, Lincoln’s design director. “Our designers were handed a rare gift, and they made the most of it. The fresh insights our team gained studying popular design motifs make this new Aviator concept a true celebration of craftsmanship.”
The collaboration isn’t focused on a Shinola-badged timepiece. In fact, a Shinola watch isn’t part of the package, at all. Instead, it’s all about picking up on the colors and design motifs that have earned Shinola a loyal following, even among those who could afford substantially more expensive watches.
No watches, just concepts
The Lincoln Aviator’s exterior, to start with, adopts a soft white paint scheme that picks up on mother of pearl stone face, complemented by blue accents, used on many Shinola watches. The wheels and other body accents are copper-plated and give off a rose-gold hue — another common motif on Shinola watches.
Inside, whiskey-colored leather is contrasted by off-white cloth inserts on the doors, dash and seats. A center stripe on the seats helps tie the two colors together.
Metal mesh, another familiar accent from Shinola watches, can be found on the dash and center console.
“The goal is to impress occupants with our very own expression of craftsmanship, showcasing our meticulous attention to detail,” said Liam Butler, Lincoln’s color and materials designer. “This stripe is unlike anything I’ve ever seen sewn into a vehicle, so we wanted to make sure it was done with care.”
After our initial meeting with the Lincoln team, it was clear we shared the same passion for well-designed, beautifully crafted products,” added Shannon Washburn, Shinola CEO. “Designers from both brands came together to create an ultra-luxe vehicle that still embodies Shinola’s aesthetic of approachable luxury with thoughtful details. You can see this in the touches of copper inspired by our bike seats and the brand strip incorporated into the leather seats.”
For the moment, Lincoln says the Shinola-inspired Aviator is just a one-off concept. But the brand has had a long history of teaming up with popular design and luxury consumer goods companies, from Cartier to Versace. So, a special edition just might be in store if the Shinola protoype receives a warm reception.