Detroit stories come in two kinds. There’s “the collapse of the Motor City” — the story of a once-great city now abandoned and bankrupt, its people gone or dug in, its once-grand buildings now majestic ruins, its streets overrun with stray dogs. And then there’s the story of “Detroit resurgent” — a hope as much as a truth, found on ubiquitous T-shirts emblazoned with “Detroit Hustles Harder” and “Detroit vs. Everybody.” It’s a hope embedded in the city’s motto, adopted way back in 1827: Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus. “We hope for better things; it shall rise from the ashes.” It’s a comeback story felt deep in the city’s blood and bones, and glimpsed through the ashes.

Shinola wants to be part of that hopeful story. You might recognize the name: it’s a resurrection, too, a brand of shoe polish popular around World War II, best remembered now through the phrase, “You don’t know shit from Shinola.” That earthy authenticity beckoned to Bedrock Manufacturing Co., a Dallas, TX, investment firm that revived the brand for its newest venture: an American-based watch manufacturer. So Shinola came to Detroit.