Shinola Watches, Imported from Detroit
The spiral is depressingly familiar: Competitive pressures keep wages down, low wages mean products must be priced low, low-priced products keep wages down... Hence we have low-paid big box store workers selling products on Thanksgiving to people seeking door-buster prices because their own wages are low, and better-paying manufacturing jobs have all been moved offshore.
Can manufacturing in America make a come back? Will people pay for it? There are some "green shoots" indicating "maybe". Motorola is doing final assembly of its X smartphone in Texas (to make fulfillment of personalized cases feasible), and The Atlantic reported on GE doing more manufacturing State-side again (to improve manufacturing and engineering collaboration).
Shinola (yes, named after the shoe polish) is a company based in the battered city of Detroit, and their headline product is their line of watches which are built in Detroit itself. They have trained a dozen or so workers to assembly the quartz movements that go into the watches (this isn't just assembling pre-fab components, as is the case with Motorola's X).
I love the idea of what Shinola is doing, and I'm quite partial to the Runwell in matte black finish in 41mm diameter (pictured above). I don't know that I'm quite ready to make the leap however, as at $600 this is a pricey for a quartz watch. But the reviews are positive - very good build quality, timekeeping is fine. And there seem to be a lot of people interested in seeing this type of industry thrive in the US - Shinola's been selling out every round of introductions in a matter of days, and have secured distribution at several high end national retailers.