Nixon was created in the late 90s by Chad DiNenna and Andy Laats who wanted to create watches that reflected all that’s great about being a young Californian.
Over the course of the next decade, Nixon grew and opened a subsidiary in France. Then Billabong came along in 2006 and offered $55m for the business with a deferred payment of $76m.
However, after six years of being part of the Billabong brand, Nixon reclaimed its independence and is now worth about $500m.
About Nixon watches
Nixon is a hugely popular American brand but doesn’t produce the most technologically advanced or precise watches out there. They’re not smartwatches so they won’t deliver your notifications. Secondly, they’re also not fitness trackers so they won’t tell you how you slept or if your heart rate is at a healthy level. They’re fashion watches. For the same price, sure, you can get hold of something more accurate and/or durable. But let’s not start on a downer…
What they do well, though, is offer a wide range. The sheer variety on offer means there’s certainly something to suit you and they’re consistently elegant across the board. They ooze luxury. If you’re thinking about buying something luxury like a Citizen or Seiko, consider a Nixon. You get luxury for less.
Nixon watches most commonly fall in the $200 range although there are cheaper versions, such as the Time Teller which can be found online for around $60. Similarly, there are mid-range offerings which cost around $300-$400 which are made of more durable materials.
Around the $500 mark you’ll find better functionality – for example, better water-resistance and scratch-proof capabilities.
Finally, Nixon also makes two higher-end offerings. The “Moon Raider”, which is a titanium timepiece that has a case in a number of colours for customisation. You can find it for around $950.
Furthermore, for $1,000 you can go to the top of the catalogue and purchase “The Ivy”. A gold, stainless steel dress watch with the capability to go 100m underwater.
Nixon is all about fashion. When it comes to making men’s and women’s watches designed for formal occasions, Nixon is the brand of choice for many Americans, perhaps because of its tagline: “ A watch should tell time, look cool, and not break”.
This translates into designs that are clean, clear and simple. The faces aren’t cluttered. They have simply numbers and hands. They’re sophisticated. They commonly come in colours like gunmetal grey, gold, silver and copper.
Most are made from hardened crystal. You can find straps in leather and stainless steel. The scratch-resistant designs all boast mineral glass. Furthermore, some even have sapphire crystal, such as the Men’s 42-20 Auto with an RRP of just under $1,300.
A Nixon watch is certainly considered to be a decent quality fashion watch. If you’re a fan of Fossil, you’d be right to consider a Nixon.
Most Nixons over the $65 price range have an impressive ATM rating. They’re designed for beach-loving Californians and they’ve incorporated that into the functionality.
You’ll find them in analogue and digital. If you like a Japanese movement, you’ll be pleased to find this in the budget-friendly watches.
Reviews, on the whole, are mixed. You’ll find someone saying their Nixon is a faithful companion. Others will say they’ve had theirs for a year, maybe two, and then something broke.
Nixons are also great for the left-handed. A large majority of their offerings are great for those whose dominant hand isn’t the “norm”
- A design for every budget. At a starting price point of $65, there’s a Nixon for everyone in the catalogue.
- Water-resistance is typically a standard feature (thanks to the Californian influence, whereby most people live on or near the beach).
- Most of the designs have a large face. This means they’re super-easy to read.
- Ditto the fonts. It’s easy to quickly check the time on a Nixon.
- Nixons are durable. They’re mostly made from stainless steel and mineral crystal. Some have the same glass that you’d see on a window, so you know they’re scratch-resistant.
- When treated with care, a Nixon can last you many years
- The left-handed advantage may also be a disadvantage to righties. Nixon places a crown on the left. On some of the heavier watches, this has been incorporated to avoid causing a painful gouge in the wrist of the wearer.
- It’s annoyingly easy to void your warranty. If you push a button whilst underwater, you’re done. Nixons are typically water-resistant, but they’re not dive watches.
- They’re designed to fit a ‘standard’ wrist. If you need something bigger or smaller you have the inconvenience of adding or removing a link. Otherwise, you’re limited to their offerings with an expandable leather or silicon strap.
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