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Nixon is driven by details. It realizes that the little things can speak volumes and that people who live life to the fullest deserve a watch, wallet, or pair of headphones that speaks to their style. That was the realization that brought Nixon into existence, and it’s the underlying belief that will continue to define its future.
The seed that would become Nixon first took root in late ‘90s in sunny southern California. Chad DiNenna was a surfer, snowboarder, and skater with a publishing background in the action sports industry. Unable to find a watch that he could wear both while surfing and later at the bar, DiNenna realized the need for a technical watch with elements of surf and skate style. He mentioned to Andy Laats—a business-savvy friend who also shared a background in the action sports industry—that “watches are going to be the next big thing.”
Laats was hesitant that the niche for skate and surf watches would be too narrow, and in an era when the digital marketplace was beginning to boom, building a company around century-old watch technology seemed like a step back in time. But DiNenna was persistent, arguing that beyond creating a lifestyle product, they would be meeting the need for a watch that could time wave sets and stand up to tough use. Laats finally relented and the ball was set in motion.
In 1998 Nixon came to market with seven watch models; their success quickly proved that DiNenna’s and Laats’ hunch about watches had been right on the money. Soon they teamed up with leading athletes like skate legend Tony Hawk and pro surfer Rob Machado. Beyond simply wearing the watches, the athletes gave valuable feedback and made suggestions about the features they most needed in a watch—creating a design collaboration that helped keep Nixon innovative and, most importantly, authentic as it grew.
Today, Nixon’s surf and skate niche has opened up into the vast ocean of lifestyle fashion. It now offers nearly 100 different models for men and women in a wide range styles and prices. It has also expanded beyond watches by applying its aesthetic to wallets, packs, hats, belts, and headphones. As Nixon forges on into the future, you can count on it continuing to innovate and create “Custom-built accessories for a life well lived.”