My first Nixon watch was given to me while I was in college. The entire office where I was an intern ordered watches and I got to pick one out, too. It was a small gesture that felt huge. This was in the mid-aughts, a few years after the Nixon Jibfest video had come out; ads featuring Todd Richards, JP Walker, Hana Beaman, and the rest of the loaded team were in every magazine; and wearing a Nixon watch was like a subtle nod that you were in on some really cool, shared knowledge.
I wore that watch obsessively until the band wore out, many years later. I replaced it with a Time Teller. It was bright red and became my daily driver. Years later, I traded it in for a teal and purple version. And then a metal one in black with subtle red details. Now I have a Hana Eddy collab. I like wearing a watch for its workhorse role, telling the time. But I like wearing a Nixon watch because it has always felt like it means something far beyond its ability to let me know how late I am for something.
Last Thursday, Nixon welcomed its widespread community to Black Plague Brewing in Oceanside to premiere a video celebrating their twenty-fifth anniversary. The video, 25 Years of Time, was directed by Patrick O’Dell, the man behind the lauded Epicly Later’d, and filmed and edited by legendary filmmaker John Cavan, and shares the story of the Nixon through its people–staff, riders, friends–whose collective vision, solidarity, and collaboration have created the brand’s heritage and pioneering place in boardsports (and beyond).
Nixon was founded in 1998 by friends Andy Laats and Chad DiNenna, who brought an unconventional perspective into the 500-year-old craft of making watches. By the turn of the century, Nixon was already becoming a force, with a stacked team across snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing, and an ever-growing slew of friends/collaborators from the music industry and beyond. Team-driven designs were paramount to the foundation of the brand and the commitment to the wearers of its watches was always at the forefront. While the brand has gone through changes since its beginnings, it has always been steered toward the horizon thoughtfully and with well-made product. Now, 25 years later, the energy feels as impassioned and driving as ever.
For any brand to weather the ups and downs of business and the market for two-and-a-half decades is an enormous accomplishment. As Nixon enters the second half of its third decade, its 2023 team, which features Jill Perkins, Brock Crouch, Mikkel Bang, Todd Richards, as well as skateboarder Nora Vasconcellos and surfer Caity Simmers, among others, continues the brand’s penchant for influential upstarts who define their time on their own terms.
If Nixon, as an entity, is defined by the people whose efforts have made it what it is (and that continue to do so)–its past, present, and future could not run deeper. On Thursday in Oside, the excitement was buoyed by appreciation and a crowd made up of some of the industry’s finest and most impactful, from legendary professional athletes to back of house luminaries. The video featured a star-studded cast. Andy and Chad shared the impetus and beginnings of the brand, their philosophy supported by the perspectives of Todd, JP, Hana, Jill, Brock, Nora, Caity, Zion Wright, Selema Masekela, Mike Diamond of the Beastie Boys, Metallica’s Robert Trujillo, Colin McKay, Paul Rodriguez, Chris Cote, and others. Everyone that attended was further testament to the impact that Andy and Chad have made through their endeavor. 25 years down, and plenty more time ahead. Cheers!