Nixon was started nearly 20 years ago in Encinitas and, today, there are Nixon Custom Shops around the world, including Paris and London. What took so long to open one at your headquarters?
Encinitas was actually our first custom workshop, but we never opened it to the public. We were really focused on growing the brand outside of San Diego, because everyone knows us here. But when you have famous athletes and musicians coming through, it just made sense to make it look cool and invite everyone in.
How long does it take to create a watch at the custom bar?
On average, it’s a 45-minute process, because once you start laying down the options there is so much you can do. Which [style of] watch are you going to choose? Which band materials, face colors, case materializations, finishes? What do you want engraved on the back? So, you’re definitely going to scratch the itch for being creative and thoughtful.
What are some of the special items the shop carries that can’t be found anywhere else?
We do the Rock LTD collection, where we’ll get famous friends of ours to donate their guitar straps, leather pants, leather jackets—and we cut ’em up and turn them into watch bands for custom watches that are sold to raise money for MusiCares, which is the Grammy association’s nonprofit. So, if someone wants to do a custom watch and use leather from, say, Ringo Starr’s leather collection—then you’ve got a match made in heaven.
You sponsor the current reigning world surf champ John John Florence. Which watch does he wear?
He uses the Nixon Comp, which is a very thin watch that we developed with him specifically. Now he’s working on the first pro model watch Nixon has ever done, but that’s still more than a year away.
What else is in the works?
We just did a two-year development process with members of the U.S. Special Operations team. Basically, they wanted the most indestructible digital watch that we could make—and it has to run forever. We also have a really big music partnership that we’ll be announcing soon. We’re working with a band that we’re big fans of and has a global reach. It’s a unique opportunity for us! 701 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, 760.697.9283