Nixon Watches Review


Nixon watches are offered as a way to enjoy life in a smart way. Intended for those who love surf and snow, these timepieces do tend to have a “sporty” element to them. There are also a number of Nixon watches which offer a more formal look that is perfect for many professional environments.

In some models, you also have the ability to completely customize your watch if you prefer.

The end result is a watch that has modern features, like knowing wave height or being able to count your steps. You also have a comfortable watch that wears comfortably well. Then you also have a timepiece which matches your fashion sense.

In other words, a Nixon timepiece has been potentially crafted just for you.

What is the Story of Nixon Watches?

Nixon was founded as a brand in 1997 by Andy Laats and Chad DiNenna. The goal of the brand initially was to create a watch that reflected the late 90s youth lifestyle of California. After raising $1 million in venture capital, the two were able to debut a catalog of watches the same year as their founding. 7 watch models were then released through 200 retailers.

In the next 8 years, the Nixon brand would grow to have 90 models and 60 employees, with sales growing at a reported annual 55%. A subsidiary would be opened in France. By 2006, Billabong International took notice of this brand and offer a $55 million initial payment, with a $76 million deferred payment.

In 2012, after spending 6 years as a Billabong brand, Nixon became an independent brand once again with equal 48.5% ownership stakes in the possession of Billabong and Trilantic Capital Partners. Laats and DiNenna continue to own a portion of the remaining 3% of the company.

Today the estimated value of the Nixon brand is right around $500 million.

How Good Are Nixon Watches?

Nixon watches are generally considered to be a good quality fashion watch. If you’re familiar with the Fossil family of watches, then the quality of a Nixon watch is in line with those timepieces.

The designs in the Nixon family of timepieces are still orientated to youth more than older adults. You’ll find that analog and digital watches are both available today, with some featuring Japanese movements in the lower-priced collections.

Reactions from owners tend to be mixed. You’ll have reviews which say that the Nixon watch is “nothing but reliable.” Others talk about how they’ve owned the watch for a year or two and then something broke on the watch. There are also some complaints about finding dust under the crystal, but generally, the primary issue is that many who collect watches feel like these are overpriced for quartz timepieces.

Serious watch collectors generally comment on forums that they wouldn’t touch these watches. Most watch collectors also say the same things about other fashion watches as well. But you do have a minority of people who love them. They often don’t wear them 24/7 and for the price, they seem to provide a nice timepiece for at least a few years.

How Are Nixon Watches Manufactured?

Official information regarding the manufacturing process of Nixon watches is limited. In reviewing customer posts from a forum discussion, the general consensus from first-hand observations offers these insights to how these timepieces are made.

  • Most believe that Nixon watches feature cases that are made in China.
  • Nixon promotes the fact that the movements are Swiss quartz in their watches, though there is a suspicion that the quartz is produced in the APAC region.
  • The watches themselves are then likely assembled in Switzerland.

What Is the Warranty for a Nixon Watch?

Nixon watches are backed by a 2-year limited warranty against defects in the materials of the timepiece or its craftsmanship. The warranty begins on the purchase date and it must come from an authorized Nixon dealer for the warranty to be valid.

Some watch collections do offer different warranty lengths. Elite Class watches, for example, are covered by a lifetime limited warranty by Nixon. Labor costs on Elite Class watches are only covered for the first two years of ownership.

“This means that if the materials in your watch aren’t right or if the watch isn’t put together correctly, we’ll repair or replace it, at our option. But, this doesn’t mean you can abuse your watch and expect us to fix it for free.”

Proof of purchase is required in order to make a warranty claim. Nixon may choose to void a warranty claim, even if it occurs within the warranty period if the watch has evidence of excessive wear or misuse.

For more questions about Nixon’s warranty, you can contact customer service at 1 (888) 455-9200 from 8-5 on Monday thru Thursday or 9-5 on Fridays. All times are US Pacific Time.

What Are the Prices of Nixon Watches?

A majority of the watches which are offered by the Nixon brand are priced in the $200 range. There are entry-level models, just as the Nixon A045-511 “The Time Teller Watch,” which retail online right now for about $60. Most of the watches that are in these collections are believed to be manufactured in the APAC region.

There are also several collections from which to choose that are in the $300-$400 price range. These timepieces have more advanced features than the entry-level watches, have a heavier wear weight to them, and tend to be rated as being more durable.

Swiss-made watches from the Nixon collection tend to retail for a minimum of $500. The most expensive collection that we found available in most markets is called “The Moon Raider.” It is made from titanium and offers a case in several different colors. It typically retails for about $950.

Locally made Nixon watches, such as “The Ivy,” may retail for more than $1,000.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Owning a Nixon Watch?


#1. There are designs for every budget. With some collections offered for less than $100, it becomes possible for almost everyone to own a great Nixon watch.

#2. Many models are water-resistant. Because these timepieces were designed or inspired by youth spending time on the beach, most of the timepieces offered by Nixon are water-resistant at some level. The Nixon 51-30 Tide Watch is actually water-resistant up to 990 feet.

#3. Many of the designs offer large faces and cases. Nixon watches, in general, are fairly easy to read. Even if there isn’t a luminosity function offered with the watch, the fonts are big and bold with a contrasting background so you can quickly check on the time.

#4. Most Nixon watches feature a heavy design. This is because of the stainless steel that is incorporated into the watch, along with the chunkier case that many designs tend to have. It’s a definite benefit for those who love wearing a heavy wrist watch, and the plating which is on many of the designs does not wear off easily.

#1. Many of the top designs are for left-handed wearers. Many of the designs offered by Nixon have timepieces which feature a watch crown on the left. For some of their bulkier designs, this is done to avoid leaving a painful gouge in the back of your hand. On their smaller designs, this may be seen as an inconvenience.

#2. There are multiple ways to void your warranty. The most common mistake is to push the buttons of a Nixon watch while under water. Although these watches are rated to be water-resistant, they aren’t rated for that kind of water interaction.

#3. Many models are designed to fit a “standard” wrist. If you’ve had to add or subtract links from a watch bracelet in the past, then you may become frustrated with some Nixon watches. The linked designs only tend to fit the average-sized wrist. You would want to look for the expandable bracelets or leather/rubber straps for a better wear experience in that circumstance.

#4. Scratch-resistant designs are still made with mineral glass. There are some Nixon watch designs which do feature a sapphire crystal, like the Nixon Men’s 42-20 automatic. The retail price of this watch, however, is $1,285, with a suggested MSRP of $2,350. Most of the scratch-resistant designs are made from the same glass as a home window.

Is a Nixon Watch the Right Timepiece for You?

Nixon watches are comfortable. They are affordable. And they offer you a stylish way to embrace the smartwatch trends if you wish with their Mission collection. Or, if you prefer, you can stick to the analog or digital watches that you’ve always loved.

One thing is for certain: you will be able to find a watch with the specific features that you want from Nixon. Their stainless steel frame performs well in most conditions and micro-adjustable closures keep the watch securely to the wrist.