Our complete guide to Nixon watches

Our Complete Guide to Nixon Watches blog banner with a Nixon watch graphic in the background.

We recently listed the Nixon Tide Subdial watch as one of our top 10 waterproof watches on the market, but Nixon watches have so much more to offer. Nixon watches are renowned for being stylish yet functional. They’re also really affordable making them a great collector’s item for beginners.

Discover everything there is to know about this American watch brand, from how to take care of your Nixon to the history behind the classic Californian timepiece. 

In the meantime, keep an eye out for these exciting new watch releases this year.

The history of Nixon watches

Nixon was founded in 1997 in Encinitas, California, by Andy Laats and Chad DiNenna – both of whom worked in the action sports industry. The brand first started out in surf, skate and snow shops but soon became a popular watch choice amongst young people across the US and beyond. This resulted in the acquisition by Billabong International, only for Nixon to become an independent brand again in 2012.

From the board-shops of California to retail giants like Barneys New York and Fred Segal, Nixon watches are now sold in 80 countries worldwide and they even have stand-alone stores in Australia and Bali.

Choosing the right Nixon watch for you

If like us you’re sold on the idea of Nixon watches and love their stylish practicality, you’ll want to find the right one for you. Here are some of our favourites.

Waterproof watches

With a background in the surf and tide industry, it’s no surprise Nixon have developed some of the most affordable waterproof watches around. If you’re looking for a waterproof (or watersports-friendly) watch, we recommend the Base Tide Pro or the 51-30 Tide.

Formal watches

Even surfers need a watch for a smart occasion – but Nixon have that covered, too. For smarter occasions or day-to-day wear, we recommend their Porter Black watch or the popular Sentry Leather.

Action watches

If you’re looking for a watch that’ll help you out with sports and fitness, you’ll have no trouble finding a Nixon you love. We recommend the Nixon Ascender Sport and Descender Sport models.

Women’s Nixon watches

Nixon also produces some incredibly stylish women’s watches, ideal for watersports and daily use. We recommend the Siren SS model or the elegant Arrow Leather for a more formal look.

Nixon & Star Wars

Star Wars fans will love these! In collaboration with the space-opera franchise, Nixon have developed a sleek range of Star Wars watches. Some of our personal favourites are the 50-30 Star Wars Model and the Time Teller Chrono Star Wars Watch.

Which Nixon watch strap should you choose?

Many would say that the watch strap is just as important as the watch, and we’d be inclined to agree. When you’re wearing a watch by an esteemed brand like Nixon, you want to get the strap right. Here are a few tips on which material to go for.

Leather watch straps can give you a nice vintage look and, as a material, is fairly durable. It’s not great for sporty activities however, as moisture (including water and sweat) can damage the material. Read more about leather watch straps here.
Rubber/plastic straps are a good choice for durability and all purpose activities. While it may not be the smartest or most formal look, it’s a versatile material that comes in whichever colour you could think of.
Metal/stainless steel straps are another all-rounder, and is good for both formal and casual outfits. From gold and titanium to silver and platinum, you can get a variety of metals for whichever look you desire.

How to clean a Nixon watch

The secret to maintaining a watch is to clean it regularly – and that applies to all watch brands. If your watch is stainless-steel, try the following cleaning tips:


  1. Wipe your Nixon down with a soft cloth to remove any dust or dirt.
  2. Gently scrub the watch (again with a soft cloth or toothbrush) and warm water. You can use a small amount of liquid soap if necessary – and don’t forget to rinse.
  3. Dry off with a soft cloth.

It’s that simple. However, if you have leather Nixon watch straps, you’ll need to take extra care when cleaning. Don’t immerse the leather in water or use liquid soap. Instead, gently rub the leather with a damp (not wet) cloth to remove any dirt. If your watch ever becomes filled with condensation, take a look at our guide on how to defog a watch.

Taking care of your watch

Once you’ve cleaned your Nixon watch, you’ll want to ensure you take good care of it going forward – and a watch case can help you do just that! Our watch cases are made from military-spec, crushproof and waterproof materials, so you can keep your beloved watch safe from dust, dirt and water.

Whether you’ve got a couple of watches or a complete collection, we have cases of different sizes to suit. Avid collectors might like our Peli 10x watch case, which provides durable protection for up to 10 watches, whereas beginner watch collectors might prefer our equally as durable Peli 3x watch case.

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