Nixon (company)

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Nixon Inc.
Founded1997; 25 years ago (1997)
FounderAndy Laats and Chad DiNenna
United States
ProductsWristwatches, Accessories, Apparel

Nixon is an American watches, accessories and audio brand, founded in 1997 in Encinitas, California, United States.[1] Focused on the youth lifestyle market. Currently sold in 80 countries worldwide,[citation needed] Nixon maintains stand-alone retail stores in Berkeley, California as well as Bondi & Melbourne, Australia and Kuta, Bali.


Nixon was founded by Andy Laats and Chad DiNenna.

Both Laats and DiNenna worked in the action sports industry and were introduced through mutual people[clarification needed] working in those circles. Laats, a former snowboard product manager at Burton with an engineering degree from Cornell University, was in the process of earning his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Stanford University when he and DiNenna met to discuss the startup of Nixon.[2] DiNenna, originally from Southern California, had studied communications at California State University, Long Beach and previously worked in publishing at TransWorld Media for five years prior to the launch of Nixon.[3]

Laats and DiNenna raised nearly US$1 million from venture capitalists to start Nixon and, in 1997, the debut catalog was released; seven models were released through 200 retailers. Nixon opened a subsidiary in France in 2000, and by 2005 had 90 models and 60 employees, with sales growing by 55 percent annually.[4]


In December 2006, Nixon was acquired by Billabong International for approximately US$55 million and a deferred payment of approximately US$76 million in FY 2012.[5]

During the spring of 2012, after six years under the Billabong umbrella of brands, Nixon once again became an independent brand. Nixon established an agreement with Trilantic Capital Partners (“TCP”) and Billabong, each of which now owns a 48.5% stake in the brand, with the balance 3% held by Nixon management, including Laats and DiNenna.[6] The resulting transaction values Nixon at approximately US$464 million, representing a multiple of approximately 9.2x LTM EBITDA.[7][8][9]



Nixon sells many models of wristwatches, digital and analog, for men and women, with movements from Japan and Switzerland.[10]

Nixon's "The Banks" watch. It features a dial that keeps the seconds, and a third dial to have the time in another time zone.


In 2009, Nixon released its first audio products with a line of headphones and has since expanded to include portable speakers.


Nixon Surf Challenge[edit]

The Nixon Surf Challenge started out as a group of Nixon team riders and has since developed into an annual invite-only event.

Since 2000, Nixon has hosted the Surf Challenge near the Spanish/French border in San Sebastián, Spain and has featured a €10,000 prize purse. For its ten-year anniversary, the event was brought to Lofoten Islands, Norway. In 2012, the contest was brought to La Graciosa in the Canary Islands of Spain.

Nixon Jibfest[edit]

Jibbing is the snowboarding term for performing skateboarding-inspired tricks, like sliding on obstacles. Conversations to create the event first came to Nixon via Jeremy Jones, JP Walker, and Dave Downing in the late 90s[citation needed] ultimately resulting in the creation of the Nixon JibFest.

In 2011, after an eight-year hiatus, the Nixon JibFest returned. The revitalized contest featured a new custom course, new riders and a new jibbers playground. It was documented for an web series that launched on[11]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2013-07-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ LEBRON-KUHNEY, JEN (29 January 2009). "Watch company skates through cultural boundaries". Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Watch company targets action-sports athletes, teams with Billabong". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Local watch company with funny name, Nixon, makes itself a part of the action-sports lifestyle". Archived from the original on 2012-05-02. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Nixon Watches Sold to Billabong". Archived from the original on 2006-10-31. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Billabong's Partial Sell of Nixon Generates $285 Million Towards Debt Payment—Plus, The Changing Tide of Action Sports". Label Networks. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  7. ^ Private Equity Firm Invests in Nixon Watches, Accessories, February 17 2012, Business Journals Inc.Retrieved: 29 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Billabong to axe 400 jobs in major revamp". Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  9. ^ Manning, Maria (17 February 2012). "Billabong Establishes Nixon Join Venture" (PDF). Billabong International Limited. p. 2. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  10. ^ "Watch Reviews - A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Watches". Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  11. ^ "Happenings - Nixon Watches and Premium Accessories -". Nixon Watches and Premium Accessories - Retrieved 19 May 2017.