Nixon is timing a refresh of its women’s collection for summer with an expanded collection that’s focused on offering a more diverse and elevated presentation.
It’s a program about three years in the making when executives decided to focus on what was then a rather sparse women’s category.
“We recognized we always had a really mature men’s business,” said Jenny Sehic, global product manager for women’s.
Over the course of that three-year time frame, more resources have been invested into improving the designs and that work will be fully borne out come the release of the summer collection.
“I think we’re really paying attention to the details,” Sehic said. “It’s the small details that really are what draw the customer to the watch. I think when she holds it up, it should feel like a finished piece of jewelry. It needs to feel like a solid piece on her wrist, so we’re really paying attention to that.”
Sehic went on to describe the design aesthetic as clean and utilitarian with attention to fluidity on the wrist.
Three years ago, the brand’s women’s watches counted roughly 150 stockkeeping units. The debut of summer will see the introduction of as many as 250 skus.
The move to focus more efforts on women’s is a smart one for Nixon, which is seeing its women’s business grow at three times the rate of men’s.
The sweet spot in pricing for the company’s watches ranges from $100 to $300.
“We don’t see ourselves as a luxury watch brand,” Sehic said. “We’re not trying to be.”
Development on the men’s side still continues, with the company more recently revealing the launch of The Mission, its first smartwatch that’s being positioned in the market for the action-sports customer. The piece, due out later this year with a starting price of $400, features a full-color digital display and can track surf and snow conditions.
“It has a very distinct point of view. It’s meant for someone who either surfs or snowboards or both, who needs to take it and be outdoors [and] needs it to be rugged. So it’s a narrow focus for the audience, so we assumed [initially] it would be limited [at retail],” said Nixon vice president of product Tyson White.
Initial meetings and presentations with retailers have shown interest from a broader swath of potential customers, with White saying the watch is likely to be sold in the top-tier of the company’s core action sports accounts and potentially department and specialty jewelry or watch accounts.
There’s also promise in Best Buy, which the company has been talking to for years, according to White.
“This is the first product that we’ve developed that we think is a really good fit,” he said of Best Buy.
If successful, The Mission represents the start of what Nixon would like to build out as a franchise of products with different variations as technology evolves.
Nixon originally had its sights set on development of a smartwatch to keep in step with the direction of the industry. The idea being, “if we’re early [to market with a smartwatch], we’re early. If we’re on time, we’re on time.” That’s since changed and “we’re pretty optimistic it’s going to be a significant revenue driver for us,” White said.
The company is also “fairly deep into development” on a smart analogue program that would be a hybrid between an analogue watch and smartwatch, he added, declining to reveal further details.