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Rock star on your arm

August 10, 2008|Emili Vesilind | Times Staff Writer

Nixon, watchmaker of choice among SoCal surfers and skaters, has upped the celebrity design ante with its new LTD collection of watches incorporating rockers' actual guitar frets and concert ticket stubs.

The idea came about when No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont wanted to make a watch out of his old guitar. Nixon artisans inlaid pieces of the fret board into the wristband of linked rectangles. That watch was the first in the series of rocker-designed, limited-edition Rotologs -- the chunky, squarish models that are among the brand's most popular -- in stores now.

Riffing on the collaboration with Dumont, the Encinitas-based brand teamed up with a motley crew that includes classic rockers Ringo Starr and Nikki Sixx, pop bands Fall Out Boy and Angels and Airwaves, emerging artists Silversun Pickups and Tristan Prettyman, part-time rocker Jack Black, and (oddly enough) perky actress Joy Bryant.

Each was charged with creating artwork on a 14-inch square of maple wood that was then cut up and inlaid into watch bands. Because each square was enough for only five to seven watches, numbers are limited. Sales benefit the Tony Hawk Foundation, a children's aid charity, and the MusiCares MAP Fund to help musicians recovering from addiction.

The designs are all over the map. Members of Lynyrd Skynyrd drew a logo that takes you back to the days of doodling on your algebra binder; Starr used stars and scribbles; Black drew a demon, a motif in his mock-rock band Tenacious D; and Bryant created an intricate paper collage that includes an ephemeral bit of fandom -- a ticket stub for a Radiohead concert at the Greek.

Nixon LTD Collection, $350 to $1,500 at Barneys New York, Beverly Hills, and at


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