Tag Archive | "Product Reviews"

Nixie: Ultimate Fashion Watch

By Pablo BretonFacebookTwitter
Editor, IndieFashionDaily


Nixie at Project Ethos Fashion Show

For video above, go to the 2:38 point approximately to see the Nixie in action.


ACCORDING TO MY INSURANCE POLICY, there’s approx. $12,000 in musical gear somehow lurking around my tiny apartment.

(No, I won’t give you my address.)

So why, when I left the apartment the day after getting my Nixie, was I most anxious about leaving the watch vulnerable?

I’ve been through a few watches as part of my search for the ultimate, head-turning fun accessory, and I’m pleased to say the Nixie watch by Cathode Corner represents the end of my search.

(Pardon the pictures of business-looking guys wearing the watch on the site. The Nixie is obviously a serious, “make a statement” party watch: doi.)

Nixies are small vacuum tubes created for 1950s computer displays, which is part of what gives the Nixie watch its appeal. Think retro-Atari vibe, but even earlier and more ironically aw350m3. The watches are also hand-made by a guy in Arizona, which means you can’t get them in stores. (Yet.)


The Nixie features 12 or 24-hour time display mode, is easy to set (just unscrew the top case), and the case itself is durable, lightweight aircraft aluminum, hard anodized. An O-ring seal keeps out water, dust and dirt. The strap is a standard 20mm size, available at any fine jeweler. (So you can replace it with one you like better, if you so will; but no one really looks at the strap on this.)

Basically the way the Nixie works is, it flashes the time at a certain angle you pre-set (don’t ask me how this works exactly: you just tap a button to set the angle you like). It flashes hour, then minutes, the seconds, which will tick if you “hold” the watch without moving.

According to Nixie, with daily use the CR2 battery will last 4 months: unless, like me, you keep looking and marveling at it obsessively, in which case it will probably last a few hours. But CR2, 3V batteries only cost a few bucks on Amazon (you can even buy them rechargeable), so don’t fret.

Also, although Nixie B-5870 type tubes are no longer made, there are still plenty around (being that no one really needs them for computers anymore), so broken tubes can be replaced.


Cathode Corner is a very small company run by a buy called David Forbes in Arizona. Basically the Nixie is his hobby, so far. Which means when you buy a Nixie, you’re essentially buying an electronic piece of art.


Honestly, the main function of the watch is to amaze everyone who sees it.

Typical comments from strangers you will hear are: “Woah.” “Amazing.” “Now that is a killer watch.” “Totally, totally sick.”)

I don’t think the watch needs much more hype than that.

Nixie at THV|PR Fashion Night

(p.s. My favorite part of the video above is where it says the watch is “not for a dainty wrist.” I assure you my wrists couldn’t be much smaller, but I am very comfortable rocking the watch, as well as some other, less amazing, but even bigger watches I own.)


Nixie Watch Website

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Nooka Perfume: We Are On a Space-Age Autobahn

By Pablo BretonFacebookTwitter
Editor, IndieFashionDaily

I think it’s only fair to start this review by giving you an idea what kind of sick individual you’re dealing with.

As a guy, I can do that quite easily, simply by listing my favorite scents, which no respectable guy would do. (Most guys, bless ’em, probably have no such list. Or if they do, they wouldn’t tell you.) But I don’t give an F (I care only enough to type the letter “F”: now that’s casual).

(Next I want to mention that, lest you think I’m some rich mofo, and now would like to come borrow some bread, I have never actually owned any of these perfumes. Sorry friends, I only covet them in stores.

Wait, is there a girl in the audience? I mean, I’m really rich: ignore the car.)

My Favorites:

L’Eu Guerriere (means “warrior water”: only joking; oh no, I just looked it up and it really does!): Woody, musky, resinous due to “olibanum,” which is apparently a less biblical word for frankincense – $120



Serge Lutens Chene (does not mean “Serge Lutens’ dog,” that’s chein, thankfully): Oak, beeswax, rum, dried fruit, spices and wood – $140





Bois Blond by by Parfumerie Generale (no, Parfumerie Generale is not the French equivalent of Rite Aid, although it does sound like it, doesn’t it? Actually I don’t know what Parfumerie Generale is, so … maybe I’m wrong or right again. Though it costs $110, so probably not):  Cedar, grass, hay, blond tobacco, amber, musk – $110



Le Vetiver de Lubin (“Lubin’s Vetiver.” Don’t worry; it’s not a euphemism, and Lubin won’t make you touch it): Vetiver, clove, nutmeg, bright tobacco, red cedar, myrrh, frankincense, pepper – $95




(Also, “eu de toilette” does not mean “smell of toilet,” which I thought it did as a kid. And if it did, it really shouldn’t cost $100. Am I right, people, am I right?)

I also like Gucci Pour Homme, but I feel less special for mentioning it, so I won’t. Whatever.


Maybe all of those smells above are intended for guys; I’m just too lazy to check the websites now, and never asked. But if you’re a fellow fellow, you probably also noticed that most of these scents are woody, masculine and make you look like you’ve been slurping down ‘roid shakes. Oh, they don’t? Well, let’s all demand that imaginary $100 back, and maybe we’ll get it for once. (Am I right, people, am I right?)

But all of this empty rhetoric and also soul-nourishing pabulum really just brings me to:


According to the box: “Nooka eau de parfum is the next generation of precious liquids. It expresses the wearer’s multi-faceted individuality, and is cased in a custom gem bottle. Nooka communicates a universal language that transcends defined opposites. A synergy of scents, both familiar and foreign, instinctive and original, mental and physical that come together as one: Japanese yuzu, sprinkled with pink pepper; polished steel wrapped in vintage leather.”

I don’t know what steel smells like when it’s wrapped in leather (otherwise I’m well aware that steel smells like hay-covered marshmallows, doi), but I’ll bet it’s real classy. (I’m seeing a chichi jewelry safe from SkyMall.) But Nooka is the brainchild of New York artist Matthew Waldman, whose Nooka brand is famous mainly for colorful, sculpted, futuristic watches, eye wear and other stuff.

So expect the visual, from the almost Ghery-like sculpting of the bottle to the pale kiwi tint of the liquid inside that recalls some sort of Vulcan liqueur (click link).

Now on to the scent:

The perfume itself was developed in conjunction with perfumist Pierre-Constantin Guéros.

Let me start by saying the competition above is pretty heavy-hitting, so I was very pleasantly surprised at the complexity. Nooka has a multi-faceted dry, woodsy, leathery smell that reminds me just a tad of Essence of John Galliano, a ridiculously expensive candle by Diptyque.

(Oh, I haven’t told you about my candle obsession yet? Oh well.)

“Gloss paper accord” is one of the more intriguing notes mentioned. The more I use Nooka, the more I do smell it. Intriguing indeed. Each day I like this Nooka scent, more and more.

Now, in lieu of a string of adjectives, such as those I’ve seen in conjunction with this fragrance (“coriander, tonka bean, gloss paper accord, cypress bark, musk and pink sand accord“), I’m now going to do the unthinkable: smell, close my eyes and tell you what I see.


IT’S EARLY EVENING (the edges of the sky are dark purple) and I’m on some sort of light rail, traveling parallel to a raised autobahn that appears to be deserted.

The landscape has complex geometric buildings (so it’s a little like TRON, except it doesn’t suck), and it’s uncommonly quiet, both inside and outside the train.

A disheveled man with a soft, oiled leather briefcase is sitting next to me, asleep, with some sort of folded paper cube (I think it’s a computer) turned off beside him. He doesn’t seem concerned about possible theft.

Across from me a French girl is quietly sipping lychee tea with boba and her Japanese friend is smiling faintly while peeling a fairchild tangerine.

Everyone seems a little peculiar at first, until you realize they’re very relaxed, or perhaps mentally quiet in a way we don’t see much in our too-busy present.

The air outside the window is dry, and smells vaguely of chalk, and further down the compartment, someone is smoking vanilla tobacco in a what may be a clay pipe. (I guess that’s safe in the future.)

It’s just so quiet.

And I like this place.

I really, really like it.


Nooka Website

More “Stuff to Live For”

“Pac Man Died ‘N Stuff”: Read about time travel, Nooka watches and founder Matthew Waldman at IndieLookLA

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Your Tiny Watch Disgusts Me, Part 2: Three “Giant” Watches Reviewed

By Pablo BretonFacebookTwitter
Editor, IndieFashionDaily


But first, introducing (l-r):

Nixon 51-30 (51 mm), Kyboe BS-005 (55 mm) and Diesel DZ7193 (57 mm)

In Part 1, I argued convincingly (cough) that “giant” watches are not a fad, but a correction, a harbinger of the future, and that watches have been too small all along. I stand by that claim. Look at the lines, people, look at the lines.

In the process of trying to get pics for this story (which, along with the video, was so taxing I’m going to make this story short and let the images and vid speak for themselves; I’m just that easily fatigued), my neighbor Eryn approached our tiny, crappy apartment building in Silver Lake / Hollywood, making for the following humorous montage.

(Our street is at Sunset Junction, so you can choose “what kind of cool” you want to be: douchey Hollywood cool or even-douchier Silver Lake cool: it’s all good.)

Innocent neighbor Eryn assumes Pablo has finally lost it. Pictured (l-r): Nixon, Kyboe, Diesel

Then decides, "haha," pretending-to-go-along is safer than slowly backing away. Pictured (l-r): Nixon, Kyboe, Diesel

Until she realizes, "Oh I see, it's just Smooth Watch Playboy," and hey, that makes sense, so all is well.


I don’t know what to say, other than I love all three of these watches.

They just look great. (Okay, the Diesel might be a tad extreme, but it’s fun, and people will “ooh” and “aah” and laugh over it. And sharing is caring, or something, right?)

I think we already addressed the basic size jokes in Part 1 (and they’re all great), so let me just say, again, that I wish to appeal to your aesthetic sense. Small watches just look “off,” once your eyes adjust to a more continuous line from shoulder to arm to hand. And if that’s not a scientific proof, unfurling with an eerie Calculus-like certainty from point to plane to surface, geez my friend, you are demanding.


Anyway, hey, all these watches are great, aren’t they? And they all worked really hard and put on a really great show.

In the real world, the meaningless platitude above would be followed, at least, by a bit of rigor: In other words, some brave, or heartless, soul would at least have the guts to actually declare one winner and several losers, but not me. I don’t roll like that. If one of these watches had actually crossed me, I might grind it beneath my black, wish-they-were-intimidating Doc Martens and then regret not trying to pan it off to some rube on eBay instead, like a respectable modern human. (J/k; eBay is far too complicated for me.)

But no, let’s face it, if these watches were women I’d be darting from one to the other in a frenzied attempt to fill a chasm of desire that can never be satiated. Nah, probably not, ‘cuz actually I don’t roll like that either, having been too badly beaten by the whip of past mistakes; and, once flailed, forever shy. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be gutless, rzight? So onward:


Nixon 51-30

Most Beautiful “Better-Sized” Watch: Nixon 51-30

Jeez, I don’t know what it is, but you could marry the band. I keep my watches stashed on my bedside and I could swear I’ve spent an hour or more just staring at it, like Gollum at the ring. The gunmetal is “totes” amazing; so amazing I’ll say “totes.”





Kyboe BS-005

Best Overall “Better-Sized” Watch: Kyboe BS-005

Bigger than the Nixon, and it lights up like a 1978 game of Simon when you hit the “illuminate” switch. The Nixon, for all its splendor, alas, hides a bit too much. I spend enough time in my apartment. When I go out, I don’t want my watch to hide; I want it to be making introductions. The Kyboe is big enough to say hello before I do, but not so big that muggers hiding in the bushes on my street get a 15-second heads-up that I’ll soon be turning the corner.



Diesel DZ7193

Biggest and Baddest-Ass “Better-Sized” Watch: Diesel DZ7193

The Diesel DZ7193 is the stylistic equivalent of a punch to the face. It can’t fail to get a reaction. I’ve worn it exactly one time and received 2 gushing compliments (one from a girl, one from a dude, so you can get “respett” across the spectrum of society), and noticed more than one person checking it out from a distance. The Diesel is basically a fearless throwing down of the gauntlet, as though to say: “That’s right, mofo. That’s right. Beat this. … If you dare.”

It also covers four time zones, so after a series of imaginary 40-hour flights from LA, to say Paris, to say Africa, then maybe (even) home to New Orleans, I can bludgeon myself over the head with it, to get some rest.



Pablo Avion lives in a 250-sq. ft. apartment in either Hollywood or Silver Lake, or both, when he really wants to impress you. The watches barely fit in his apartment. Welcome to hell.

More “Stuff to Live For”

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Your Tiny Watch Disgusts Me. Plus, Enter the Wallet-Buster.

By Pablo BretonFacebookTwitter
Editor, IndieFashionDaily

(Next: “Three ‘Giant’ Watches You Should Probably Know About.”)

Think about it. Look at the watches around you. Really look at them. (Nice watches, to be sure.)

But stop. Now look at the lines below. There’s no flow.

Here’s a shoulder, flowing into an arm, flowing  into a wrist … all is well.

The wrist is doing a fine job, as nature intended, but suddenly there’s this interruption, this distraction, this round thing that ought to be a focal point or some sort of exclamation mark, but instead has broken the line, in an underwhelming, even disappointing fashion.

It’s as if our typical 23-37 mm watches are trying to hide, for some reason: burrow into the skin like some sort of strictly necessary tick. Or an implant, purely for convenience, that has to be dressed up in gold or two-tone to justify its role.

Here it seems to say: “Hey, nothing to see here, I’m just a bracelet, really. Oh, do I have a little clock in here? Well I hadn’t noticed! Okay, truth be told, Master needs this for time, so please excuse it, ok? I’m trying to hide there.”

The result? Bad lines. Excuse the pun.

Now take your new “giant” watches. The Nixon 51-30 (51 mm) watch, the Kyboe BS-005 (55 mm), or the Diesel DZ7193 (65 mm!). (We’ll be seeing these this week.)

Are these really so giant? Or is that our watches have been too small, all along?

No, not this far. Though you ARE the man, Flav.

These are the deep thoughts that have begun to perplex me on my recent “watch journey.”

It started with the Michael Kors MK8152, which at 38 mm seemed gigantic to me, and daring. (Obviously I don’t get out much.)

After seeing the Nixon (coming next article), which was even more expensive, I think I secretly knew I was screwed from the moment I saw it. But it wasn’t until after a week of thinking about it that I realized it fully. So I hoofed it to Macy’s, returned the Michael Kors watch, and want to Nordstrom for the Nixon.

I spent a few days reveling in how striking and “giant” the wallet-busting* Nixon was, until I started walking around and, for the first time, paying attention to other people’s watches. And it was as though mine eyes, not me, had been given a makeover.

“Dude,” I thought to myself (I use that expression occasionally to remind myself  that I am still a dude, after all), “everyone’s watches are really too small.”

Kors MK8152

Now, all fashion is perceptual, just like my Mom in New Orleans thinks my “clothes look like they got shrunk in the rain” when I go home for Xmas, and I think the rich townies in New Orleans look like they snuck out wearing their daddies’ ill-fitting suits.

But the more I see the difference, the more convinced that I am that larger watches aren’t freakish, or novel, they’re simply sized better.

(Here’s where we make all sorts of “size” jokes and remarks about overcompensation, etc., which I think is summed up nicely by this pic:)

Will I, personally, stop making fun of people in giant trucks, or on super-loud motorcycles with the muffler removed? No.

BUT, let’s stop again and look, really look, at the lines of the small watch vs. the “oversized” watch.

Seriously, line-wise? Dude, most watches are too small.



COMING UP NEXT: “Three ‘Better-Size’ Watches You Should Probably Know About.”


(*HEY, DID YOU KNOW? At certain very-expensive restaurants, when you get your check, they bring out a strongman, traditionally hairless in a leopard-skin tunic, and he puts your credit card in the middle of the dining floor and “busts it” with a giant sledgehammer, and people applaud as you whimper into your uncollected plate? You can opt for this humiliation in lieu of paying the tip, which saves a little money, at least. Let’s try to get this tradition going, okay?)

Part 2: “Your Tiny Watch Disgusts Me,” Part 2: Three “Giant” Watches Reviewed



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Nooka: Wallet For Skinny-Jeans People

By Pablo BretonFacebookTwitter
Editor, IndieFashionDaily

Tired of that cramped pocket space in your skinny jeans? Your iPhone barely fits in the front.

You could take the iPhone and smash it into little bits, which would solve multiple problems simultaneously, but the darn thing cost too much.

Then you have the keys, which you could dangle from a rockstar keychain but — let’s face it — that’s getting old, so they end up in a pocket, where they’re gradually eating away at the fabric like a string of denim-hungry little alligators.

So your wallet ends up in a rear pocket, even though a wallet in front would be easier to sit on, and long story short: the wallet is hard to sit on.

And to make things worse: you guessed it. The wallet is also like some sort of hungry little denim-monster, slowly eating a hole in your jeans.

Nooka, maker of cool watches, comes to the rescue with a silicone wallet you can actually sit on.

Now you can have your jeans, and not eat them, too.


More “Stuff to Live For”

“Pac Man Died ‘N Stuff”: Read about time travel, Nooka watches and founder Matthew Waldman at IndieLookLA

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