The Nixon C.R. Stecyk III Descender Limited Edition watch is a "tactical" model that can be purchased with a nice camera backpack and a customized Pelican-style watch box, much like the one used by OG Graffiti artist C.R. Stecyk III.
The watch industry has had its fair share of partnerships with both established and more... avant-garde creatives. There aren't many examples of the latter, but I can't help but think of Alec Monopoly and his recent unusual, bold, and divisive partnerships with Tag Heuer.
It's no secret that Stecyk is deeply rooted in the surf and skate culture, and Nixon is a leading figure in both of those subcultures. Working through this press release, I found so many pieces that I didn't know he was responsible for but were recognizable from my childhood, so I would argue that "well known" would be an understatement of his fame as an artist during the 1970s and 1980s, especially in the skateboarding and surfing communities.
Also, get more: Top 5 Nixon Men's Watches
He was a well-known artist in the Dogtown era, and his documentation of the local art and skateboarding scene made him a household name. I was really into skateboarding when I was a teenager, and he published a lot of pieces about the Z-Boys and their exploits. Given the camera bag and Stecyk's propensity for capturing sports in both literal and artistic ways, the partnership with Nixon is a logical fit.
The Descender Sport served as inspiration for the casing; this 45 mm steel watch was "designed for the modern Waterman." The first version was an interesting diversion, but it lacked personality. A huge, unusual, and contemporary update on the classic diving watch form. While maintaining the same basic outline, the Stecyk variant is styled with a more military-inspired, robust aesthetic.
The case is covered in graffiti and has a matte grey-green Cerakote. It's not chaotic at all, and it looks great. In order to, uh, "avoid wrist biting during strenuous outdoor sports," Nixon C.R. Stecyk III watches often have the crown located at the 9 o'clock position. Because of this, I can wear a watch comfortably on my right wrist, which is a great feature of many Nixon watches for me as a lefty.
The grey face provides a good contrast to the stainless steel color-filled insert bezel that has been finished in black PVD. The hour indices are a little too much work for me. The extra "0"s added to make everything double digits detract from the watch's aesthetics. Nonetheless, the dial's hue contrasts wonderfully with the numerals' color, making reading the time a breeze.
I was reminded of a skateboard deck and a surfboard when I first saw the handset, which is a credit to the team's success in choosing the proper model for the game. The hands blend well with the model, and I had to check to see if the original Descender had the same handset. Stecyk's tag at 12 o'clock and a graffiti version of "Descender" above 6 o'clock tie the dial together, providing visual contrast to the greyed-out hour indices and giving the watch some character.
The watches are powered by Swiss quartz movements, which I know will be welcomed with a sigh given the watches' high price tags but are consistent with the majority of Nixon's collections. The case is water-resistant up to 300 meters and comes with a grey NATO strap, so you can take it with you as you swim out to tag the bridge. The strap is appropriate for the watch, however, I feel that some paint spatter may have added some flair.
Stecyk was a well-known artist and influential figure in my social group 15 years ago when I mistakenly believed I was as skilled at skateboarding as him (it turns out that Tony Hawk Pro Skater points don't correlate to real-life skills). My recollection is that I doodled his Rat & Crossbones tag on the majority of the skateboards I purchased, and only the Almighty knows how many pairs of shoes I damaged by writing indecipherable graffiti on them with a permanent marker.
That's why working together with Nixon is a good fit for both of them. In every way, it exemplifies Nixon and Stecyk. It has all the best qualities: it's stylish, it's cheap, it's edgy, and it accurately reflects the genetic makeup of two creatures that naturally complement one another.
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