Under The Cuff Collaboration with Nodus Watches

canyon, collaboration, Los angeles, matt farah, nodus, the smoking tire, tst, wes kwok -

Under The Cuff Collaboration with Nodus Watches

In June 2023 I received a an email from a previous customer and patron named Matt Farah, you may know him from his YouTube channel and alter-ego, The Smoking Tire. The email asked if I’d be up for making a two piece NATO strap to go with a new watch he was working on with the team at Nodus Watches.

At that time, Nodus were not a brand familiar to me, but being the keen and adventurous individual I am, and to be honest, seeing the potential in a brand collaboration that could benefit everyone involved, I enthusiastically accepted. Matt gave me a brief summary of the watch design and asked for my opinions on what design and colourways would be good for the strap. Of course I gave my thoughts thinking big, and after some to and fro, I was introduced to Wes Kwok, one of the founders of Nodus and lit the blue touch paper on what would go on to a happy partnership and dare I say friendship.

Nodus are a Californian watch brand borne out of the entrepreneurial spirit of two college friends, Wes and Cullen, united by their love of watches. What started off as a Seiko-modding hobby soon led into the bespoke case design manufacture and patented bracelet technology company we love today who collaborate and work with multiple brands across the world. So needless to say I wanted to impress!

As luck would have it, Matt and his co-host Zack would be travelling to the UK for the world famous Goodwood Festival of Speed event the following month, with a scheduled pit stop at a nearby petrolhead haunt called Caffeine & Machine only an hour away from me. We met up at the event and Matt even gave me and UTC a shout out during the Live Podcast that was being broadcast. Please, I’m blushing…. The show was great and Matt showed me a prototype of the watch and I brought along some strap colour samples for him. He was fast and decisive, nailing down his choice in a matter of minutes (the kind of customer I love), opting for the admiral grey ribbed nylon and the polished and brushed buckle.

The watch design put together by The Smoking Tire and Nodus was designated the model name “Canyon”. A time only watch with a 41mm case diameter, domed sapphire crystal with AR, an embossed topographical map of the Angeles Forest (a favourite driving area for Matt) and a gold coloured cap for the crown, nodding to the gold coloured wheels of his Porsche 718 Spyder lovingly nicknamed “Strawberry Shortcake” by the car community because of the Porsche Frozenberry and Red colour combination.

From there I put the straps into production, building a relationship with Wes and Nodus at the same time. The straps were delivered on time and in budget and all 100 examples of the watch sold out within 10 minutes, I even managed to bag one for myself!

To say I was proud would be an understatement and to put the cherry on the cake, a couple of months later, I was asked again to create a strap for a second colourway of the Canyon, this time in orange, and to make things even better, I was invited to present and participate at the launch event for the watch at WCCS, the car storage facility owned by Matt in Los Angeles no less. So in January 2024, I packed my straps and sunnies and flew out to the City of Angels, where I was delighted to finally share a beer or five with them all and the wider Nodus family. During the trip I visited The Smoking Tire Studios where the podcasts are recorded, popped into Space-X to see Elon, and rather pleasingly beat my hosts at pool…… rematch due soon.

Needless to say my head was spinning afterwards but I came back to earth with my feet running and began working on how to develop this new route further.

Wes, Cullen, Matt, Zack and everyone at Nodus and The Smoking Tire including their family, friends, partners and customers, I felt so welcomed by them all.

Collaboration like this cultivate so much more than brand exposure. I now have not only new working relationships but more importantly new friendships.


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