The founders of Nodus Watches, Wesley Kwok and Cullen Chen, started their watch brand in 2017. They have gained quite a following over the last five years. Watch enthusiasts appreciate Nodus’ variety of well-built affordable watches, which includes divers, pilot's watches, GMTs, field models, and of course, GADA watches.
Not long after the formation of Nodus Watches, Wesley and Cullen began organizing annual pick-up parties for their clients. As Wes put it, “When we first started our annual get-together back in 2018, it was literally me and Cullen in a beer bar with 4 or 5 other guys. Between the beer-stained floor, aroma of stale liquor, or the barely-operable bathrooms, there was a certain charm to how small and unofficial it was, but we left that bar in agreement that the next one needed to be bigger and better”.
Post-pandemic, the guys at Nodus opened up the event to other independent watch brands, and now in 2023, it is certainly bigger and better. Intersect LA 2023 took place in Downtown Long Beach last weekend, co-hosted by Nodus and Jack Mason. More than a dozen brands were there to show off their wares. I was excited that the event was actually taking place near my neighborhood (well, about an hour away, but still, when the vast majority of watch events are either in NYC, Miami, or Europe, an hour Uber ride away is nothing).
What To Expect at Intersect
The vibe in the private event space was fantastic, and you could tell a lot of the attendees already knew each other. The watches were displayed out in the open, ready to be tried on, examined, and fawned over. The best part was that most of the tables were manned by the founders of the brands, so they were happy to share their origin stories or the inspiration behind certain collections and models.
I tried a bunch of watches on, including pieces from (of course) Nodus, Jack Mason, Vaer, Formex, and Tsao. I’m happy to report that many of these smaller independent brands are offering compact watches, around 36mm, so I had plenty of choice to fit my smaller wrist. I really liked the Nodus Unity watch in Blossom Pink and the Dr. Pepper Jack Mason Strat-o-timer was as cool on the wrist as it is in all the online photos. I noticed plenty of colorful watches and interesting dial designs. Bespoke Watch Projects is all about those unique dial executions. In-person events are important for most watch brands, particularly smaller independent ones (also known as micro brands, although I’m not really a fan of that label). As convenient as it is to order pieces online, there’s nothing like trying them on in the metal when you get a chance.
If you’ve never been to a watch event before and may be apprehensive about going, I assure you that Intersect is super friendly and chill; there’s not (unlike some other well-known events) even the slightest touch of snobbiness to be found. Everyone is just there to talk watches, check out new releases, and catch up with other watch-obsessed folks. One of my favorite parts of these types of events is meeting online contacts (whether from Instagram, WatchCrunch, or in my case, fellow writers from aBlogtoWatch) in person for the first time. The $20 open bar definitely had a hand in keeping conversations and laughs flowing!
Images Courtesy of Intersect/Nodus Watches