From the return of Jackass and Bennifer to layered T-shirts and Nike Shox, the hallmarks of Y2K culture are steadily creeping back into the mainstream. The aughts might be frequently derided as a time of luxury knockoffs and rhinestones run amok, but it was also a period of exceptional creativity for designers like Raf Simons, Tom Ford, and Helmut Lang. Sought-after menswear grails from the start of the decade are now coveted collector’s items, routinely fetching eye-watering prices on the aftermarket. Thanks to a newly-uncovered trove of Nike Triax sports watches, though, you can own an iconic piece of the ‘00s for just $149.
In the world of watches, the years around the new millennium were all about experimentation, with wild creations like Oakley’s 1998 Time Bomb setting the stage for a new era of boundary-pushing designs. The Triax was one piece in a long line of bold ideas from Nike Timing, the Swoosh’s now-shuttered watch division dedicated to creating cutting-edge digital activity trackers, helping inspire the Apple Watch a decade later.
Among these was the Oregon series, which featured an altimeter, a compass, and a host of other adventure-ready features in a machined aluminum case. There was also a Lebron James edition of the Nike Mettle, a Lance Armstrong cycling watch, and even a handful of quirky analog models. Into this milieu came the Triax, a digital runner’s watch with a 100-lap chronograph memory and the ability to compare lap times against pre-set target times—a useful feature for runners during training. The Triax’s pebble-shaped case, however, wasn’t just an aesthetic flourish. The strap was positioned to allow for a more ergonomic chronograph grip on the start/stop button that made it easier to ensure accurate lap times, one way among many in which Nike’s designers were trying to move the needle.
We may never know where this collection of Triaxes has been gathering dust for the last 20-odd years (or how they wound up at Urban Outfitters, of all places) but it’s hard to imagine a better opportunity to get your hands on a vintage Nike sports watch in close-to-new condition—or a better way to accessorize your other aughts grails.