Apple’s Jony Ive ordered boxes of watches from Nike in the early 2000s

Mon, Mar 4, 2013


There’s been a whole lot of news surrounding Apple’s rumored iWatch today. Not only have two separate sources relayed that Apple will release such a device by the end of this year, but we’ve also gleaned that Jony Ive is spearheading a team of about 100 employees as part of the effort.

We also learned via a report from Bloomberg that Ive, a watch connoisseur of sorts, actually visited watch factories in the early-mid 2000’s to check out their manufacturing methods and even went so far as to order boxes of Nike sport watches for members of his team.

Following up on that blurb, Business Insider reached out to Scott Wilson who formerly worked as a Creative Director for Nike and was involved in getting said watches over to Jony Ive.

Clarifying things a bit, Wilson noted that Ive didn’t order or buy the watches, but that he gave them to Ive as a “designer bro deal.”

He and others in the design group just requested them and we sent them a ton of Nike Presto Digital Bracelets and the aluminum Oregon Series Alti-Compass watches. Was flattered that they were requesting them. Thought they were only personal requests but their materials guy followed up with many questions on the materials and processes. This meshes up with their research in watch manufacturing during that timeframe which has been documented in previous stories. They definitely drew upon watch industry techniques and manufacturing in their products since the first iPhone. Interesting that it may come full circle to an actual iWatch at some point.

These Nike designs were circa 2002-2004.

As for the designs, you can check them out below. It’s easy to see that Apple is looking for a one size fits all type of design that would certainly lend itself towards a curved piece of glass as has been previously rumored.

nike apple iwatch


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