Created in Houston. Sold in Houston. Worn in Houston.
When Landon Aune set out to build a watch brand, he knew that it needed to have a connection to Houston. Raised in the greater Houston area from a very early age, he has many roots in the fourth-largest U.S. city. From attending local sports games (Go Astros!) to enjoying the various amazing cuisines that abound, Landon is a Houston guy.
So when it came time to find jewelers to sell his watches, I.W. Marks just made sense. Those who have lived in Houston will be very familiar with the iconic jeweler. But before we talk about buying Landon’s watches at I.W. Marks, let’s talk a little bit about those watches.
When I say the term “ugly watch” I’m sure quite a few things come to mind. As a longtime watch enthusiast who looks at thousands of watch pictures, I’ve seen dozens of very ugly watches over the years. I’ve seen everything from watches with overcrowded dials to those with too many colors. When I look at one of Landon’s Ugly Watch Company watches, “ugly” is not one of the terms that come to mind. What does come to mind? Gorgeous attention to detail, amazing mother-of-pearl work, and classic with a twist.
That then begs the question: why did Landon Aune name his watch brand the Ugly Watch Company?
Landon has been a longtime fan of not just watches but many men’s accessories – including rings, bracelets, and necklaces. He started melting metal and forging his custom jewelry as a hobby and loved talking about it and showing others.
There was one occasion where he was trying to show his wife something about jewelry he had made but she was otherwise preoccupied. Fed up and frustrated by his growing hobby, she yelled “get that ugly jewelry out of my face!” He humorously branded as the “Ugly Jewelry Company” and later kept the “Ugly” name when he pivoted his brand to his true love – watches.
The Ugly Watch Company is a relatively new brand as Landon started it at the beginning of the pandemic. However, his passion for attractive, quality, and affordable watches has led the brand to grow quickly. In fact, Ugly Watches already produces over a dozen models and Landon is always drawing up plans for more. On the horizon, he hopes to create a GMT watch, a chronograph, and a smaller field watch.
For Landon, creating watches is a matter of passion and love. He is constantly working on and investing in new models that both he and watch enthusiasts can enjoy. Fun fact – Landon keeps at least one of every watch he produces for his own private collection. So when you buy one of the Ugly Watches, you know you’re getting such a gorgeous timepiece that even its creator wears it.
The most distinguishing characteristic of an Ugly Watch is incredible mother-of-pearl work. Most Ugly watches feature mother-of-pearl on the dial – and not just your typical colors either. Landon has experimented with blue, pink, purple, and his latest, orange. I’m pretty sure you’ve never seen an orange mother-of-pearl watch before… But just in time for Halloween (and the Houston Astros World Series run), Ugly has released the 100m sport in orange mother-of-pearl. Available in both silver and yellow gold, trust me when I say it’s all treat and no trick.
As part of growing the Ugly brand, Landon began looking for jewelry stores to help sell the watches. When it came time to add a Houston jeweler to the fold, there was one store that made 100% sense. That store? I.W. Marks. If you’re a Houstonian, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve heard of it. Founded in 1978, I.W. Marks gained popularity in the 1980s with a series of commercials starring wrestler Paul Bosch. Today, Marks is one of Houston’s elite customer-centric jewelry stores. Landon grew up watching the Marks commercials, so he was ecstatic about starting a partnership with them.
Bradley Marks, owner of I.W. Marks Jewelers, was thrilled to be part of Ugly Watch Company as well. As a born and raised Houstonian, Brad believes Houston is the greatest city in the country. Because of that, he is delighted to support Houston brands – from watchmakers to sports teams.
Brad was also excited to team up with Landon because he believes Ugly Watch Company’s products are excellent. He absolutely loves how they are fashionable yet affordable and are high-quality timepieces. When asked about his favorite part of Ugly Watches, he immediately replies the dial. With mother-of-pearl work that you don’t see in many other places – or anywhere for the orange color – Brad believes the dial is what sets Ugly apart from other watch brands.
If you live in or near Houston, check out I.W. Marks when you’re ready to pick up your Ugly Watch. In an era where you could buy jewelry via many different avenues, Marks promises a truly fantastic shopping experience. And within the next few weeks, they will be finished with a major, comprehensive renovation to level up their store and selection. With that bigger selection, they will have accessory options in your price range whether it’s the size of Houston or a much tinier Texas town. But when you finish snagging your Ugly at Marks, you can proudly tell your friends it was…
Created in Houston. Bought in Houston. Worn in Houston.