A Moment in Time: AXIA Custom Watches


When most people think of the 1988 college lacrosse season, they think of Syracuse’s dominance, the Gait brothers, and, of course, the Air Gait.

Best known for being the goalie on which Gary Gait scored using that famous move in the NCAA semifinals, John Kanaras recalls that season differently. He remembers helping lead Penn to an Ivy League championship and giving the Orange all they could handle in the final four before losing 11-10 on a goal scored in the last seconds.

To commemorate that historic season, the university gifted the Quakers an Ivy League championship watch. While the watch held great sentimental value, the styling and quality just didn’t measure up to the memories it represented. This mismatch was the seed that would eventually sprout into AXIA Time.   

After years of searching for a sophisticated, high-quality and reasonably-priced watch to remember his time at Penn, Kanaras became frustrated that all he could find were either poor-quality, battery-powered watches at the bookstore for $200-$300 or Swiss-made self-winding watches for $2,000-$3,000 from big-name brands. He knew there had to be a way to develop a university-branded timepiece whose styling and quality could compete with those big-name brands at a fraction of their price.

Kanaras decided to launch AXIA Time in 2018, creating university-branded timepieces whose styling and quality complement the essence of the institutions they represent. AXIA’s watches are hand-crafted in Switzerland, using the same components and engineers as the big-name brands. Originally licensed with the eight Ivy League schools, AXIA Time is now licensed with more than 20 universities and expects to add more schools in 2022.






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While the university-branded timepieces were the original focus of AXIA Time, creating custom timepieces for championships or other significant milestones has become its fastest-growing segment. In a full-circle moment, one year after Kanaras launched AXIA Time, his alma mater won the Ivy League championship for the first time since 1988. Kanaras partnered with coach Mike Murphy and the seniors to design an Ivy League championship watch to commemorate their phenomenal season.

This was a very special experience for Kanaras and AXIA Time. For Kanaras, it was rewarding to create a timepiece for a program that has been such a big part of his life. For AXIA Time, it proved teams want more than just a ring to memorialize their championship victories — something with subtle styling they could wear every day, if they wanted.

AXIA Time also created national championship timepieces for Virginia’s historic 2019 and 2021 seasons. Partnering with coach Lars Tiffany and the team captains, AXIA Time delivered stylish, versatile and high-quality timepieces that will last for generations. Watches that tell so much more than just time.

Today, AXIA Time is collaborating with USA Lacrosse to create a series of watches for those passionate about the sport as well as the high school athletes who achieved All-American designation for their skill and accomplishments.

To learn more about the USA Lacrosse timepieces by AXIA Time, go to shop.usalacrosse.com.

To learn more about AXIA Time, visit axiatime.com.

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