Las Vegas woman hopes to expand SEMA offerings with wristwatch

A product doesn’t have to have four wheels to be a part of this week’s Specialty Equipment Market Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, but it helps.

Returning to Las Vegas last week after hiking Mount Kilimanjaro for a friend’s Air Force retirement ceremony at the summit, entrepreneur-pilot-adventurer Abingdon Mullin is parlaying a business relationship with NASCAR driver Julia Landauer to try to become a rarity — a Las Vegas company exhibiting at one of nation’s largest automotive events and one of Southern Nevada’s biggest trade shows.

Mullin is not quite there yet, but Monday’s introduction of a new wristwatch in conjunction with SEMA and Landauer’s NASCAR ties could enable her to exhibit next year.

The trade show opens Tuesday. Automotive television and radio show personalities will dot the floor throughout the week. NASCAR, hot rod, monster truck and Hall of Fame drivers will make appearances.

And that’s where Landauer, herself an adventurer who once participated on the “Survivor” reality television show, comes in.

Mullin formed The Abingdon Co. in Las Vegas in 2007 and has designed and produced five watch models. She happened upon an online interview of Landauer and liked her spirit of adventure and how she navigates the male-dominated automotive industry.

“I’m a big fan of most women who do really cool things,” Mullin said. “She talked about how the racing industry is remiss in not marketing more to women because all these cars have all these stickers and decals and wraps and the drivers are sponsored by about three dozen sponsors, from STP to Pennzoil. She said, ‘When you’re racing, 40 percent of your audience is female, and yet most of the products advertised on these cars are being advertised toward men.’”

That’s when Mullin decided to reach out to her.

“I emailed her website and introduced myself and said, ‘I think what you’re doing is great. I’m kind of doing something similar, but with watches. If ever there’s room for us to collaborate, I’d love to talk with you,’” she said.

Mullin, who got her pilot’s license when she was 22, was frustrated she couldn’t find a pilot’s watch suitable for a woman.

“They make some beautiful aviation watches, the Breitlings and the Citizens,” she said. “But none of them are made with women in mind. They’re all men’s watches. I have a tiny frame, and when I put one of those watches on me, it just looked like a grandfather clock hanging off my wrist.”

The five watch models her company has produced since 2007 — the Amelia, Jackie, Marina, Katherine and Elise — all have flight computers, Greenwich Mean Time converters, luminous hands and anti-glare sapphire crystals.

A perfect fit

The new line Landauer helped Mullin introduce Monday in conjunction with SEMA at a private unveiling in downtown Las Vegas has automotive features, and Mullin says she thinks its durability makes it a perfect fit for the SEMA crowd.

“You can use it and it’s not going to break,” she said. “So many watches are designed that have that racer look, but it has a mineral crystal instead of the sapphire crystal, something that’s so simple to have a hardened crystal on it.

“You’re around a track, you’re around hard machines. You’re working on your car. We’re going to have different accessories where you can clip it on your belt loop as opposed to wearing it on your wrist if you need your hands free to use tools to get into an engine,” she said.

The Julia watch is equipped with a tachymeter, which is used to measure a vehicle’s speed, and a precision 60-minute stopwatch that measures time passage to one-hundredth of a second. It also monitors time of day in two time zones for travelers.

The watch line is Abingdon Co.’s first created with a specific person, Landauer, in mind. At the unveiling, Mullin was scheduled to have her first face-to-face meeting with Landauer, with whom she has only corresponded by phone and email.

Mullin is hoping demand for such a timepiece will convince SEMA to allow her to exhibit at next year’s show instead of just making appearances and introductions.

“Our main focus at SEMA is to introduce The Abingdon Co. to the automotive industry as a watch for adventurous women, as a watch that both women and men want,” she said.

Limited space

SEMA wouldn’t allow Mullin to exhibit at the show this year because show management felt there wasn’t a strong enough connection between a timepiece and the automotive industry.

“Trade shows like ours work really hard to make sure that the exhibitors are a good fit and meet the expectations of the buyers that fly in from around the world to attend the show,” said Peter MacGillivray, vice president of events and business development for SEMA.

MacGllivray said there’s a limited amount of space, and this year existing exhibitors couldn’t even expand.

“There are other people looking for space that can’t get it that are wheel manufacturers and seat manufacturers and other types of accessories, and if they were to find out that someone that wasn’t qualified was taking up their space, they would be really disappointed,” he said. “We’re really grateful for the interest and enthusiasm that everybody has here in Las Vegas and around the world for the SEMA show, but when you’re at the situation where we are that you have limited space, we really have to be selective about who gets to occupy it.”

Contact Richard N. Velotta at or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

Xtreme Manufacturing and Snorkel at World of Concrete
World of Concrete boasts 1,600 exhibitors across 745,000 net square feet at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
CAT Smartphones displayed at World of Concrete 2019
CAT phones for trade workers on display at the 2019 World of Concrete convention. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
More woman-focused workwear coming to market
Carhartt Company Gear senior brand manager Katelyn Donah discusses a growing percentage of women in skilled trade professions. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Grand Plans To Add Retail And Dining To Its Strip Facade
MGM Grand President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Sibella said executives are “discussing redeveloping that entire frontage of the building out to the Las Vegas Strip.” (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Boyd Gaming planning new corporate campus
Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. has filed plans to build a new corporate campus. The plans call for two 10-story office buildings and a six-level parking garage in the southwest Las Vegas Valley. Boyd Gaming operates The Orleans, the Suncoast, downtown's California Hotel and other properties. The new headquarters would be just a mile from its current main office building.
Bellagio Conservatory transformed to celebrate Year of the Pig
The Bellagio Conservatory Team transformed the 14,000 square foot conservatory to commemorate Chinese New Year, the holiday that marks the end of the coldest days of winter. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Intro uses sound to connect people
Intro, a startup that is part of the Future Worlds Accelerator in the UK, has an app that uses ultrasonic sound to find people and companies nearby. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
CES 2019 Video: CES wraps up another year
Time-lapse video of the action at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Create your own beauty products
Beauty Mix by BeautyByMe is a product that lets you create your own cosmetics and beauty products. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Picobrew’s home brew machine
Picobrew brings automation to homebrewing. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Surviving CES
What it's like to spend four days working the mammoth tech convention. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Haier’s smart home
Haier presented smart home technology at CES 2019.
CES 2019 VIDEO: Foldimate makes laundry day easy
Foldimate has created a machine that will fold your laundry for you. Just feed it anything you need folded and it will do the rest. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Opte device corrects skin spots
Opte from Proctor and Gamble is a device for correcting spots and freckles from skin. It analyzes the area for spots and then covers them with a serum of matching skin tone. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas unveiled
Derek Stevens reveals Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas. He plans open by the end of 2020. (K.M Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa, new casino coming to Fremont Street
Casino owner Derek Stevens announces his new property Circa, coming to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas in late 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dreenk My Oeno makes wine suggestions
At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the Dreenk My Oeno tells you all about wine.
Polaroid One Step Plus camera unveiled at CES 2019
Polaroid has moved into the digital age with its One Step Plus camera with Bluetooth. With the connected app, it turns your smartphone into a remote for the camera, along with filters and features. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Amazon is everywhere at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Seemingly everything works with Amazon Alexa
LG Smart Mirror helps you dress snazzy
LG’s Smart Mirror is less of a mirror but more of an assistant to help get you looking snazzy. It takes your image and recommends clothes for you or matches existing clothes with new clothes, which can be purchased right from the mirror. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Underwater robots make waves at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Robosea is a company dedicated to underwater robotics. They produce consumer robots for underwater filming as well as commercial products which can be used for underwater research. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019 - Victrola record players spin in Las Vegas
A new spin on an old favorite, Victrola record players are meeting a demand for retro products. The brand is also making furnitures with built-in speakers.
CES 2019: Slamtec robots ready to serve
Slamtec is a robotics company out of China whose goal is to provide solutions for laser localization mapping and navigation. They have created two autonomous robots that can be used in areas such as bars, restaurants and malls. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mixologiq drink maker appears at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
This is the Mixologiq drink maker.
CES 2019: Veritable smart garden
Let’s face it; not all of us have green thumbs. And herbs are particularly difficult to grow, considering their constant need for sunshine. Enter the Veritable smart garden from Exky, which does it all for you. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas being sold to developer
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas is being sold to a developer, set to close in March. Bonnie Springs, west of Las Vegas off State Route 159 — next to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park — spans more than 60 acres and was on the market for $31 million. The developer and his project partner are under contract to buy the ranch and plan to chop it up mostly into custom-home lots. The plans includes a 25-room motel, a restaurant and a 5,400-square-foot event barn.
Bone-conduction headphones form Aftershokz
Aftershokz offers bone-conduction headphones - headphones that don’t go in the ear.
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Autonomous Cars and Futuristic Aircraft Rule CES
Day two of CES was dominated by autonomous cars and futuristic aircraft in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
TekNekSavr fights neck problems caused by smart phones
Atiya Syverson invented the TekNekSavr to help fight neck and head problems caused by strains while typing on smart phones. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like