Cult-Classic Watch Brand Ikepod Is Back, Now Available on Kickstarter
UPDATE 9/19/18: After being announced back in July, Ikepod is on Kickstarter with two brand new tickers: the Duopod and Chronopod.
The campaign, which runs until October 18th, is attempting to revive the watch brand by offering the unmistakable UFO aesthetic at a more affordable price point (thanks to Miyota quartz movements and Chinese manufacturing). But the design is not being skimped on, as evidenced by the hiring of watch designer Emmanuel Gueit and approval of the horological gatekeepers at Hodinkee.
With more than $230K in pledges (already!) at the time of writing, we dare say Ikepod is good and revived. If you hurry, there are still Duopods available for the super early bird price of $342 (down from $590 retail) and Chronopods for $425 (down from $725).
Design not kooky enough for you? There’s also a Kickstarter-only edition available.
If you’ve perused Kickstarter in the last five or so years, chances are you’ve noticed an influx of *cough* “affordable luxury” watches.
Some are legitimately great. Most, not so much. But now, we’re getting the mother lode.
Cult-classic brand Ikepod — which declared bankruptcy in 2006 and finally folded in 2012 — is relaunching with two brand new timepieces on the crowdfunding platform: the two-hand Duopod and the chronograph Chronopod.
Swiss businessman Oliver Ike and (now) ubiquitous designer Marc Newson teamed up to start Ikepod back in 1994, branching off from the downsized watches du jour to craft massive wrist UFOs. Those original pieces have now found their way into the collections of some notable design geeks, from CEOs to Apple trailblazers.
But the polarizing aesthetics — thoroughly futuristic with some quirks that might make traditionalists bristle, like the lack of lugs — and company flameout are not the only reasons the watches have become such valued commodities: the mostly mechanical movements and inclusion of precious metals (some cases were solid platinum) meant they sold for thousands even before they became scarce collectibles.
Ikepod 1 (3 images)
Which brings us to the relaunch. Three investors recently surveyed the ashes of Ikepod, bought the brand and decided to give it another go … with some key differences.
First off, Newson and Ike are out. While Newson, the design luminary behind everything from $28K clocks to $30K books, was the reason anyone cared about the watches in the first place, he’s gone on to more reliably lucrative ventures (like the Apple Watch, which he created with best friend Jony Ive, Chief Design Officer at Apple).
In Newson’s place is Emmanuel Gueit, known in horological circles for masterminding the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore and the Rolex Cellini.
The other main difference is the price, with the Duopod set at $590 and Chronopod at $725 (though in the comments of Hodinkee’s article, the Ikepod team clarifies those are retail prices — the Kickstarter prices will be lower). Elsewhere, you’ll find a new rubber strap that features a traditional buckle instead of Newson’s streamlined “nipple” closure, and of course a new quartz movement from Miyota, the preferred choice for economical crowdfunded timepieces from Filippo Loreti to the Dick Tracy watch.
While we won’t truly believe the hype until we see these tickers in person, there’s no doubting that this is an exciting development for a brand that has achieved cult status in the years since its discontinuation.
You can sign up for updates on Ikepod’s website about the upcoming releases. And if you’re an Ikepod purist fiddling with your Seaslug while reading this in an unconscious fit of rage, don’t worry: the new Ikepod owners say mechanicals are coming in 2019.
Photos via Ikepod