Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) and Baselworld 2020 are canceled but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. To stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases, visit our tag page.
If you happen to love both watches and industrial design — and you were an adult in the 1990s — then you no doubt were aware of Ikepod watches, the brand founded by Swiss businessman Oliver Ike and none other than Marc Newson in 1994. Known for their original, UFO-shaped case and modernist design cues, Ikepod was a breath of fresh air in what can often be termed a stodgy industry. Unfortunately, the brand’s wares never took off (due in part, no doubt, to their expensive, 5-figure prices), and Ikepod closed its doors in 2006, only to reopen them briefly in 2013 before closing again.
Newson, for his part, finally took his leave of the brand before it was again resurrected in 2017 by a small investment team that includes luxury brand veterans. At the time, Emmauel Gueit, who famously designed the original Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore and the Rolex Cellini, was tapped to redesign the brand’s watches with affordable quartz movements. Ikepod saw a successful relaunch on Kickstarter, where it met its funding goal several times over, and, using watches assembled in Hong Kong, familiarized a new generation with the Ikepod aesthetic.
Now, in a further evolution, Ikepod is crowdfunding an automatic version of its new watches, and we’ve come vaguely full circle. However, in place of a 5-figure watch, we now have a distinctly 4-figure watch being pre-sold for a fully affordable three figures (about $750, to be precise). The Megapod M Series is a 46mm watch available with several different dials (several as full production runs and some as Kickstarter-only special editions), an automatic Miyota 9039 movement, sapphire crystal and your choice of a long or short silicone strap. Other features include Super-LumiNova lume, a push/pull crown, and 50m of water resistance.
Shipping on the new Ikepod models is expected in November 2020, but of course, given COVID-19, one should naturally expect timelines to fluctuate.