They're Back, In Pod Form
Ikepod Returns with a New Focus on Affordability
Update: Spetember 20th, 2018
Ikepod’s Kickstarter campaign has gone live and, as of writing, has already been funded three times over. At crowdfunding prices, Ikepod says you can receive the Duopod for backing $362, while the chronograph version is available for funding $455. “Early-bird” funding options are also available at a slightly lower price. There are still 28 days left for getting in on backing, and Ikepod claimes that deliveries will arrive around May of 2019.
Ikepod, after some six years of hiatus, will be mounting a return, and while this has been known for some time now, more details on the brand’s return have surfaced. Initially founded in the mid-to-early ’90s by Swiss businessman Oliver Ike and legendary industrial designer Marc Newson, Ikepod gained a cult following by offering incredibly distinctive UFO-like designs and high-end movements. While the brand faced financial troubles in the 2000s and eventually disbanded, Ikepod’s return might be seen as bittersweet amongst its fans.
First and foremost, Marc Newson will not be attached to the brand’s revival in any way, though the newly teased products strongly adhere to Newson’s “Pod” design. But while Newson may not be heading the design work, the brand did tap Emmanuel Gueit to take his place. Gueit is no stranger to the watch industry, having penned watches like the original Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore and the Rolex Cellini.
The other big departure for the brand’s return is its placement along the price spectrum. Many older Ikepod watches used mechanical movements and some even featured precious metals, and as such, they sold for thousands. Ikepod’s new watches will cost much less. Its entry-level, time-only watch, for example, will retail for $590, while its chronograph model will go for $725. Both will utilize quartz movements from Miyota, though there are purportedly mechanical watches on the way for 2019.
The price drop and use of quartz make sense in many ways. Ikepod’s big draw is its bold, retro-futuristic designs, which is visible more in the case and dial than in the movement; relying on a cheaper movement means more money can be put towards finishing that’ll go a long way toward making a case for the new Ikepods. Further, the bold design will probably appeal to a younger audience less willing to spend thousands on such an outlandish watch. This might also explain why the first couple watches will be debuting on Kickstarter of all places. Look for the launch later this fall (exact date TBD), presumably with crowdfunded discounts, to boot.