Business News: Ikepod Is Relaunching (Without Marc Newson)

By Stephen Pulvirent

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After six years of being defunct, cult-classic brand Ikepod is coming back later this year. The brand was originally launched back in 1994 by Oliver Ike and Marc Newson, but had some tough years, declaring bankruptcy in 2006, relaunching in 2008, and then finally shuttering in 2012 when Newson decided to divest himself from the brand. Since then it has sat untouched, but three investors and self-proclaimed Ikepod fans purchased the brand last year and are about to launch the first new Ikepod watches in six years. Let’s take a look at what the new watches look like, how they differ from the originals, and how the company plans to attack a new type of marketplace.

A prototype of the Chronopod on the wrist.

First, the watches. To start, there will be two models, one time-only and one a chronograph. The former is called the Duopod and is a stainless steel watch with a 42mm case in the familiar “UFO” disc shape. The designers say that it wears more like a 39mm watch because of the lack of external lugs and the way the case tapers at the edges. The latter is a chronograph called the Chronopod with a 44mm stainless steel case (that wears like a 41mm watch with lugs) and a 24-hour indicator in addition to the chrono function. These are, respectively, based on the Horizon and Hemipode models from the original Ikepod. Both watches have signed crowns with the familiar Hemipod bird logo engraved on them, a nice nod to the brand’s past.

The new owners of the brand wanted to relaunch Ikepod with a focus on design and accessibility, so both of these watches feature quartz movements instead of mechanical movements. The Duopod is powered by a two-hand Miyota movement while the Chronopod is powered by the Miyota JS 25 chronograph movement. Neither features a running seconds hand so as not to make the watches’ non-mechanical guts unobtrusive. It’s worth noting that the Solaris, one of Ikepod’s most distinctive designs, was a quartz watch, so this isn’t entirely out of character either. The watches are manufactured in Hong Kong as well, another way for the brand to help keep costs down, and the Duopod will be priced at $590 while the Chronopod will be priced at $725. New mechanical Ikepod watches will be coming in 2019, so if you want …read more      

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