The Return Of Ikepod: How Kickstarter Changed The Watch Industry
Watch & Bullion23 September 2018 | 3 min read
By this point, it is undeniable that Kickstarter changed the watch world. The social-financing platform has allowed a huge amount of new players into the market offering a wide range of individualism in the sub-1000 euro bracket. So many in fact that they have somewhat become a meme in and of itself. While many of the watches that sprung from the website have been forgettable to say the least. Regardless, that is not to say that all Kickstarter watches are bad by default and it is indisputable that the platform strengthened the watch community as a whole.
The fact that the Return of Ikepod will be launched on Kickstarter is a huge acknowledgement for the website and at the same time presents the possibility to create the best watch the website has yet to see. In case your History needs a little refreshing, Ikepod was already once around the block being initially created in 1994. It was designed by Marc Newson, a designer known for his smooth geometric lines and an absence of sharp edges. The company was famous for the UFO looks and were among the first to maker bigger watches trendy (make of that what you want). Both Newson and his co-founder Oliver Ike, however, left the company for it to be bought up in the April of 2017.
The new man in charge, Christian-Louis Col, decided to change more than just where you can buy the watch though. True to the spirit of Kickstarter watches the new Ikepod models had to be affordable, or at least significantly more so than their former pieces. While the designs are pretty much the same as they where before, manufacturing has been moved from Switzerland to Hong Kong and the mechanical movements swapped to Miyota quartz versions. That does however significantly lower the entry barrier which lies at $590 for the Duopod and $725 for the Chronopod. It has to be mentioned however that right now you can still get them at a discount for the length of the campaign which is to the 18th October and that a mechanical version may be released later.
The new designer in charge is Emmanuel Gueit, formerly employed at Audemars Piguet and most known for his work on the Royal Oak Offshore. The Ikepod’s will be available in two different versions. Firstly the Duopod is a time only 42 mm quartz watch while the Chronopod comes in at 44 mm and is a Chronograph. The fact that there are no lugs to speak off and the integrated bracelet will end up leaving this watch to wear smaller though than the diameter would lead you to believe. Both watches come on a silicone strap and are available with different combinations of hands and dials. Here particularly the versions with the engraved dots dial make a statement as they add some welcome texture to an otherwise vanilla design.
While many Kickstarter watches have become somewhat of a running gag among watch enthusiasts I believe that the platform in itself is a great chance to bring some variety into the cheaper end of the spectrum. For me the return of Ikepod shows the potential that we have yet to discover in this new age, making me hopeful for both Ikepod and watches as a whole.