Monochrome Watches
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Ikepod Restomods The Megapode Into The New Skypod Limited Edition

A cult-classic makes a grand return as a pair of limited editions using NOS movements.

| By Robin Nooy | 4 min read |

We often talk about revival, resurrection, restoration or even of retro- and vintage-inspiration when it comes to recreating watches from the past, but never of a restomod. This term is closely linked to the automotive industry and basically means taking something from the past, and overhauling it while paying respect to the original design yet presenting it as an improved take. The same term can be applied to the return of Ikepod, the cult-like watchmaking company known for its pebble-shaped watches. Revived (see, there it is again) in 2018 with a more affordable range of perfectly smooth watches, Ikepod now has something very cool coming. Using new-old-stock movements, the brand brings back an icon from the past, as it “restomods” the Ikepod Megapode Chronograph into the Ikepod Skypod Limited Edition. 

Ikepod was originally founded in 1994 by Oliver Ike and Marc Newson, and reached a cult-like status with extremely sleek and futuristic designs. Penned by design veteran Marc Newson, known for his work on furniture, fashion items, kitchen appliances, watches and clocks, Ikepod watches were unlike anything else before it, and pretty much since. There was a certain purity to them you didn’t find in any other type of watch at the time. It wasn’t always plain sailing for the company though, as in 2012 Marc Newson left Ikepod and the production of watches stopped. Dormant for six years, Ikepod was revived through a successful Kickstarter campaign with a more affordable approach. Despite the fact the new watches used quartz movements, Ikepod has since returned to mechanical watchmaking as well with models like the Megapod Automatic and Seapod collection.

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So how does this new Ikepod Skypod tie into everything? Simply put, and looking at it through pictures only, it’s a redesign of a vintage Ikepod called the Megapode Chronograph. What used to be a 47mm stainless steel case has now been shaved down to a 46mm case in titanium, but still with that perfectly smooth shape. Although it might sound gargantuan on paper, the fact it has no external lugs protruding from the case helps tremendously and the lug-to-lug dimension is in fact a very pleasant 43mm. The top is covered by a domed sapphire crystal, with a porthole sapphire crystal in the caseback much like the early days of Ikepod. Spread around the caseband are the crowns and pushers to operate the watch and its chronograph indication. The right one operates the slide rule, with the left one being the crown for setting and winding (if needed).

Although the dials channel the spirit of the original Megapode very much, they have been completely redesigned by studio Claesson Koivisto Rune, based in Stockholm. Two colour combinations are available, black or blue, with both showing a circular brushed finish and white and orange details. Although it might look a tad busy at first, it is actually rather balanced as well. The hands have the signature Ikepod shape and indicated the time through central hour and minute hands, and a small seconds hand at 3 o’clock. The orange hands are for the chronograph, with a central seconds hand, 30-minute counter and 12-hour counter. The last subdial is for the 24-hour scale to act as a second time zone. A hole punched in the dial between 7 and 8 o’clock reveals the date.

Christian-Louis Col, the man who brought Ikepod back to life 4 years ago and who’s still at the helm of the company, managed to acquire 180 new-old-stock movements that were once used in the Megapode Chronograph. These movements, known as the LJP 8103, are a Valjoux 7750 base with a module by La Joux-Perret on top that takes care of the GMT functionality. All movements have been fully serviced and are working like brand-new ones. The movement runs at a frequency of 28,800vph and delivers around 40 hours of running time. The large and heavy central rotor can be seen whizzing around through the porthole in the back.

True to form, the Ikepod Skypod comes with a newly designed rubber strap that tucks in underneath the bezel of the case. This strap is secured with a metal stud and a keeper that holds the long-end tight. Presented as a limited edition of 25 pieces per colour, the Ikepod Skypod retails for CHF 7,900 / EUR 8,900 / USD 8,900 incl. VAT. It’s very cool to see such a classic watch design make a return, especially the way it has been dealt with. A touch smaller, lighter and with a refreshed dial, this Ikepod Megapode-turned-Skypod has never looked better! And word is, more variations are on the horizon!

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