When it comes to intriguing, original designs within the watch industry, Ikepod as a concept is hard to ignore. The pebble-shaped watches have received somewhat of a cult-like status and are considered emblematic designs. But, the company hasn’t had the easiest of lives, with a bankruptcy in 2006, then relaunched in 2008, lasting only 4 more years until all production ended in 2012. Turning the page and writing a new chapter for the last three years, Ikepod is now returning to dive watches, but not as you might have anticipated. Here’s a hands-on look at the new Ikepod Seapod collection.
Ikepod’s story starts in 1994, with Oliver Ike and Marc Newson designing a watch like none before it. The almost perfectly round, sphere-like designs would become modern icons, and not only by watchmaking standards. The watches were different from all angles, deliberately overdesigned as a product to be much more than a watch. It was the stand-out brand for designers, artists, architects, and others who felt attracted to the UFO-like watch.
In 2018 a successful Kickstart campaign brought back life to the dormant Ikepod and since has been working hard to find back its place on the market. Changing the positioning of the brand, drastically cutting prices to the sub-2k mark, has helped the renewed Ikepod to garner attention. To achieve this, a quartz-powered Duopod and Chronopod were successfully launched in 2018 through Kickstarter. Two years later the new Ikepod Megapod, with a mechanical movement, saw the light of day.
In 2021 Ikepod is ready to show its new dive watch to the public, the Seapod. It’s not the first aquatic-oriented watch by the company, as the Seaslug was an original design when the brand first launched in 1994. The Seapod does take some of the styling elements of that inaugural dive watch and turns it into something new yet still very much Ikepod.
The case of the Ikepod Seapod is pebble-shaped and made of stainless steel, with an almost seamlessly integrated rotatable bezel. Three models are introduced, two of which are fully brushed with black markings on the bezel, and one in black PVD with luminous material for the bezel. Free of any knurling or profiling to aid in rotating the bezel, it must be said that manipulating the bezel remains fairly easy! Do take into account though this is not an ISO-certified dive watch, so there are a few liberties taken in the design and execution.
Undoubtedly the most significant link between the original Seaslug and this new Seapod is the design of the hour markers of the sandwich dial. The markers feature 3D coloured dots applied on a back background. Cutouts in the black dial on top allow for the lume to shine through. On the outer flange is a minute ring with 5-minute increments and minutes markers.
The hands of the Ikepod Seapod are very familiar in design, as the shape is also used in other collections by Ikepod. While the hour and minute hands have luminous material with a coloured outline, the seconds hand has none whatsoever and is in solid colour. You either have a choice of orange over black, blue over black, or white over black (with a black PVD case). The crown is slightly recessed into the case when screwed down.
Turning the watch over reveals the mechanical movement inside. The “reinvented” Ikepod uses Miyota movements since 2018, and so does this new Ikepod. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, and the Miyota 9039 Automatic does its intended job. It provides you with the hours, minutes, and seconds, which is basic but all you essentially need. The power reserve is rated at 42 hours.
The Ikepod Seapod comes on a soft silicone strap in either bright blue or black but bracelets are also an option. The 46mm wide case has no lugs, so the straps tuck in underneath the bezel. This also means the watch wears a lot smaller than the size might suggest. Even though not a certified instrument, the watch does come with an adequate 200m depth rating.
The price for the Ikepod Seapod is EUR 1,350 for the steel and orange S001 Zale or blue S002 Jacques, and EUR 1,450 for the black PVD coated S003 François.
More information at Ikepod.com.