Since its foundation in 1994, Ikepod has always been about design. Megastar designer Marc Newson was the key figure behind the design identity of Ikepod in the 1990s, which is still going strong despite the ups and downs of the brand (see below). Collaborations with artists have also proved lucrative and watches with dials designed by Jeff Koons, and pop artist KAWS both ended up on the auction circuit. The Ikepod x KAWS model fetched approximately EUR 32,100 at an online Philipps auction held in May 2020. The latest artistic collaboration is with the renowned American painter Tom Christopher whose artworks capture the vibrancy of a “New York minute”; the canvas is the dial of Ikepod’s iconic Megapod.
In 1994, Oliver Ike and designer Marc Newson (of Apple Watch fame) joined forces to create Ikepod, an independent brand with a flair for contemporary design. Newson’s POD watch (which Newson designed in 1986 before teaming up with Ike), with its flying saucer shape and XXL diameter set the design tone for Ikepod and paved the way for the extra-large watch trend of the late 1990s and early 2000s. As the brand escalated the cult ladder, so did its prices.
A classic Ikepod Megapod Automatic, with signature smooth case and original dial
Following a period of wild success, the brand hit rock bottom. New investors rescued the brand in 2003 only to see Newson and Ike part ways in 2012. The good news for fans of Ikepod is that in 2018 the brand staged a comeback via Kickstarter with Christian-Louis Col at the helm and Emmanuel Gueit contributing to design. Adopting a new strategy of great design married to affordable prices, Ikepod’s watches are designed in Switzerland but assembled in Hong Kong with Japanese quartz and mechanical movements. In 2020, the iconic Megapod of 1997 was relaunched with a refreshed dial design by Alexandre Peraldi and a long-awaited automatic movement.
Tom Christopher and Megapod
Much of Tom Christopher’s work deals with man’s place in the frenetic urban jungle. For this collaboration with Ikepod, Christopher has captured a vibrant ‘New York minute’. The city’s iconic skyline is depicted on the dial’s sloping flange as the skyscrapers graze the clouds. In the central part of the dial, skateboarders and birds revel in the empty expanse of sky generating an intriguing sensation of motion. Christopher’s artwork had to be adapted to the Megapod canvas with its sloping flange and recessed centre.
The Megapod is an iconic Newson-era design with a case shaped like a flying saucer with no lugs and a whopping diameter for its day of 47mm. The latest generation stainless steel Megapods measure 46mm with a case height of 17mm and offer 50m water-resistance. The screw-down caseback is engraved ‘Tom Christopher -Skaters in the Sky’ and features a small sapphire glass aperture revealing the Japanese Miyota 9039 automatic movement with a power reserve of 42 hours.
The smooth and discreet silicone strap, originally designed by Marc Newson and used on the Apple Watch, blends seamlessly into the case and is available in either white or black with a pin buckle.
Availability and Price
The Ikepod x Tom Christopher collaboration foresees a total production run of 200 watches. The first batch is comprised of 50 copies and, united by their mutual mission to keep their prices in check, the Megapod x Tom Christopher will retail for EUR 1,400.
More information at Ikepod.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.