Partridge, manatee and sea slugs: we analyze the stages of evolution of deep-sea Ikepod

Wrist Watch

Ikepod watch buyers can be roughly divided into two categories. The first includes those who unconditionally like the design. The second covers people who are looking for “something more” in watches: some kind of story that can capture not only the senses, but also the mind, when the external attractiveness of the specimen is necessarily complemented by the necessary explanations that help to recognize something special in the watch. Compare with art objects - sometimes the value and significance that is not obvious to a simple museum visitor is revealed by an experienced guide.

Ikepod (and some put the brand in the "minus") requires an experienced storyteller, because you can't call it "simple". And even if some Ikepod models seem uncomplicated at the first meeting.

So, everyone remembers that Ikepod is a watch brand founded by the famous industrial designer Mark News and an entrepreneur named Oliver Icke. In the 1990s they created Ikepod, a wonderful luxury watch brand that gave the world a series of iconic designs. Much later, a California company with an apple logo hired Mark Newson. And while no one officially credited Newson with the design of the Apple Watch, it was clear that individual Ikepod solutions found their way into the most recognizable smartwatches in the world.

Newson and Ike left the brand in the 2000s, unable to cope with the difficulties of the market. Ikepod was tried a couple of times, but it was only the new owner, Christian-Louis Coll, a French entrepreneur with a wealth of experience and an incredible degree of passion for Ikepod, who managed to restore the trust and attention of buyers to the brand when he introduced a new business development concept in 2018.

The “new” Ikepod brand differs from the original in at least one key way – price. Ikepod today offers great watch options much more affordable than many of the original Ikepods of the past. In this sense, the new Ikepod watch is not intended to replace or reinvent the original watch, but is a completely fresh product, albeit clearly inspired by the original models. And the desire to provide customers with quality watches of original and modern (or even timeless) design, the price of which is less than in the past, makes consumers deny themselves pleasure, can and should be welcomed.

Now, actually, about the novelty, Ikepod Seapod.

The Ikepod Seapod was released in 2021, and this is one of Ikepod's most ambitious and successful efforts under a new owner to create a modern and affordable watch in which the brand's so-called DNA is fully manifested.

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The Seapod is a fashionable interpretation of the traditional diver design, but we wouldn't be singing a song to them here if it wasn't for a man named Fabrice Gonay who worked on the Seapod and did it very well. Ikepod are great fellows that tell us the names of those who work for the good of the company. There was a time when this was considered normal practice, but now many brands have closed their doors, fearing that celebrities will outshine the inventors with their radiance. Looking ahead, by the way, we will inform you that the steel bracelet that can be equipped with Ikepod Seapod (in addition to silicone straps of different colors) was developed by another well-known watch world designer, Alexander Peraldi, who worked for the benefit of Baume & Mercier for almost 20 years before went on a free ride.

Let's go back to Fabrice Gonet. Gonay has made a name for himself as a designer by designing timepieces that are often mind-bogglingly expensive. In his arsenal you will find both super complex tourbillons and futuristic "devices" for indicating the time (Louis Moinet Astronef, Bianchet Tourbillon, DeBethune DB28GS, Rebellion watches, MCT, Slyde, MB&F).

When working on the Ikepod Seapod, his goal was to create a modern and affordable diving watch, and this is not an easy thing - it's one thing when you can spend money on development without looking. And it's quite another when the result should be of high quality and suitable for the production of a model that costs buyers one and a half, but looks like all five to ten thousand euros.

In the 1990s, Ikepod already released a diving model called the Seaslug collection. In nature, Seaslug, also known as a sea slug, mollusk, invertebrate (gastropod!) is found in very bizarre forms, and Newson was a famous naturalist. He named one of his watch collections in honor of the manatee (Manatee), and he also immortalized the three-toed partridge (the logo on the crown of the Ikepod watch), believing that public attention should be drawn to this endangered species - but he was mistaken, nothing threatened the partridges then, and is not a threat today. The Ikepod Seaslug watch, as well as the object of the designer’s adoration, also turned out to be very bizarre and unusual for diving watches – imagine, the diameter of some models was only 37-39 mm, but they left an indelible mark on the souls of collectors.

Fabrice Gonet, of course, was "inspired" by Newson's molluscs, and the desire of the modern Ikepod will be fixed in our minds as a brand that makes watches in streamlined, like alien ships, or like coastal pebbles, smooth cases, he grasped correctly. The Seapod is, as they say, the best of both worlds: the Seaslug's look and feel are best transferred to the 46mm curved body that we love from the Duopod (42mm) and Chronopod (44mm) collections.

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Remember the message at the beginning of this article about two categories that Ikepods must love? So, the Seapod collection watches significantly expand the tribe of enthusiasts who really like these watches - they are so unconditionally attractive. The Seapod, like the Ikepod as a whole, continues to be a watch that is admired by today's collectors, thanks to its exquisite design and the incredible power of appeal found in simplicity.

Pay attention to the dial - that's right, the usual date window is missing. For some reason, most consumers want to have it, even though it’s functional in our time, to be honest, atavism, like additional pairs of mammary glands in homo sapiens, but these are at least located symmetrically, and the window at “three o’clock” greatly violates the symmetry - they believe purists, and love the Ikepod.

The Ikepod Seapod comes in three versions, all in steel cases measuring 46mm in diameter and about 17mm high. The trend of recent years to reduce the size in Ikepod is ignored, and there is a “historical” reason for this - the watch case does not have lugs for the strap, the strap (or bracelet) is attached directly to the “array”, which is incredibly convenient to use and purely outwardly the watch wins - seem not as huge as their millimeter size suggests.

In addition to the case, the Seapod features a co-rotating bezel with minute markers common to all three designs, seamlessly integrated into the case, screw-down crown, water resistance up to 200m, sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, luminescent material on the hours and minutes. arrows and marks of the dial and the zero mark of the rim; Japanese self-winding movement Miyota 9039 with a power reserve of 42 hours, and an original design silicone strap for maximum integration with the case.

Like the watches of other collections of the brand (for example, Megapod), modern Ikepod Seapod pays tribute to outstanding personalities:

  • model S001 Zale (black dial with orange accents) is named after the American actress, photographer and scuba diver Rosalia Parry;
  • S002 Jacques (black dial with bright blue accents) - in honor of Jacques Mayol, the famous French diver;
  • S003 François - in memory of François de Roubaix, a French composer who is considered one of the best composers in the history of music (you must have heard his music, but you just didn’t know who the author was), he died in an accident at sea at the age of only 36 years. This latest model, with a black case and white markers on the dial, distinguishes the S003 François from others by the luminescent material on all the markers on the bezel.
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Let's go through the details. The hour markers on the dial and the hands are definitely reminiscent of those of the "progenitor", the Seaslug, as well as the crown - but these are not exact copies, of course, but a good interpretation. The rotating bezel blends perfectly with the matte surface of the case, serving the shape in the best way (but do not forget that the presence of this element always requires serious design work).

To keep the retail price of Seapod at an acceptable level, Ikepod in these variants abandoned the use of the Swiss movement, offering the Japanese movement Miyota 9039, which has proven itself in watches of various categories, a modern automatic mechanical caliber operating at a frequency of 4 Hz with a power reserve of 42 hours. Like the original Seaslug, the Seapod has a "window" on the back of the case, through which you can see the mechanism if there is nothing else to do.

All in all, the Seapod is a very successful watch, with excellent value for money. The market is full of models with similar features at a higher price, but lacking the charm and appeal of Ikepod. But even if you look at the Seapod impartially, there is little to complain about in this watch - some forums suggested that the hands should have been made larger, and the convex sapphire sometimes gives glare, and someone else likes the silicone strap less than rubber .

Since we're on the topic of straps, remember that Ikepod offers several color options - there are orange, white, grey, bright blue, dark blue. Seapod S002 Jacques, by the way, comes with bright blue by default, matching the accents of the dial, all other Ikepods, not only diving ones, are black (three length options, for any wrist). Don't forget about the steel bracelet...

Don't forget also that the Seapod comes in bronze, which is a popular material these days despite its 'messiness' due to oxidation, and there are Skypod watches and many other exciting new items to come - worry your favorite dealer, demand immediate deliveries. Be yourself, wear an Ikepod!

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