Ikepod. 18k Yellow Gold Automatic Chronograph Wristwatch with Date
Model: Isopode Chronograph
Watch No. 0xx/999, COSC No. 7xx
Cal. ETA2892 automatic movement, 37 jewels, gold engine-turned dial, outer minutes ring with black Arabic numerals, luminous hands, orange central chronograph hand, three engine-turned subsidiary dials for constant seconds, 12 hour and 30 minute registers, date window, 18k gold pod-shaped case, two round chronograph buttons with orange fill, case back with sapphire crystal porthole, rubber strap with button clasp, case, dial, and movement signed
Marc Newson is an Australian-born designer known for creating the Lockheed lounge, as well as founding and running a number of design companies. His career began as a student at Sydney College of the Arts, focusing on sculpture and jewellery, but experimenting as well with furniture design. In 1984, he was awarded a grant from the Australian Crafts Council, and his calling took off from there – designing furniture, lighting, homeware, even interiors. In 2005, Newson was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.
Newson designed his first watch as early as 1986, featuring a pod-shaped case and mystery dial with spinning disks instead of hands, which would inspire future watch designs. In 1994, the Ikepod Watch Company was formed as a partnership between Newson and Oliver Ike, a Swiss businessman. The brand was to produce unconventional wristwatches, with Newson being the designer of the timepieces. Ikepod became known as a luxury watch company due to the high cost of its watches, since many of the cases required a large block of metal to work with. Most Ikepod watch cases have a “monocoque” case, which puts the entire movement and dial inside a single piece, or block, of metal. All Ikepod watches were manufactured in Switzerland, and were limited editions – often produced in 23 examples in platinum, in 999 examples in golds, and in 9999 examples in steel or titanium.
The first group of chronograph wristwatches that Ikepod produced were called the Hemipode model, and with Newson being a fan of large watches, the Hemipode cases were sized at 44mm wide. One of Ikepod’s most successful models, the Hemipode was a dual-time chronograph. The Isopode (named after Isopoda, a group of crustaceans with rigid external skeletons) models were similar in shape and design to the Hemipode. Both featured a chronograph complication; however, the Isopode featured a date window as opposed to the Hemipod’s fourth subsidiary dial with date indication.
While Newson parted ways with Ikepod in 2012, models from the mid-1990’s through the mid-2000’s are of particular interest and in demand due to his involvement and design vision. With the evolution of complicated watches and the increased interest in “Independent” brands and watchmakers, Ikepod went in the opposite direction, with less focus on the complication and more focus highlighting simplicity of form.
Upon his departure from Ikepod, Newson went on to collaborate with Jaeger-Lecoultre, designing several Atmos clocks. He also designed a necklace for Boucheron, and most recently has been hired by Apple ahead of their release of the new “iWatch”.