For the first time in 56 years, Barbie’s ever faithful boyfriend Ken is getting a well-deserved and long overdue fashion update.
Yesterday, Mattel announced 15 new looks for Ken, including three body types: slim, broad and original. Some Kens might come with dad bods instead of six packs. The doll will also be available in a variety of skin tones, eye colors and hairstyles. Man buns, polka-dotted tees and hipster glasses are also part of the makeover.
Ken has had some minor changes over the years, but this marks his first major update ever. Some of the new $9.99 Ken dolls are already available in select shops and online stores Tuesday, Mattel said, but will be widely available July 8.
The new looks have been introduced in an effort to reboot interest in both Barbie and Ken. As more children become obsessed by screen games rather than traditional toys, Barbie sales are declining , down 13% in the first three months of the year compared with the same period a year ago, AP reports.
There’s a live-action Barbie movie scheduled for release in the summer of 2018. It’s the first-ever live-action adaptation for the Mattel toy and is meant to serve as a “contemporary spin on beauty, feminism, and identity.”
Here at Watchuseek, we hope that Ken, in all his many new guises, will be seen wearing a collection of highly desirable watches, and to help the producers, here are some of our recommendations.
According to STOWA this is the best Ikarus watch they have ever built. The model Ikarus is the more elegant version of the classic airman watches. Cool for Cessna Pilot Ken, it comes in a grey metal dial with the same typography as the popular airman watches. The watch is 43 mm with extra thick sapphire glass and water resistant to 200 meters. This model is available with logo or without logo, with date or without date. This watch is avaialble on STOWA’s online shop as well. €1,270.00
This is a much beloved SEIKO automatic dive watch nicknamed Sumo. It runs on a Seiko 23 jewel automatic (6R15) movement with a 50 hour power reserve, a date display, highly luminous hands and markers treated with Lumibrite for superb low light visibility so Beach Boy Ken can keep an eye on the time while snuggling on the sand dunes with Barbie. With a screw-down crown and a uni-directional diving bezel with luminous PIP at 12:00, Hardlex mineral crystal and a solid etched, screw-down case back. $440
When Ken is in surfer dude mode he needs to know the rhythm of the tide displayed in high-resolution detail. The Supertide syncs the wearer with the motion of the ocean. The watch displays tide chart and detailed information such as “10pm high tide of 5.1 feet”—so you know which break to hit. The watch features tapered custom injection molded silicone band that molds to your wrist like it’s not even there. UK price: £160
Ken isn’t likely to cross the Pacific on a hand-made raft any time soon, but he does enjoy his Eterna Super Kontiki. This model was launched in 2015, and the KonTiki Series, has been one of Eterna’s most popular collections since its introduction, bringing elements of adventure, danger and excitement to mechanical watchmaking. The watch runs on a Swiss Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement, which is basically the same as an ETA 2824. The watch was CHF 2,550 when first launched, but this all black PVD model is currently available on eBay at the rather ambitious price of £2,270, but you can always make an offer.
Woah, now this executive Ken really knows his watches. He’s a little more mature and rather better paid than the other Ken’s so he has indulged his passion for haute horology watches to the max. Elite Swiss watchmaker Andreas Strehler personally designs and builds the watches bearing his name. Each watch is made as it would have been made a hundred years ago: The components of the movements are manufactured in-house, each component is meticulously finished and each watch is individually assembled by hand. The Lune Exacte features a patent pending high precision moon age indication, and Andreas Strehler’s patented remontoir d’égalité. It also happens to be the most precise phase of the moon indication ever built in a wristwatch. The Red Gold version retails at CHF112,000.
Basketball star Ken managed to get his hands on one of these babies when last December Casio announced the launch of MRG- G1000HG-9A, a 20th anniversary model to commemorate the original launch of its flagship MR-G series in the G-SHOCK line. With 14K gold and indigo design elements used in traditional Japanese artwork and architecture, the MRG-G1000HG in bold gold is a limited edition of 300 watches which were sold worldwide. The gold ion plating on the bezel, case, band, and back cover was applied after deep-layer hardening, while the indigo accents were rendered using a blue diamond-like carbon (DLC) finish. The bezel and the center row of the band on each watch were finished by Bihou Asano, a third-generation master tsuiki artisan. $6,200 was the official retail price, but such is the demand it’s currently available on eBay for $7,777.