Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Bathing Ape Type 1 Clear Shark Bapex

Today I'm wearing one of my most unique watches, but I'm sure some people won't like it at all. It's out of the ordinary for me to pick a watch purely for its style and ignore its function (or lack thereof.) I suppose as I've expanded my collection I realize that all watches are some combination of art and engineering, so just because this watch falls heavily on the "pop art" end of the scale, it doesn't make it any less interesting. This is a watch from A Bathing Ape (often just shortened to BAPE) and was purchased via eBay from a seller in Japan. BAPE merchandise is notoriously expensive, and because of this counterfeits are common (especially on eBay, and especially of BAPE G-Shocks.) This one is authentic, although it was still less expensive than many of the BAPE G-Shocks that I've seen. The watches in this collection were released last August and included gray, navy and red varieties. I've always been a fan of camouflage when paired with bright colors, so the red watch was an easy choice. BAPE has had a number of watches in the past labeled "BAPEX" as a play on "Rolex", and they tend to be inspired by the shape of the Rolex Submariner, Explorer, Daytona or other models. They're certainly never up to Rolex quality, but in the case of this watch it would never been mistaken for a fake Rolex as its constructed entirely of clear plastic. I believe this style was initially popularized by ToyWatch, a brand who have seemed to move on to ceramic-look watches recently. The design on the dial of my Bapex is inspired by the BAPE Shark Hoodies from a few years ago. The design of those hoodies seems to be inspired by WWII fighter planes. The "WGM" on the dial stands for "World Gone Mad" which I suppose is one of their many slogans, like "Made by Human" and "Ape Shall Never Kill Ape" (which is actually stamped on the inside links of the bracelet clasp.) The watch isn't a bad size, about 40mm across with 18mm lugs, but any smaller and I would be disappointed. Also, because this was designed for the Japanese market, it just barely fits around my 6.5" wrist, so no sizing or adjusting was necessary. I think it's a unique and great-looking watch and I'm very happy to have it in my collection.