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A Bathing Ape: BAPEX Sub-a-like Clone on G-10.

Check out this Sub-a-like clone from BAPEX, a sub-line of the Japanese fashion boutique brand “A Bathing Ape”:

BAPEX/A Bathing Ape Submariner Clone.  Note the G10 replica strap.

BAPEX/A Bathing Ape Submariner Clone. Note the G10 replica strap.

The “apes” name actually owes to the designer’s enjoyment of the “Planet of the Apes” movie, as well as a coincidental similarity to an abbreviation of a Japanese saying meaning “bathing in lukewarm water.”  The “Bapex” sub-brand name is likely deliberately imitative of the word “Rolex,” not unlike the manner in which the company now known as RXW formerly marked its watches with ROCK-X until pressure from Rolex attorneys prompted a change.

"A Bathing Ape" Logo

"A Bathing Ape" Logo

The symbol at 12 o’clock is a miniaturization of the company’s ape logo; I’ve no idea what the meaning of the circle-R at 6 o’clock is.  Quite heartening to see “MADE BY HUMAN” proclaimed so proudly on the dial though, whatever it implies.  The inclusion of a dutifully reproduced “NATO” /G10 strap is really amusing as well and is probably my major reason for finding this otherwise mostly goofy watch worthy of comment, perhaps just because it’s more evidence that high end designers are doing their coolhunting homework in watch collector communities.

And for those not already aware, brands like this that do homages and modernizations or even just copies of classic designs with high-quality materials are quite common in Japan and often command high prices.  And obscure as it might seem, aside from a popularity in Japan owing to a reputation for quality materials and workmanship and flashy designs the various A Bathing Ape brands are quite popular in hip-hop fashion circles.    According to the “A Bathing Ape”  Wiki fans of the brand line include the likes of T.I., Kanye West, and the Beastie Boys’ Ad-Rock.

Fashionista otaku allure aside, to me a clone watch like this might almost be sort of fun at a modest price.  But at almost $700 the humor is mostly lost on me and I think I’ll be content to let the fashion enthusiasts keep them.  Wonder how long it will be before we see this one popping up in celebrity gossip rags and tabloids, or whether the allure of the real thing actually sets  in and displaces the pretender knock-offs…

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