Introducing the Bell & Ross BAPE XXV 25th Anniversary (with Original Photos)

BR03s for A Bathing Ape.
bell ross BAPE BR03-92 25th Anniversary 1

Pioneering Japanese streetwear label A Bathing Ape, or BAPE, has amassed a formidable following since its founding in 1993. To mark the 25 years since, the cult brand has tied up with over 30 major brands – from Adidas to Barbie to Montblanc – for the BAPE XXV Anniversary Collection.

Bell & Ross is the only maker of mechanical watches in the line-up (the watch brand collaborating with BAPE is G-Shock), chosen for its strong military identity, a parallel shared with BAPE’s emblematic camouflage theme.

bell ross BAPE BR03-92 Green Camo 3

A Bathing Ape

Founded by Japanese designer Nigo, BAPE gets its name from a Japanese idiom that loosely translates as “a bathing ape in lukewarm water”, meant to be an ironic reference to the consumer culture of modern Japanese youth.

Like most of today’s biggest streetwear brands, BAPE built its success on hype constructed from an intentional mismatch of supply and demand. The manufactured scarcity was taken to the extreme in 1998 when BAPE aborted its wholesale business, eliminating 40 points of sale across Japan, leaving just a single store in Tokyo. 

BAPE XXV tokyo exhibition 1

The BAPE XXV exhibition in Tokyo

BAPE XXV tokyo exhibition 2

The G-Shock BAPE XXV

The strength of BAPE has led it to numerous collaborations beyond fashion, including a Pepsi soft drink, Rimowa luggage, and the camo-clad Sinn EZM 1 in 2002, with the BAPE XXV collection being the biggest collaborative effort yet.

A pair of limited edition Bell & Ross watches are part of the monumental capsule collection: the BR03-92 25th Anniversary and the BR03-92 Green Camo.

BR03-92 25th Anniversary

Being the more understated of the pair, the BR03-92 25th Anniversary is almost identical to the BR03-92 Nightlum, save for a few tweaks.

It has the same 42mm circle-in-square ceramic that’s made of scratch resistant ceramic, but boasts a “sandwich” dial with the hour markers being cut-outs on the upper dial that show the green Super-Luminova on the lower dial disc. Naturally the dial is also double signed, with the Bell & Ross logo and the BAPE ape head, both rendered in Super-Luminova.

bell ross BAPE BR03-92 25th Anniversary 2

The BR03-92 25th Anniversary is delivered with two straps, one in black rubber one featuring the BAPE logo in lime green, and the other in grey camo-print calfskin.

Also unique to this 25 piece limited edition is its Pelican case housed in a grey camo outer box.

bell ross bape XXV box 2


BR03-92 Green Camo

BAPE’s styling is more evident in this watch, resulting is a far bolder aesthetic. The brand’s signature green camouflage pattern dominates in an otherwise stealthy watch in black ceramic.

bell ross BAPE BR03-92 Green Camo 2

The dial also has a “sandwich” construction, with its lettering and markings in white for contrast against the camo surface.

bell ross BAPE BR03-92 Green Camo 1

This model is delivered only with a rubber strap, inside a generic Bell & Ross box that’s contained in green camo outer box.

bell ross bape XXV box 1


Concluding thoughts

Both watches are extremely compelling, especially for a streetwear fan, managing to embody the spirit of Bell & Ross and BAPE.

Though by no means a hardcore BAPE devotee, I feel the allure, especially for the more restrained BR03-92 25th Anniversary. Its double-branding is reminiscent of jeweller-signed watches, like a Patek Philippe wth “Tiffany & Co.”; discreet but prominent enough.

The limited number made and unique accessories complete the package. The 125 watches across both editions will no doubt will be gone in a flash.

Price and availability 

The BR03-92 25th Anniversary (ref. BR0392-BAPE-25-CE) is priced at S$6,200 and the BR03-92 Green Camo (ref. BR0392-BAPE-GN-CE) is priced at S$5,600.

Both are available only at Bell & Ross boutiques via balloting, or BAPE stores.


Specifications

BR03-92 25th Anniversary
Limited Edition of 25 pieces.

Movement: Calibre BR-CAL.302. Automatic mechanical.

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and date.

Case: 42 mm in diameter. Matt black ceramic.

Dial: Matt black. Hands, numerals and indices coated in Superluminova®C3.

Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating.

Water-resistance: 100 metres.

Straps: Black rubber with APE® logo and Bape grey camo® calfskin

Buckle: Pin buckle. Black PVD.

BR03-92 Green Camo
Limited Edition of 100 pieces.

Movement: Calibre BR-CAL.302. Automatic mechanical.

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and date.

Case: 42 mm in diameter. Matt black ceramic.

Dial: Bape green camo®. Hands, numerals and indices coated in white Superluminova®.

Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating. Water-resistance: 100 metres.

Straps: Black rubber with APE® logo and ultra-resilient black synthetic fabric.

Buckle: Pin buckle. Black PVD.


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