Swatch x BAPE: From Tokyo With Love

As the new collaboration with A Bathing Ape comes in a limited edition collection, Swatch celebrates diversity and the world at the same time.

Earlier this month, at the first of June to be precise, world-renowned watch brand Swatch held a launch event in Tokyo, in order to celebrated the launch of its new collection as part of collaboration with A Bathing Ape (BAPE) for the very first time.

Tokyo becomes an international hub for a day. That night, more than 200 distinguished guests from all around the world, were welcomed by Swatch’s Vice President and COO, Gonzales de Cevallos, who explained the beginning of the collaboration.

“We started our collaboration 12 months ago and both our creative teams really had fun working together. The challenge was to transmit the DNA of both brands into the collection. In the end, we combined the quality Swiss watchmaking of Swatch with the Japanese urban identity of BAPE,” said Gonzales in a separate interview.

Whereas what Switzerland brought to the table in this collaboration can be seen more inside of the case, the Japanese design can be seen more on the outside. The goal was to bring forth a product that is a positive provocation from both Japan and Switzerland, and I think we succeeded. We both learned a lot from this collaboration and especially how things can also be done in a different way.”

As the only representative from Indonesia, we’re honored to witness the launch in Tokyo, as well as very excited to experience the newest watches, the new line of Swatch x BAPE collection.

Aside to that, another highlight of the evening was the launch locations in major Tokyo neighbourhoods like Roppongi Hills and Shibuya. Each were each designed to represent a different city and commemorate one of five watch designs inspired by Tokyo, London, New York, Paris, and Bern.

First we went to Roppongi Hills in Tokyo for the Tokyo, Bern and World edition—specials for the Big Bold Bape World watch, this one was revealed a few days before the official event. Next up on our tour was a castle called “Tsunamachi Mitsui Club,” where the Big Bold Bape London watch with the red dial was presented. There was also an exhibition of multiple original BAPE chains from their archives.

After our stop at the castle, we went to New York-themed pizzeria called “Pizza Slice 2.” There was a huge mural by New York-based graffiti artist Splash at the location. The Big Bold Bape New York watch edition has a gold colored dial up front, which is inspired by hip-hop culture.

Last but not least we arrived at “Leau a la bouche,” which was the location for the Big Bold Bape Paris watch edition. Filled with Moulin Rouge décor, we saw BAPE adopted the colors of their signature Paris Camo in the Swatch watch.

As the festivities of the evening drew to a close, we ended the night for an afterparty at 1 OAK Tokyo for some local Japanese artists like Hiroshi Kawanabe, Youth Juvenile and S.L.A.C.K..

To top it off, a limited edition box featuring all six SwatchXBAPE watches was presented on this location. Only a limited number the boxsets will exist, making it a highly collectible grail item for anyone that gets their hands on one.

When it comes to legendary streetwear brands, A Bathing Ape’s legend precedes it. And ultimately, Swatch is proud for this joint collection with BAPE through the release of six limited watches. When urban street culture meets daring Swiss watchmaking, needless to say that this collection will play an important role in taking both of the brands into the future.