Saturday, January 08, 2011


Here is a small review of my BAPE 5600. I believe the actual model number is DW-5600VT. However, the model number listed at the shop is BAPE model MGD-00109-NAVY.

A bit about Bape, or it's full name A Bathing Ape. BAPE is a Japanese clothing company founded by Tomoaki "Nigo" Nagao in 1993. The company specializes in street wear. Tomoaki named it after the 1968 film Planet of the Apes. According to him, the name "A Bathing Ape" is short for a Japanese saying "bathing in lukewarm water".

From what I understand, BAPE and Casio issued the first G-Shock, a DW-6900 in 1998 and have since issued a number of watches under this collaboration. Of the 13 (correct as at 2008), 5 are DW-5600 and the rest DW-6900. Making the matter more confusing, of the 7 DW-6900 issued, 2 are NFS (what ever that means) and one DW-5600 of the 5 is NFS issued. The NFS issued watches began from the 5th model issued under this collaboration.

1st: DW-6900 Black Bezel, White Dial
2nd: DW-5000/ DW-5600 (some sites states the 2nd model as a 5600)
3rd: DW-6900 White Overall
4th: DW-6900 Red overall
5th: DW-6900 Pink overall
DW-6900 NFS same as above
6th: DW-5600 White bezel, Black Dial, White Strap
DW-5600 NFS Ok it's the other way around (negative of above)
7th: DW-6900 Yellow overall
DW-6900 NFS as above

You get the picture. All BAPE collaboration watches are Limited Edition watches.

Basic specification:

Model No: DW-5600VT
Module No: 1545
Timekeeping Mode: Hour, minutes, seconds, am/ pm, month, date, day of week (time display switchable between 12-hour and 24-hour format)
Calendar System: Auto-calendar from 1995 to 2039
Alarm Mode: Multi-function alarm, hourly time signal
Countdown Alarm Mode (Timer): measuring unit: 1 second, input range: 1 second to 24 hours, auto repeat and repeat function
Stopwatch Mode: measuring unit: 1/100 seconds (first 60 minutes), 1 second (after 60 minutes), measuring capacity: 23 hours 59 minutes 59.99 seconds, measuring modes: elapsed time, split time and two finishes
Size: 48.9 X 42.8 X 13.5 mm
Weight: 60 g

This BAPE model comes in a Navy Blue Box with the BAPE logo in Silver in the center of the box. Inside the box is another box, also Navy Blue, with the same logo. The difference being the material as the inner box is tougher. Opening the box, and we see the watch. The packaging comes with the usual warranty card and manual (in Japanese). There is also the BAPE tag with the surprise tag and ape statement, much like Chinese Fortune cookies. :)

This BAPE model is based on the popular DW-5600 series from Casio. The bezel is Navy Blue in colour. The body is made of resin. This resin body is tough and is further protected by the bezel. The bezel has raised ridges at the top and bottom of the LCD display and this helps to protect the mineral glass used on the case. On the ridges are the wordings 'PROTECTION' and 'G-SHOCK', rendered white. The wordings do stand out against the navy blue bezel.

The dial on the watch is very busy, made up of patterns and has 3 colours, 2 shades of blue, white and black. The BAPE logo is at the bottom right corner. The use of this design although beautiful and interesting, added with the choice of white lettering makes it difficult to make out the 'Mode', 'Adjust' and other normal wordings found on a typical DW-5600 dial. Even the BAPE lettering is hard to make out. Watch design reminds me of the Casio G-Shock SOAR reference DW-5600SA-2JF, which was also just as busy.

The buttons are a pleasure to use, large, very tactile and very polished. Typical of module 1545, there is a confirmation 'beep' when the mode button is selected. The watch will cycle through time display, alarm, countdown alarm, stopwatch and back to time display. The 'beep' for the return to time display is different (not much) from the 'beep' when cycling through the functions. This helps the user in that the user knows when he is back to the normal time display.

Additionally, the watch reverts to normal time display when the mode button is selected once an operation has been selected, regardless of mode. What this means is if you have adjusted the alarm in the alarm mode, when you select the mode button, you return to normal time display instead of having to cycle through the entire function modes. The current time is displayed in all modes except alarm.

As with most Casio, the adjust button is recessed to prevent accidental selection.

I like the LCD on this watch. You can just see the BAPE ape motif the LCD. The background of the LCD is greenish. The top of the display shows the day, month and date. The lower portion shows the time, either in 12-hour mode (with a 'PM' for afternoon) or 24-hour mode (with 24H indication). In other modes, except alarm mode, the time display will appear in the 'month-date' window.

The EL is the BAPE ape logo.

The watch itself is not very heavy and is comfortable to wear. The strap is different from the standard DW-5600E strap. It looks much like the G-lide Jelly series strap. The strap has the silk printing of BAPEs' motto (?) 'Ape shall not kill ape' in silver. The printing contrast nicely with the Navy Blue strap. The is an 'R', the Registered Trademark logo perhaps (?) at the tip of the strap.

The strap is slightly wider the DW-5600 standard strap and the internal design is typical Casio. There are ridges at the side to prevent slipping. Internal markings: 413 H14 16 PUR and 413 H13 16 PUR.

The buckle is made in Japan, as is the watch. There is a slight tab at the tang rest. The Casio and Japan inscription on the buckle is by far the best I have seen in my collection. It is very crisp and clear.

The case back is the standard Stainless Steel plate with the 4 screws. Again it has the vertical brushing and is matte. One would expect with the price, a screw back case back would be in order. Anyway, the usual Casio markings are there, module no., model no., made in information, etc. However instead of the typical G-Shock logo in the center, this has the BAPE logo and the BAPE markings and wordings.

The Limited Edition production run information has been removed for security reasons. BAPE are produced between 1,000 to 3,000 pieces.

Overall, it is a nice watch. This watch is on its way to a good home.

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