The Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.

A Look Back at Topper Edition Timepieces

As we prepare to announce our new Zodiac Topper Edition watches this weekend, let's take a look back at each of the Topper Edition watches that we've made. In 2015, we celebrated the 75th anniversary of Topper Jewelers. In celebration of our family-owned store's three-generation legacy here in Burlingame California, we were able to work with our friends at Nomos Glashütte to collaborate on our first limited edition watch.



Nomos Glashütte Tangente Topper Edition

What Makes It Unique:
Introduced in 2015
Limited to 75 pieces (sold out)
Unique deep white lacquer dial & lume signature, first hand-wound, no-date Nomos Glashütte with Swing System.
A portion of the proceeds from each watch went to the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The "Topper Tangente" was a unique version of the 38mm Tangente. In addition to being our first limited edition, it was also a first for Nomos, being their first hand-wound, no-date watch that featured their then-new Swing System escapement. More importantly, the watch exhibited a fresh twist on one of our favorite (now-discontinued) Nomos watches: the Tangente Sport. Brought to life in collaboration between myself, my brother Russ, and the design team at Nomos, we married some of the key elements of the Sport (particularly the lume points). While "the Sport" was more casual than the standard Tangente, our watch brought out some more formal elements: a deep white lacquer dial with blue accents, designed to match the blued hands. It's no secret that this is a color combination that Russ and I have long admired in many watches, and is a feature that had never been seen before on a Nomos watch. The lume signature is also unique to our watch, with blue luminescent tipped hands color-matched to the lume on the 7 and 5 markers (different than the green used on all the rest of the markers, subtly celebrating our 75th anniversary). See a lume shot and read more about the Tangente Topper Edition here.



Bremont MBII Topper Edition

What Makes It Unique:
• Introduced in 2015
• Limited to 40 pieces (sold out)
• Unique anodized barrel color and exclusive lume signature.
• A portion of the proceeds from each watch went to the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Bremont was the second brand to join our 75th anniversary celebration in 2015. Russ and I both knew immediately that we wanted to create an exclusive Bremont timepiece in the spirit of the MBI–Bremont's signature pilot watch, which can only be purchased by pilots who have been ejected from an aircraft equipped with a Martin Baker ejection seat. To capture the spirit of the watch, the Topper MBII featured the MBI's yellow second hand with a color-matched seven and five on the dial. Instead of featuring the signature red barrel, we used an orange barrel, as it was our favorite and most lively of the barrels available on the MBII.

We thought of this Bremont Topper Edition as a nice compliment to our first Nomos timepiece. This watch has a vivid yellow 5 and 7 marker to express our 75th anniversary, whereas the Nomos Topper Edition has more of a subtle nod to our 75th anniversary, displaying a color change on the lume on the 5 and 7 markers. Read more about the Bremont MBII Topper Edition here.



Oris Divers Sixty-Five Topper Edition

What Makes It Unique:
• Introduced in 2016
• Limited to 100 pieces (sold out)
• No-date complication, stainless steel bezel, orange accents on bezel and seconds hand, dial text more accurately matches original, kit includes both rubber strap and bracelet.
Click here to see exclusive photos and read aBlogtoWatch's review of this watch.
Here is Worn & Wound's equally excellent review.

When I first saw an Oris Divers Sixty-Five at Baselworld in 2015, the symmetry and quirky mid-sixties design made for a love at first sight, and I immediately began communicating with Oris for the chance of being able to design one of our own. Talks for the creation of that watch began almost immediately after Baselworld of that same year, and really heated up around the time that our first two Topper Edition watches were delivered in November. The Oris Divers Sixty-Five Topper Edition involves similarities that made it stay close to the source material, such as keeping the same logo font and retaining the jewel count on the dial, while simultaneously introducing new elements that were not on the original model.

Our good friend, Eric Singer, was also involved in our design process. Perhaps best-known as the drummer for legendary rock group KISS, Singer is also a prolific watch collector, tastemaker, and judge of the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG), and he also happens to be particularly knowledgeable on vintage dive watch designs. He offered plenty of great design recommendations for this edition, which included changing the bezel pip from white to orange, and changing the tip of the second hand to a faded orange that reminded us of some of our favorite vintage dive watches.

Other features of this watch that strayed from the original design included making it the first dive watch in Oris' history to not include a date aperture. It was also the first 40mm Divers Sixty-Five model to feature a natural steel finish. Both design choices were made to recreate the warm and vintage instrument feel of the original Divers Sixty-Five. We were thrilled with how many people enjoyed our design choices. Read more about the Oris Divers Sixty-Five Topper Edition here.



Nomos Glashütte Zürich Worldtimer Topper Edition

What Makes It Unique:
• Introduced in 2017
• Limited to 30 pieces (sold out)
• White lacquer dial, blue hands and dial markers, 'Burlingame' highlighted on the disc of global locations
• Topper Jewelers is located in Burlingame, California, also known as the city of trees. A portion of the proceeds from each watch were donated to the Burlingame Department of Parks and Recreation's Tree Replacement Fund for the planting and purchasing of a heritage tree.
See exclusive photos and read Worn & Wound's review on this watch here.

Our second collaboration with Nomos came about as many great ideas do: over lunch with a good friend (yes, you Matt!) on Burlingame Avenue. In this particular conversation, we were discussing specific dials that look great in white lacquer (like our original Nomos Topper Edition), while lamenting on the fact that there were so few worldtimers that adopted this aesthetic. While other designs of the worldtimer have put iconic locations from around the world on the dial, we wondered at that same lunch, "What if we put Burlingame on the dial?" It was also to show support for small towns, such as ours, and remind followers of Nomos where Topper Jewelers is located.

After a good many conversations later with our friends at Nomos, the most complicated Topper Edition to date was born: a Zürich Worldtimer with a white lacquer dial, contrasted by bright blue accents. The real challenge with this particular watch was not the addition of 'Burlingame' on the location disc, but getting the white hue of the rotating hour and city discs beneath the dial to perfectly match the distinct deep white lacquer (since the discs themselves could not be lacquer-finished due to the added thickness and weight). Thankfully, we left that particular design challenge to the engineers and watchmakers at Nomos, who, in our humble opinion, knocked this one straight out of Burlingame's beloved Washington Park. Read more about the Nomos Zürich Worldtimer Topper Edition here.



Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Topper Edition

What Makes It Unique:
• Introduced in 2018
• Two editions, each limited to 20 pieces: ZO9267 & ZO9268 (sold out)
• First modern Zodiac with mineral glass bezel and no-date complication, exclusive sunburst dial color combination.
See exclusive photos and read Quill & Pad's review on these watches here.

Zodiac is one of Eric Singer's favorite watch brands, and after Eric picked up several Zodiac watches from us, I asked him if he wanted to create some mock-ups for fun. Many conversations later with Zodiac, we were given the opportunity to design our next Topper Edition watch. After we came up with a concept, Zodiac's brand director, T.J. McKnight, gave us the keys to design two short-run 20 piece limited editions. We came up with a vibrant twist on 2017's ZO9265, but in color combinations selected from Zodiac's history that had not yet appeared in a modern Zodiac. Ultimately, the clean, no-date execution, and striking contrast between the orange chapter ring, and the smooth, off-white mineral glass bezel emulating the original vintage Bakelite bezel proved to be a huge hit with watch fans, and both pieces sold out very quickly. Read more about our collaborative process with Eric here.

With such great historic source material from Zodiac, we could not resist returning to the brand's vault for inspiration towards our next special collaboration. After seeing how well the first two Zodiac Topper Editions turned out, we immediately went back to work on more designs. Stay tuned for when we reveal the next Zodiac Topper Editions, on Saturday, November 10th.

If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, we'd urge you to join us for this event–RSVP here!

The Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.