Topper's Ten Top Watches for Christmas
There are just a few short days left before Christmas, and whether you're still chasing the perfect gift for someone special, or you're finally cleared to treat yourself, you may now be asking yourself: "what would make the perfect gift this year?" You're in luck – this was a great year for Topper's partner brands, many of whom released a slew of exciting new offerings in 2017. Russ and I have rounded up ten of our absolute favorite releases of the year – all of which are currently in-stock (with the exception of #10), and can still be ordered with enough time to get them under the tree.
1) Blancpain 38mm Bathyscaphe in Blue
There's just something about a blue sunburst dial that pairs perfectly with a snowy winter day (to be fair, it works quite well in the summertime, too, and we don't see snow in Burlingame). Few brands pull this off quite as well as Blancpain has with the new 38mm Bathyscaphe in 'Abyss Blue.' Previously only available in the 43mm ceramic case variant, blue suits the Bathyscaphe extremely well, as does the smaller case proportions for vintage purists who thought the 43mm size was a bit too modern. The 38mm's thin silhouette is largely enabled by Blancpain's in-house cal. 1150 – a thin movement characterized by its solid gold rotor and generous 100-hour power reserve. Retail price: $9,500.
2) Glashütte Original Senator Chronograph Panorama Date
As Glashütte Original has pared down its collection to focus on what the brand does best, longtime fans might notice that the Sport Evolution options have been quietly discontinued, leaving a slight gap in offerings for those looking for an endearing sport watch out of Glashütte. However, as we noted at Baselworld this year, the Senator Chronograph Panorama Date fills that role nicely, with its 100 meters of water resistance, and deep, varnished black dial nicely contrasting the new blue Superluminova indices. It's quite a striking look, and with three strap options, including leather, rubber, and GO's bracelet with its exceptional adjustable clasp, there's nowhere this watch will feel out of place this holiday season. Our favorite version is the one shown here on leather strap with contrast stitching – a combination that looks great on virtually any wrist – including this 6" wrist. Retail price: $14,600.
3) Zenith Chronomaster Tricolor El Primero Original 1969 Dial
The 2017 version of the Zenith Chronomaster El Primero with the highly sought-after Tricolor 1969 dial is as good as it gets for this legendary chronograph re-issue. Eagle-eyed fans of the original will appreciate the minimized text on the dial of the new 38mm variant, as well as, the decrease in overlap between the registers, which not only increases symmetry, but boosts legibility while the chronograph is running. There are very few watches that could go from a holiday formal directly to the ski slopes without so much as a strap change – and the El Primero is one such watch – it's just that good. Retail price: $6,700.
4) Omega Seamaster Commander Bond
The Seamaster Commander Bond is the very first 'Bond' watch to be released without a film to directly accompany it. This enabled Omega's designers to take a little more creative liberty around what Ian Fleming's iconic hero might wear with his dress blues. The blued hands and indices cast a striking contrast against the milky white lacquer dial – an aesthetic that we've found time and again to be a favorite here at Topper (see why, with #6 below), as well as one that should prove quite complimentary to both fans of the Bond franchise and dive watch fans alike. The watch also features the same vulcanized rubber and ceramic bezel technology that has been deployed in the newest generation of Planet Ocean models. Retail price: $5,000.
5) Longines Titanium Lindbergh Limited 90th Anniversary
Longines has been on a hot streak this year with its Heritage collection, and the Lindbergh Limited 90th Anniversary continues that trend. Celebrating the anniversary of the aviator's historic 33-hour flight in May of 1927 from Roosevelt Airport to Le Bourghet near Paris, this extremely limited watch(only 90 pieces) houses both a rotating bezel and a rotating center dial to enable a pilot or navigator to calculate the hour angle in degrees and minutes of arc and thereby find their geographic location quickly and efficiently. And while the watch stays true to the 'hour angle' watches of that era, Longines' modern version is built from titanium, which enables its 47mm case (let's remember, pilot watches back then were quite large) to wear quite comfortably on a wide variety of wrist sizes. Retail price $5,450.
6) Nomos Topper Worldtimer"Burlingame Edition"
We'll proudly admit our own bias when it comes in the form of this special Nomos designed by Topper, but the Worldtimer bearing our home city of 'Burlingame' on the white lacquer dial just might be our favorite on this list. While it was a unique challenge for Nomos to produce the special dials for the Topper Worldtimer, it's our idealized version of the perfect travel watch in both form and function. This watch also has the most vibrant blue hands that Nomos has ever made, taking on entirely new and unique character depending on the light. Retail price: $7,495.
7) Bremont Norton 2017 LE
You don't have to be a motorcycle racing fan to appreciate the fact that Bremont's ongoing partnership with British motorcycle manufacturer Norton routinely produces some of the brand's most interesting limited editions – and the 2017 collaboration in the Isle of Man TT V4 livery is the best yet. Not only does this variation of the popular ALT1-C have the coolest rotor of any of the watches on this list, the 'panda' style dial with carbon fiber-inlaid registers yields an aesthetic that looks fast standing still, while remaining classic no matter where you go this holiday season. Retail price: $7,495.
8) Oris Aquis 'Hammerhead' Limited Edition
For 2017, Oris brought a welcome suite of revisions to its signature Aquis dive watch collection. Nowhere are those improvements, which include a slimmed-down case silhouette and thinner bracelet more welcome than on the new Hammerhead Limited Edition, which wears extremely comfortably for its modern dimensions. It's also the only Aquis in the collection with this strikingly versatile, grey sunburst dial which makes it an excellent sport watch with some proceeds going to an equally excellent cause: hammerhead shark conservation. Retail price: $2,750 on bracelet and $2,550 on strap.
9) Zodiac Titanium Non Date ZO9205 Limited Edition
Perhaps the best valued watch in the store at this price point, this limited edition "Super Seawolf" stays very true to the source material that inspired it, while adding in a few modern flourishes, like an ultralight titanium case, a chronometer grade STP movement, and the clean and highly desired no-date aesthetic that has been so popular at Topper Jewelers over the years. This would make for an excellent 'adventure watch'. Retail price: $1,295.
10) Grand Seiko SBGJ227 "Peacock"
Last, but certainly not least, is the new Grand Seiko SBGJ227 "Peacock." This new limited addition to the Grand Seiko GMT Hi-Beat collection introduces a beautiful green dial motif that Seiko says was inspired by the ever-changing, iridescent colors found on the feathers of a peacock. Like we've seen before in other Grand Seiko pieces like the SBGR097 or the SBGJ213, the dial on the 'Peacock' is very dynamic, dramatically changing colors with even slight movements of the wrist – going from a brilliant green with textural elements to a matte, dark green depending on light levels. This watch is fitted with Grand Seiko's in-house manufactured 9S86 calibre, characterized by its 36,000 Vph (5 Hz) oscillation rate, 55-hour power reserve, and 24-hour GMT function with an independently adjustable hour hand. Unfortunately, this is the only watch on the list that won't make it under the tree as we are currently taking reservations for January deliveries.
If you're interested in these pieces or any other timepiece we carry, we are currently offering free overnight delivery on all in-stock watches. Let us find the help find the right watch for you. Call Topper Jewelers at 888-730-2221 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.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.