The year was 1965 and Topper Fine Jewelers was fresh off celebrating its 25th anniversary, running a pair of stores in Merced and Modesto. Some fifty years later, and now in our third generation of family ownership, we still proudly look back on those formative years, warmly reflected in a series of vintage Topper mail-order catalogs that decorate the walls in our back office. It was between these pages where our latest collaboration took shape with a question:
"What would it be like to buy an
Oris watch at Topper Jewelers in 1965?"
We are thrilled to present the answer to that question in our ninth Topper Edition: an exclusive concept piece produced in collaboration with Oris, which imagines what it might be like to step back in time and purchase a new, adventure-ready Diver 65 watch, one without any simulated aging – exactly as it might have been retailed new in a seaside dive shop, or at one of our California stores in 1965. Built around a "maxi" sized 42mm case that's punctuated by an inky black dial and crisp, oversized 12-3-6-9 luminous markers, this striking new Diver 65 is archival in legacy only, with a fully modern finish and wrist presence that looks squarely at the future.
The heritage re-issue concept has proven to be one of the more endearing stories of the last decade in the watch collecting space, with a litany of nü-retro dive watches, re-imagined with neatly simulated aging, as though they’d been found in a dusty attic box, their cases still perfectly proportionate, and dials found gracefully aged, in varying shades of cream after many decades lying in wait. Quite simply, this is not that watch.
- Case: 42mm stainless steel with screwdown crown
- Dial: Matte black with BG-W9 SuperLuminova painted luminous 12-3-6-9 hour markers, bears “Anti-Shock” + jewel count of vintage editions
- Bracelet: Oris Diver 65 riveted
- Movement: Oris Cal. 733 (Automatic, no-date, 40 hour power reserve)
- Crystal: Domed sapphire with anti-reflective coating on the inside
- Price: $2,450
- Production: Limited to 165 individually numbered pieces
- Projected ship date: December 2020
"The devil is really in the details with most limited editions from Topper Jewelers, and this Oris x Topper Jewelers Divers Sixty-Five is no different..."
"Overall this is a handsome watch and a welcome addition to the stable of Oris dive watches, even if it is limited to 165 examples..."
"Rather than recreating an archival piece, this Oris x Topper collaboration strives to revive the feeling of discovering something new and unexpected..."
"Another smashing special edition from North California's LE hotspot..."
This new Oris x Topper Jewelers marks the second time the two brands have collaborated on a limited edition – the first being in 2016, with the now long sold-out 40mm Diver 65 Topper Edition, which ranks amongst the earliest Diver 65 collaborations Oris produced with any brand partner. This new edition revisits some of the winning design elements of that beloved watch, with the unique twist that doesn’t simulate an aged archival reference, but re-imagines what the watch would have looked like to a buyer, over fifty years ago.
To further explore the concept of what diving and the watch buying experience might have entailed in the sixties and seventies, we tapped the experts themselves – freelance watch journalist Jason Heaton and Analog/Shift founder James Lamdin who took us inside the 'oral history' of our ninth Topper Edition. Give it a watch above.
For lots more insight on the project, Topper Jewelers Co-Owner Rob Caplan also sat down with Kat and Caitlyn of Tenn & Two as well as the recording teams of Fifth Wrist and Love 'n Watches to discuss the origin story of the Diver 65 'Maxi'. Don't miss these exclusive podcast interviews!
Limited to 165 pieces, a portion of the proceeds of the sale of each Diver 1965 Edition will be donated to the CuriOdyssey Museum, in support of a wildly imaginative new exhibit which will be launching in the fall. Located a short drive from Topper’s own downtown location, CuriOdyssey is a unique science and wildlife center that helps children acquire the tools they need to understand and appreciate our changing world – a mission that simultaneously aligns with Oris’ commitment to conservation, and Topper’s ongoing tradition of supporting the future generations of its local community.