Topper Videos from Baselworld 2016
Did you know that Topper Fine Jewelers has a YouTube channel? Last Year at Baselworld, we shot videos for the first time, and this year we expanded our effort. Our channel is "robattopper" and within it we've created a Baselworld 2016 folder. Not sure which video to watch? Below is a little more information about each of the videos from this year's show. Russ and I also added our favorite watch from each brand, defining “favorite” as the one we'd be most likely to add to our personal collection. On a few brands we agreed, but in most instances we chose different watches.
We shot three videos with US Director, Merlin Schwertner. First, a video looking at the two 33mm Tetra neomatik models. Second, a video where Merlin describes their ten new offerings with steel case backs. Last, a video describing the subtle differences between the 2015 first edition and the 2016 neomatik models.
Favorite Nomos Glashütte of 2016
For the first time ever, Russ and I had a hand in designing a watch that was in the Baselworld news cycle: A non date version of last year's hit watch the Divers Sixty-Five. Since a prototype wasn't available at the show, we didn't do a video talking about the watch. If you'd like to learn more about the watch, here is a link to the original announcement on aBlogtoWatch as well as a link to the FAQ about the watch we made a few days after the announcement. We did, however, do a video with Philip Brashear, where he discusses his father, Carl Brashear, and the Oris limited edition Carl Brashear watch. Aside from the fact that we loved the watch (we ordered more units of this watch than any other at Baselworld this year), getting the opportunity to spend time with the incredibly inspirational Philip Brashear was on the shortlist of my favorite moments of the show.
Favorite Oris of 2016 (excluding the Topper Edition Divers Sixty-Five)
We did it all in one take! Bremont co-founder Nick English and US Director Mike Pearson took Russ and I through the 2016 collection (two trays!), including the new Regatta Oracle collection, white dial MBII offerings, Boeing limited edition, ALT1-ZT/51, and the new ladies collection.
Favorite Bremont of 2016
Russ: MBII (white dial and blue barrel)
At the Glashütte Original booth, we sat down with their CEO, Yann Gamard, to discuss their new offerings. We shot three videos: One discussed Mr. Gamard's book, “Impressions”, another discussed the Senator Chronometer with a blue dial, and the last discussed the Senator Excellence and Calibre 36. For the past several years, as BlancPain, Breguet, and OMEGA have leveraged the technical expertise of the Swatch Group to bring modern enhancements to their timepieces, we've wondered how and when that expertise would be leveraged by Glashütte Original. It's really interesting listening to Mr. Gamard describe the balance between maintaining their identity as German craftsman and utilizing the material sophistication of Nivarox.
Favorite Glashütte Original of 2016
Russ: Senator Excellence (black dial)
Rob: Senator Excellence (black dial)
Zenith took this year's Baselworld to make a statement to the North American market. They are now the best value Swiss Movement manufacturer. Aside from a series of price drops to their core collection (such as the Pilot Bronze being reduced from $7,800 to $6,900 and the 38mm El Primero 36,000 VPH 1969 dropping from $8,800 to $6,700). Due to the strong dollar, El Primero models are suddenly much more affordable. Their new offerings were all brought in at great prices. We shot several videos with Zenith's Romain Marietta, Zenith Product Manager. He described the expanded Classic Collection, Pilot Cafe Racer, and Classic Cars.
Favorite Zenith of 2016
Rob: Classic Cars
Grand Seiko & Prospex
This was our first year meeting with Seiko at Baselworld. We sat down with Seiko USA's Rusty Rowlands, Seiko expert Joe Kirk, and Eric Singer to look at Seiko's new Ceramic Sport Collection models, as well as their spectacular 8-Day Power Reserve Spring Drive model. Rusty and I also shot three videos discussing the Spring Drive Sports Collection, a new Seiko Prospex with Astron Technology, and an explanation to Grand Seiko fans who may have been confused by not seeing any steel or titanium models at the show. The move to ceramic (shown in the sports collection) is not a directional shift for Grand Seiko. More steel models will be announced later in the year. What we cannot yet show or write about are the previews we saw of some exciting models due to be announced later in the year.
Favorite Grand Seiko & Prospex of 2016
Today, ceramic materials are used by the majority of the brands at Topper. Fifteen years ago, Rado was the only watch in our store that featured ceramic materials. What are they working on in 2016 now that the basic medium of the ceramic watch has become more accepted? We sat down with Rado's Chief Technical Officer and discussed their latest technical innovations for 2016, the Hyperchrome Ultra Light and the Cape Horn reissue called the Hyperchrome 1616.
Favorite Rado of 2016
Russ: Hyperchrome Ultra Light
Rob: Hyperchrome 1616
We sat down with Zodiac's CTO, Brandon Little, to discuss the new Super Sea Wolf, and spent a great deal of time focusing on the bronze limited edition. The bezels on these pieces are fantastic.
Favorite Zenith of 2016
Russ: Super Sea Wolf in steel
Rob: Super Sea Wolf in bronze
We shot some great videos with Longines, but are still waiting on formal approval to show them. Like many critics, the Railroad was our favorite offering from Longines this year.
Favorite Longines of 2016
Russ sat down with Hamilton's Head of Product, Alexander Gannac, to discuss the new Frogman collection. The Frogman series looks like Hamilton's most advanced dive watch collection to date.
Favorite Hamilton of 2016
Michele has a new case! We sat down with U.S. Brand Director Lisa Hamer to get a sneak preview of the new 34mm offerings coming soon. There are also a series of Japanese themed pieces about which we will soon post images in our Facebook album.
Favorite Michele of 2016: Being a ladies line, there are no applicable watches for our collection.
Unfortunately, our schedule didn't synch with CEO Thilo Mühle this year, but Mühle-Glashütte had some great pieces. Their novelties can be found at this link. The ProMare Datum was my favorite of their 2016 novelties, and the Robert Mühle Zeigerdatum provides incredible value for under $8,000.
Favorite Mühle-Glashütte of 2016
OMEGA is the flagship brand of our store, and the brand about which Russ and I are the most passionate. Publishing videos for our biggest brand requires a more formal authorization process than some of our other partners. We hope to have that process in place for next year. Still, Russ and I have a lot to talk about regarding the exciting OMEGA offerings at Baselworld 2016. Give us a call to learn more.
Favorite OMEGA of 2016The 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.