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.

First Set of Photos from Kiss Milan SpringLOCK

SpringLOCK did very well today! While Eric wore the first prototype on stage, the watch first lost about four seconds, and then gained about seven seconds. Eric wore the first prototype all the way through the first set, and before switching to the second prototype after Eric’s solo. Eric wore the second prototype from that point to the end of the show, and my Skindiver which didn’t have SpringLOCK for Kiss’s three encore songs. The BALL without SpringLOCK did not do nearly as well as the BALL with SpringLOCK, and gained around three minutes during the three songs. The immediate takeaway from the SpringLOCK test is that SpringLOCK technology works! The second takeaway, Eric drums hard! When we talked about how hard he was hitting the rims, he explained, "It's wood on steel. It may sound like a contradiction, but I try and be relaxed, but also as forceful as possible. If I tried to drum the way I do onstage now, without adrenaline, it would hurt too much and I couldn't do it. Aside from the fact that [a watch] doesn't really go with my costume, I was always afraid that I'd destroy a movement if I wore it on stage." By that standard, even my Skindiver did well. Eric ended up keeping one of the prototypes for his personal collection. Philippe took my Skindiver and the other prototype back to the BALL factory to open up and study.

I will get to see my Skindiver again very soon, as BALL U.S.A. president Jeff Hess and I are taking a train to Geneva, then onward to visit the BALL S.A. factory. There, I will talk more with Philippe, and perhaps even learn more about the fine details of Ball’s 2013 new releases. Among other things, I hope to learn the answer to the forum question about what the hands will look like on the new Hydrocarbon Spacemaster Airbourne!

Photos from Milan Kiss Show

Philippe outside the Milan forum wearing his CannonBall with SpringLOCK

The three watches worn during the Kiss Show in Milan: Two modified Fireman Racer DLC’s with SpringLOCK, and my rubber strap Skindiver without SpringLOCK as a control.

Eric, wearing prototype 1, with Philippe a few hours before the show.

Philippe living out a childhood dream while sitting at Kiss’s drum set

Eric Singer explaining the test to his drum-tech before the show. The tech helped him switch out the different watches during pauses in his performance.

Eric wearing prototype 1 in full makeup before the show.

Eric, wearing prototype 1, and me, watchless, since my Skindiver was with the drum-tech.

Eric and John Varvatos. John took a break from fashion week in Milan to check out the Kiss Show. As a side note, John is wearing his custom Ernst Benz

Eric and I on the drum set before the show. Thankfully for everyone, I didn't try and play anything.

Philippe and Eric during the first prototype switch about an hour into the show

Another shot of the first prototype switch



A few Videos I took of Eric drumming right before the first switch to capture the strain the watches were subjected to.

Philipe holding his Trainmaster Cannonball and prototype 1, as Eric, wearing Prototype II, drums in the background

Prototype 1 and Philippe's Trainmaster after the first switch. Both watches were synced before the show. The Prototype lost between 4-5 seconds over the length of the set. Philippe was thrilled with the result.

Philippe holding prototypes 1 & 2. Eric is off stage with the rest of Kiss as 10,000 Milanese fans scream for an encore.

Eric & Philippe at the Four Seasons after the show talking about the experience. Eric had never worn watches during an entire show, or participated in any kind of watch product development test. (he had worn a watch on stage only once for about five minutes for TV once) An interview of his thoughts on the experience and SpringLOCK will be posted separately in a few days.

Philippe holding my Skindiver and one of the prototypes at the Four Seasons after the show

Philippe holding my Skindiver. After being worn during the three song encore, it was almost plus 3 minutes, though still in one piece!

Philippe and famous promoter Doc McGee at the Four Seasons after the show. A special thanks to the Kiss Team for being so incredibly accommodating tonight!

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.