Russ and Rob's Top Ten Watches at Topper Jewelers in 2018
2018 has been one of the most exciting years at Topper Jewelers in recent memory – thanks to a year full of great watch releases and plenty of fun collector community events with our friends at the newly launched Watch The Bay Meetups. With just a few days left at the height of the holiday season, Russ and I thought we'd take a moment to reflect on some of our favorite releases of the year, while passing along a friendly reminder that all of these watches are currently in-store, and can still make it by the 25th if ordered before 2PM PST on Friday, December 21. Without further ado and in no particular order, here are the ten watches that Russ and I liked the most in 2018.
Omega Seamaster Steel 'Denim' Co-Axial Master Chronometer 126.96.36.199.03.001 (Russ)
Although the redesigned Seamaster 300 was our most hotly pre-ordered watch after its announcement at Baselworld, we'd have to choose this year's unexpected hit: the 'Denim' Railmaster on its excellent three-link bracelet. Dive watches have always been extremely popular at Topper, but this year we've seen a shift in interest towards markedly capable sports watches that can be dressed up or down with greater ease than a traditional dive watch. Playfully referred by as a "GADA," or 'Go Anywhere Do Anything' (a term coined by a friend of the store in this thread on WatchuSeek), the handsome, all-brushed Railmaster is a paragon of versatility, while remaining a surprisingly affordable entry point into one of the most sophisticated watch movements of the decade. For more information on this watch, click here.
Oris Carl Brashear Bronze Chronograph 01 771 7744 3185-Set LS LE (Russ)
We've had many guests at Topper Jewelers over the years, but none of them can quite match the effervescence and positivity of Philip Brashear, son of acclaimed Navy diver, Carl Brashear. Philip joined us in the store to meet collectors and help us launch the follow-up to our fastest-selling Oris ever: the Carl Brashear Bronze Chronograph. Continuing the traditions of the bronze case and blue dial, the chronograph brings in a nü-vintage twin register design, in a highly wearable package that's brimming with the unique personality as it ages alongside its own wearer. For more information on this watch, click here.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatic Grande Date 5050-12B30-B52A (Rob)
With a series of new complications added to the Fifty Fathoms collection, like the rapidly sold-out Day/Date, and the show-stopping Annual Calendar, it was a good year for Blancpain's signature dive watch collection. Within the new releases, there was a very specific complication that added a configuration that many longtime fans had been waiting for: a titanium Fifty Fathoms with a display caseback – and with a 'grande date' no less, which also happens to be one of our favorite complications out of Le Brassus. Thanks to the lightweight and matte-finished titanium case, the 5050 is the most wearable, and most tool watch-inspired Fifty Fathoms to date, and it's certain to rightfully earn itself a multitude of fans once the word really gets out. For more information on this watch, click here, or here (for it on a NATO strap).
Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite 'Traveler' 1-89-02-03-02-01 (Russ)
Several years ago, the Glashütte Original introduced the Senator Cosmopolite, which is objectively one of the most capable traveler watches we've ever had the pleasure of carrying. Previously only available in precious metals, this new stainless steel variant introduces a subtly refreshed dial upon which both home time and the reference for one of 35 local time zones are clearly displayed, along with a power reserve, and the signature Glashütte Original stepped big date aperture. The resulting reference is simultaneously sporty and classic, and is perfect for the frequent flier who craves a bit of haute horology at 40,000 feet. For more information on this watch, click here.
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical (Rob)
For several years running, Hamilton has consistently given the watch community hit after hit, and this year was no exception. Granted, the Intra-Matic Chrono didn'tquite get the spotlight of last year's GPHG-winning Avigation BigEye, but it's no less deserving, thanks to its perfect balance of vintage spirit and modern wearability. However, the real winner this year has been the acclaimed Khaki Field Mechanical, which was released with relatively little fanfare. Paying homage to the original "Hamilton hack" field watch from the seventies and eighties (desired by military units for its ability to hack for synchronized timekeeping amongst unit members), this perfectly sized, no-date field watch is the best value in Swiss mechanical watchmaking this year, and should be an easy addition to any collection. For more information on this watch, click here (for the green model), or here (for the brown model).
Zenith Defy Classic on a Bracelet (Russ)
As soon as Baselworld images started to emerge from the hall on the first press day of the show, our phones started ringing with collectors asking about the Defy Classic. Perfectly sized at 41mm and cast in ultralight titanium with an excellent H-link bracelet, this is the modern sports watch that many Zenith fans had been waiting for, and it doesn't disappoint – especially with leading movement tech like a silicon escape wheel and lever. Those looking to get a little bolder than the classic blue sunray dial ought not to miss out on the visually arresting skeletonized version: a limited edition designed in collaboration with Land Rover. For more information on this blue sunray dial on a bracelet, click here.
Grand Seiko 'Kira-Zuri' U.S. Limited Edition (Rob)
Grand Seiko continues to electrify the North American watch community, but that excitement hit a fever pitch this year with the USA's very first limited edition. Grand Seiko made sure to make it a momentous occasion, by releasing not one, but three watches in increasing limited quantities: one in stainless steel, another in 18K rose gold, and the third one in platinum. Each combines Spring Drive technology with the 44GS case, and features the same beautiful dial pattern inspired by the traditional Japanese painting technique called "Kira-Zuri," which is best translated as "sparkling painting." For more information on the stainless steel model, click here.
Nomos Glashütte Tangente Neomatik 41 "Update" Ref. 180 (Russ)
For as long as we've been an official retailer, Nomos never fails to surprise and delight with its yearly releases, but this year, our favorite new model from Nomos was a thoughtful update to one of their signature, tried-and-true models; the Tangente Neomatik 41. The real update to the Tangente wasn't an aesthetic one, but a mechanical one under the hood, as Nomos introduced a new in-house movement to its lineup: Calibre 6101. As an evolution of the Neomatik auto, the date on this ultra-slim new movement can now be moved in both directions, making it easier than ever to set. Nomos chose to illustrate this new functionality in their usual whimsical fashion: a red dot that rotates beneath a series of 31 cylindrical openings in the dial to highlight the date. It's subtle, it's clever, and it's classic – what's not to love? For more information on this watch, click here.
G-Shock Full Metal 5000 (Rob)
With smash hit after smash hit, the mighty G-Shock has been unstoppable this year, thanks in part to the release of the groundbreaking new Rangeman at CES, followed by a slew of excellent limited edition watches to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the G-Shock. But the hysteria hit a fever pitch at Baselworld with the announcement of the long-awaited 'Full Metal' line of watches. Stainless steel was the unsurprising fast-favorite, but also popular was the gold IP-coated variant, which is a clever hat-tip to the solid 18k gold prototype, which was produced in singularity, and was also hand-carried by the father of G-Shock himself, Kikuo Ibe, when he joined us in-store back in November to continue the celebration. For more information on this watch, click here (for the gold model), here (for the black model), or here (for the silver model).
As always, If you have any questions about any of the above watches, about our holiday shipping timetables, or would simply like to speak with an experienced member of our sales team, we'd welcome you to get in touch by calling Topper Jewelers at 888-730-2221, or by e-mailing 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.