Seiko’s limited edition releases over the past few years have been hit after hit, including some nicknames that have become instant buzzwords in the Seiko community—”Starlight,” “PADI,” and the aptly-named Grand Seiko “Peacock.” On February 9th, a new name entered the limited-run Seiko pantheon—“Topper Ninja.” This comes courtesy of another limited-edition powerhouse, Topper Jewelers of Burlingame, California. Located just south of San Francisco, this family-run suburban jewelry store has become one of America’s great watch culture hubs since debuting their first exclusive limited timepiece in 2015 with Nomos. Since then, it’s launched instant-sellout collaborations with Oris, Bremont, and Zodiac, creating an aesthetic and brand identity all its own. The “Topper Ninja”—or Ref. SPB107 if you want to be precise—might just be my favorite effort yet.
The seventh limited release to come out of Topper Jewelers, the Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB107 builds on the base of last year’s fan favorite SPB077. The SPB077, designed as a modern reinterpretation of the original Hi-Beat Seiko 6159 diver from 1968, was a beautiful piece in its own right. It has an angular case blended with a domed sapphire crystal. Paired with the bulletproof 6R automatic movement, it makes for an instant classic combo, and it was undoubtedly one of Seiko’s biggest hits of 2018. For the special edition, owner Rob Caplan of Topper Jewelers turned to Asher Rapkin, a marketing executive at a major tech company and a close friend of the brand, for advice.