Kiss Drummer And Watch Collector Eric Singer’s Baselworld 2017 Top 10

by Elizabeth Doerr

 If you’ve attended Baselworld over the last four years, you’ve likely heard tell of an “Eric Singer sighting” — catching a quick glimpse of the watch-crazy rock drummer as he hurries from booth to booth checking out the new watch offerings. His ever-increasing presence at the fair has become something of part of the Baselworld legend.

I had a chance to catch up with the horophile musician after Baselworld 2017 to get his personal list of the top ten watches he saw at the fair.

Kiss drummer Eric Singer (right) with Tob Caplan of Topper checking out watches at the Omega booth at Baselworld 2017 (photo courtesy Rob Caplan)

Kiss drummer Eric Singer (right) with Tob Caplan of Topper checking out watches at the Omega booth at Baselworld 2017 (photo courtesy Rob Caplan)

You might note a theme of sorts as you go through this list as Singer has a preference for diver’s and sports watches. “Like 99.9 percent of all guys, I’m a desk diver,” Singer quipped as we started to go through his picks. “I love the look of tool watches.”

Singer also tends to favor the retro style that is currently all the rage in watches. While he may attribute that to being a certain age, I put it down to simply having good taste.

In terms of what he actually ordered, he explained that it was mainly (relatively) affordable timepieces with cool 1970s looks and coloring. “You love stuff you can relate to,” he explained. “You gravitate toward your style, your era.”

Though he appreciates Quill & Pad’s lean toward the independent watchmakers, Singer also understands that these timepieces are generally not accessible to “regular guys,” but rather more to serious collectors. So he generally looks for a degree of affordability in the timepieces he purchases.

And without further ado and in no particular order, please enjoy Eric Singer’s top 10 watches of Baselworld 2017.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller

“Rolex is a constant favorite because it looks great with suits and sports clothes alike,” Singer said, though he also stressed that he is not generally a “Rolex guy” because he doesn’t feel versed in the subtleties of the vintage market for this brand.

Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm

Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm

That is certainly something he shares with the majority of watch lovers, who often times are left confounded by the variety of exact details that determine the crazy pricing of some vintage Rolex models.

Singer was very impressed by the 43 mm sizing of the new Rolex Sea-Dweller — up from the previous 40 mm — something our own Simon Cudd also pointed out in Quill & Pad’s traditional round table post following Baselworld 2017. “It’s very proportionate,” Singer described it, at the same time relating that he didn’t mind the “Cyclops” magnifying lens over the date at all, an element that has garnered some critique in the specialized press.

“You also wear ‘the crown’ for a reason: consistency, brand power, and perception,” he explained.

This new model celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the first Sea-Dweller from 1967, which is referenced by the red lettering of the Sea-Dweller name on the dial.

Quick Facts Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller
 
Case: 43 mm, stainless steel
 Movement: automatic Caliber 3235 with 70-hour power reserve
 Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
 Price: $11,350 / 10,800 Swiss francs

Breguet Classique Reference 7147

This classic new ultra-thin Classique Reference 7147 with its high-fire enamel dial and playful secret signature has been widely acclaimed in the specialized press and even in our Quill & Pad team members’ Top 5 selections.

Breguet Classique ultra-thin Reference 7147

Breguet Classique ultra-thin Refeence 7147

“I love the coin-edge,” he explained of the fluted case band. “I always wanted a Breguet dress watch, but the old ones are too small. This one is bigger at 40 mm in diameter, but it still has all the classic Breguet features including blued steel Breguet hands. In a nutshell, it is clean, simple, and classic with all of the brand’s classic cues.”

This timepiece was originally introduced in 2016 with a guilloché dial. The new enamel version seems to have taken on a life of its own, though!

Quick Facts Breguet Classique Reference 7147
 
Case: 40 mm, white gold (also available in pink gold)
 Movement: ultra-thin automatic Caliber 502.3SD with silicon balance spring and pallet lever
 Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
 Price: $21,500 ($21,000 in pink gold)

TAG Heuer Autavia Calibre Heuer 02

Singer loves the “Heritage” section of TAG Heuer’s modern offerings and was immediately smitten by the new Autavia, which was certainly eagerly awaited by fans of the brand.

TAG Heuer Autavia Calibre Heuer 02 (photo courtesy www.CH24.pl)

TAG Heuer Autavia Calibre Heuer 02 (photo courtesy www.CH24.pl)

A slightly differently styled version of this watch is due to be introduced a little later in the year, and that is actually the one that he prefers.

Quick Facts TAG Heuer Autavia Calibre Heuer 02
 
Case: 42 mm, stainless steel, water-resistant to 100 m
 Movement: automatic Caliber 02 with integrated column wheel chronograph and 75-hour power reserve
 Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date, chronograph
 Price: 4,800 Swiss francs/€4,600 (leather strap), 4,950 Swiss francs (stainless steel bracelet)

Omega 1957 Trilogy Limited Editions / Seamaster 300

Omega pays homage to an incredible year with classic releases: 1957. Head of product management Gregory Kissling explained to me that Omega unfortunately no longer had the notes and plans for the three watches from that year that went on to become the foundations of classic lines at the brand, so the technicians used a unique digital scanning technology to make loyal re-creations before updating them to today’s standards (such as using sapphire crystal instead of Plexiglas).

Omega 1957 Trilogy Limited Editions

Omega 1957 Trilogy Limited Editions in a retro-styled box set

The limited edition trilogy set comprises three re-issued Omega classics from 1957: the Seamaster 300, the Railmaster, and the Speedmaster. The boxed set including all three retails for $21,600. The watches can be acquired separately or in the set.

Omega Seamaster 300

Omega Seamaster 300

Singer particularly liked the Seamaster 300, which he found nicely proportionate.

Quick Facts Omega 1957 Trilogy Limited Editions / Seamaster 300
 
Case: 39 mm, stainless steel with black aluminum bezel, four-year guarantee
 Movement: automatic Caliber 8806 with co-axial escapement and free-sprung balance with silicon balance spring; Omega Master Chronometer certification
 Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
 Limitation: 3,557 pieces
 Price: $7,000
 Available: June 2017

Hublot Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph

The Hublot Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph introduced in honor of the 70th anniversary of Ferrari — one of Hublot’s partners — has had mixed reactions within the watch world. Members of our own team find that it looks a bit too “normal” compared to some of the other new watches the brand introduced at Baselworld 2017 (which goes to show what can happen with expectations when you consistently bring out wild and crazy superwatches!).

Hublot Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph

Hublot Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph in titanium

However, Singer loved the way that it looked “crazy” compared to the retro and vintage-styled watches that he generally prefers. He also enjoys the fact that it looks like a car frame — which was the intended design effect.

“While this is a polarizing brand, it sure does make a lot of great watches,” he said. “They take chances!”

Quick Facts Hublot Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph
 
Case: 45 x 14.8 mm, titanium, red King Gold, or PEEK Carbon
 Movement: manual winding Hublot Caliber HUB6311 with one-minute tourbillon and column wheel chronograph
 Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; chronograph
 Limitation: 70 pieces each in titanium, red gold, and PEEK Carbon (Polyether Ether Ketone)
 Price: $127,000 (titanium), $158,000 (red gold), $137,000 (PEEK)

Seiko Prospex First Diver’s Re-Creation Limited Edition SLA017

Known among enthusiasts as the 62MAS Diver, Seiko’s first diver’s watch came out in 1965. In the wake of Seiko’s very successful recent recreations that have included Grand Seiko re-editions to celebrate the 55th anniversary of Seiko’s sub-line (now a standalone brand as announced at Baselworld 2017), this diver in Seiko’s Prospex sub-line fits right in.

Seiko Prospex First Diver’s Re-Creation Limited Edition, Reference SLA017

Seiko Prospex First Diver’s Re-Creation Limited Edition, Reference SLA017

“I love the color combinations on the new Seiko models, even if the case sizes are perhaps slightly smaller than I would have liked; this retro diver is right up my alley,” Singer said.

Quick Facts Seiko Prospex First Diver’s Re-Creation Limited Edition SLA017
 
Case: 39.9 x 14.1 mm, hardened stainless steel
 Movement: automatic Caliber 8L35 with 50-hour power reserve
 Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
 Limitation: 2,000 pieces
 Price: $3,400
 Remark: comes with both stainless steel bracelet and silicone strap

Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC

I ran into Singer at the Blancpain booth just after he had seen this watch in one of the sales rooms, and I remember how excitedly he described it. In fact, he has tagged this watch as perhaps his favorite from the show.

Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC

Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC

As you might guess, the MIL-SPEC is a new interpretation of a historical Fifty Fathoms from the 1950s. Its “superpower” is that it indicates the degree of water resistance the watch has (shown in the circle just above 6 o’clock); this is an element that — along with great visibility under water — makes beautiful sense for a diver’s watch.

Quick Facts Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC
 
Case: 40 mm, stainless steel, water-resistance to 300 m (30 bar)
 Movement: automatic Blancpain Caliber 1151 with serially operating twin spring barrels (four-day power reserve) and silicon balance spring
 Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date, indication of watch’s water resistance
 Limitation: 500 pieces
 Price: $14,100

Zenith Heritage Cronometro Tipo CP2

This timepiece is a reissue of a watch made for the Italian armed forces in the 1960s that was known as “the Cairelli.” Since being shown under the table to collectors and retailers at Baselworld 2016 before its official release later in that year, it has generated quite a bit of buzz among aficionados of vintage-style sports watches.

Zenith Heritage Cronometro Tipo CP2

Zenith Heritage Cronometro Tipo CP2

Singer was already interested in the Zenith Heritage Cronometro Tipo CP2 in 2016, and its availability now puts it squarely in his top 10.

Quick Facts Zenith Heritage Cronometro Tipo CP2
 
Case: 43 mm, stainless steel
 Movement: automatic El Primero 4069 with 50-hour power reserve
 Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; chronograph
 Limitation: 1,000 pieces
 Price: $7,700 / 7,900 Swiss francs

Hamilton Intra-Matic 68

“This is not quite the original, but it is close enough,” Singer explained of the retro-styled Intra-Matic 68, which replicates a mashup of the looks of two original Hamilton chronographs from 1968. “And it is more modern at this size, which makes it more wearable for me.”

Hamilton Intra-Matic 68

Hamilton Intra-Matic 68

He also explained that he appreciated the new Ventura models (which I incidentally also quite like), but kept coming back to this chronograph.

Quick Facts Hamilton Intra-Matic 68
 
Case: 42 mm, stainless steel
 Movement: automatic Caliber H-31 (based on Caliber ETA 7753) with 60-hour power reserve
 Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date, chronograph
 Limitation: 1,968 pieces
 Price: $2,195 / €1,995

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Chronometer

Powered by an automatic Swiss Technology Production caliber, the quite affordable Zodiac model fits into Singer’s preferred styling range. STP is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fossil Group.

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Chronometer

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Chronometer

For as long as I can remember, Zodiac, which has also been owned by Fossil since 2001, has been a great deal in terms of pricing. The year 2015 marked the return of the Sea Wolf to Zodiac’s lineup; it had been absent since 2002.

“I really think this is a great watch at a great price,” Singer said.

Quick Facts Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Chronometer
 
Case: 40 x 14 mm, stainless steel, water-resistant to 200 m
 Movement: automatic STP Caliber 1–11 with 44-hour power reserve and official C.O.S.C. chronometer certification
 Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
 Price: $1,295

Originally published at Quill & Pad.