BilletSpin has released a new top. It’s named “The Vanguard” and they were kind enough to send one my way. It’s gorgeous, too – a 3-color Mokume / Flamed Titanium top, with a Ruby sphere atop the stem. Truly a stunning top. Read on for some thoughts and most importantly, photos.
Whew this thing is gorgeous. I don’t say that lightly; I have a ton of pretty things. I also like the size – pocket space is limited, so unless you carry a purse size of your edc items is important. This one occupies fortunately little space, but is great as a fidget.
Above you can see an absolutely massive upgrade from BilletSpin – a branded tin. Now that might seem [whatever] but trust me, that’s a great thing for these tops.
It’s a bit oversized for a single top, but layered this tin would likely hold a number of tops.
This is how a single top ships. There’s a little divot for the stem, and foam over the top, too. With careful cutting, many more tops would fit in this case. But this is a vast improvement over the cloth baggies they shipped in before.
First of all, the shape of The Vanguard.
All of the above said – if this size is your thing, but the look isn’t, then remember there are a bunch of variations. They range in price from $125 (All Stainless Vanguard with Black Ceramic ball) to $205 (Zirc/Twist Dammy Vanguard with ruby stem ball).
Copper/Stainless Steel Vanguard w/ruby stem ball
Copper/Stainless Steel Vanguard with grey/black ceramic stem ball
Copper/Stainless Steel Vanguard w/white ceramic stem ball
Zirc/Twist Dammy Vanguard with ruby stem ball
Zirc/Twist Dammy Vanguard with grey/black ceramic stem ball [DISCONTINUED]
Zirc/Twist Dammy Vanguard with white ceramic stem ball
Treated Mokume/Titanium Vanguard with Ruby stem ball
Treated Mokume/Titanium Vanguard with white ceramic stem ball
Treated Mokume/Titanium Vanguard with grey/black ceramic stem ball
Bronze/Titanium Vanguard with Ruby stem ball
Bronze/Titanium Vanguard with grey/black ceramic stem ball
Bronze/Titanium Vanguard with white ceramic stem ball
Twist Dammy/Titanium Vanguard with ruby stem ball
Twist Dammy/Titanium Vanguard with white ceramic ball
Twist Dammy/Titanium Vanguard with grey/black ceramic ball
All Stainless Vanguard with Ruby ball
All Stainless Vanguard with Black Ceramic ball
Tungsten/Copper Vanguard with Ruby Stem Ball
Here’s everything BilletSpin says about The Vanguard:
Newest 2-piece top, the Vanguard, features a 0.98” diameter blasted and treated 3 color Mokume outer disk with a treated Titanium stem. Carbide ball on bottom and a ruby ball on top. Weight is 28 grams.
Due to the fragility of the ruby ball we recommend not spinning this top upside down.
Why do I have that comment in this category? Because the main way this top feels is a result of the blasted Mokume outer disk. It’s very supple, and the blast provides just a bit of grip. That’s nice if you choose to spin this top “upside down” but in my case, I didn’t because of the ruby sphere. The hardness of the ruby would make for great spinning – but that hardness is exactly what also makes it brittle, which would not make for great results if the drop was careless…. (As a sidenote, the first top I was notably excited about was the Lambda by Prometheus Lights, which had a ruby contact point, and I never had any issues with it.)
The thumb stud. It’s very grippy, and allows strong twists for long spins.
I got a bit carried away spinning this top during the photo session….. So sorry for the many photos on something that’s not an ideal spin surface (it’s a sticker from PhotonPhreaks).
It’s possible to notice the striations of the Mokume during spins. Well… with a camera it is, anyway. 🙂 I thought that was very neat.
The table shown here is just for art purposes; it’s not the timed test surface. 😛 But the top is in fact spinning on that variegated surface.
I noticed a couple of things while spinning this top. First of all, it wanders for a little while, looking for a comfortable spot. Then when it finds that comfortable spot, it wobbles a bit. Then it tends to get settled into a zone, and spins for a good while. I had some great results on a glass surface, which has a very lightly convex shape. Not a proper spinstation, but it worked.
I did some spintime tests and the results are as follows:
|1 (desk top)||2:24.32|
|2 (desk top)||2:16.89|
|3 (hard table top)||2:40.00|
|4 (hard table top)||3:21.23|
|5 (concave glass)||7:00.12|
|6 (concave glass)||6:20.36|
I’m impressed with the 7 minute spin. With a real, proper, spin station, I bet this would go for 10+ minutes.
Maintenance / Disassembly
There’s nothing that can be disassembled on The Vanguard. The 2 pieces are press fit together.
Keeping the top clean should provide a long lifetime.
Officially this top is 0.98″ in diameter, and 28g.
I measure the diameter at 24.9mm, and the height at 27.41mm.
Below is a US quarter. The Connecticut version.
This is a very small top. Not a micro top I suppose, but it’s very good for pocket carry, and could even serve as a good worry token substitute, or talisman.
What I Like
- High quality build
- Tons of metal options
- This is really a beautiful piece.
- Love the top-of-stem options, including ruby.
- The improved package (ie the tin)
What I Don’t Like
- Limited availability (to wit: when they’re gone they’re gone?)
I have a few more similar items that I’ll be posting in the coming weeks. If there’s anything more or specific that you’d like to see, please let me know in the comments!
- This top was provided by BilletSpin for review. I was not paid to write this review.
- This content originally appeared at zeroair.org. Please visit there for the best experience!
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