Hands-On with the Minus-8 Layer Silver-Blue

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Minus-8 is a San Fransisco based watch brand (their name describing their timezone) that we’ve talked about before on worn&wound. Last July, I did a hands-on with their Layer Black-Silver watch, a bold, but minimal automatic with a dramatic use of PVD. The very contemporary design had hard lines and featured a stacked metal case that created a gradient out of PVD coatings. Designed by ASTRO Studios, the group behind the XBox 360 and Nike Fuel band, the Layer Black-Silver was a unique contemporary piece with an industrial aesthetic.


Where the Black-Silver was machine-like and serious, the new Silver-Blue model is warm and more playful, introducing some color and texture into the design. It features the same 45 x 53 x 14mm case as the previous model, also with proprietary 16mm lugs, but changes up how the stacked case is colored. The base layer, which includes the lugs, is matte black, which is followed by a layer of copper, and then 3 layers of matte steel. The tri-tone case is very appealing, with the layer of copper adding an unexpected warm, but still industrial line of color.



The crown has been redesigned from the odd, but cool pill shape of the Black-Silver, to a more traditional cylinder. Rather than grooves, the crown has rounded-rectangular slots, which add just a bit more grip. On the flat outside surface, you’ll find the -8 logo etched in relief. The crown too is rendered in copper rather than steel or black, making it really standout. It’s very cool looking, with a certain steampunk vibe.


The dial of the Silver-Blue has the same “stadium” design of the previous model, but with some changes and improvements. The majority of the dial is matte black with white markings, but two of the index layers are royal blue. Another unexpected use of color that adds some personality and flair to the design. Additionally, the hands are now black with brushed copper, tying that color story back into the dial. The blue plays off of the copper of the case, contrasting with it, making both stand out more. On the previous model, the large Minus-8 logo below twelve was a point of contention. They eliminated that logo, using a -8 symbol instead. Keeping it even more subtle, the logo is in gloss black on the matte black surface, disappearing entirely in certain light.


The strap is a real highlight of the design. It’s a unique and proprietary design that fits the watch with an integrated end piece, creating a seamless flow from the case to the strap. Instead of rubber, they went with a dramatic vegetable tanned leather in a medium brown. It’s has a very strong pull-up to it, meaning as it bends, the oils in the leather shift, creating dynamic color variations. It’s beautiful leather on its own, but in contrast with the clean, sharp lines of the case, the rugged and organic nature of the leather really stands out.


On the wrist, the Layer Silver-Blue wears well for a big watch. Though the lug-to-lug is 53mm, the design of the lugs and strap make it wrap around your wrist ergonomically. As such, it wears more like a 43mm lugless watch. Aesthetically, it’s very modern with strong geometry and almost harsh lines. The use of the copper and blue highlights, as well as vibrant leather, counter act that harshness, making it a more balanced design. Given its size and style, it’s definitely a casual sport watch that would go well with outdoors and tech clothing.



The Minus-8 Layer Silver-Blue is a nice follow up to the Black-Silver we reviewed before. The introduction of new colors into the mix really livens the watch, making it look less harsh on the wrist. Apart from the copper, the strap really won me over. It’s cool to see a very modern styled strap made out of tradition leather, mixing the two aesthetics. Lastly, the smaller, more subdued logo was a smart choice. It looks good, gets the branding across, but doesn’t over take the dial. the Minus-8 Layer Silver-Blue is $498, is powered by a Seiko NH35a movement, and is available now.

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