Our friends at Fratello have announced their latest limited edition collaboration, a follow up to last year’s release with Minase. That watch, the M-3 “Very Peri,” marked the first time Minase’s cushion shaped case was available outside of Japan. This year’s version borrows the same case profile, but lands on a very different dial execution. The Fratello x Minase M-3 “Nori” has a subtle green dial inspired by Japanese seaweed, making for a toned down and perhaps more under-the-radar version of the M-3 than last year’s brightly colored purple variant.
Minase, for the uninitiated, is a Japanese brand that produces about 500 pieces per year in the Akita Prefecture. They incorporate many traditional Japanese craft elements in their watchmaking, with a focus on hand-made components, but also incorporate plenty of modern manufacturing techniques. If you’ve handled any of their watches (we’ve been happy to have them at several recent Windup Watch Fairs, and they’ll be joining us once again in NYC next month), you know that they machined and finished immaculately. Zach wrote about Minase’s Divido here, which has an extremely complex case and bracelet construction, paired with a dial that’s made with a very traditional Japanese lacquering technique.
The M-3 has a simpler case, but it’s machined and finished to the same high standard as Minase’s more complex designs. The cushion style case measures 39mm in diameter, 46mm lug-to-lug, and is just 10.5mm tall (including the crystal). The M-3 was conceived as an everyday sports watch, and has a water resistance rating of 100 meters that should be plenty for handwashing, swimming, and just about any other water based activity short of some pretty intense diving.
Of course, the star of the show here is the “Nori” dial, which is hand-finished by Minase to give it a subtle dégradé effect similar to the purple version from a year ago. There’s texture woven through the dial’s surface that is meant to play with the light in interesting ways, and should reveal many slightly different shades of green as its viewed in a variety of lighting conditions. The M-3 has applied and lumed hour markers at the dial’s perimeter, and just like the “Very Peri” version the “Nori” has an orange tipped seconds hand, which is an homage to Fratello’s Dutch heritage.
The best news, though, about this new collaboration is that Fratello and Minase have maintained the same process for placing an order that was established with last year’s limited edition. The watch will go on sale on September 27, and the books will be open for a full week. Anyone who wants one can place an order, and they will be guaranteed a watch. That gives collectors and enthusiasts a full two weeks to consider a purchase before the ordering window closes for good. For a brand like Minase that is still somewhat hard to access outside of Japan, that’s a huge win for the collecting community.
The Fratello x Minase M-3 “Nori” has a retail price of €2,470. More information can be found via Fratello right here.