The Sō Labs Layer One is a watch that made an instant impression on pretty much anyone it managed to cross paths with. The dial, composed of colorful layers and shapes befitting of a modern art museum, was bereft of any traditional time-keeping markers. This was a watch that embraced the conceptual in lieu of any practical pretense. You can read Zach Kazan’s review of the watch right here. This year, Sō Labs is building on that concept with a new Layer Two watch, that refines the execution without losing the personality. They also feature steel cases and automatic movements, with one of the most interesting takes on the date wheel I’ve ever seen.
The Layer Two is familiar at a glance, with a similar design language we saw in the Layer One. A pyramid structure connected to a hollow semi-circle serves as the hour indication, while a hollow outline takes on minute duties. Bar markers at each hour are the only real indication that this is a device for telling the time at all. There is a running seconds indication as well, though you’d be forgiven for not immediately noticing it. A round cap on the hand stack features a small point, and if you look closely, you’ll find that it makes a full rotation each minute. And that’s not even the most subtle detail to discover with this watch.