Minus 8 Diver
In the world of dive watches, sometimes they can all start to look the same. Sub style, cushion case and even cases like the Oris TT1 and Aquis are the more traditional. Minus 8 is a brand that likes to deviate a little from the norm, and with that comes the Minus 8 Diver, the first dive watch from the California based company. Being forthcoming, I do prefer the traditional, but that does not mean I do not appreciate when a company goes outside the box a bit. The Minus 8 Diver was recently released, and they did a preorder campaign on Indiegogo. A full titanium case and bracelet with an NE15 automatic movement is what they delivered, and what I will be reviewing here today.
Minus 8 Diver Specifications:
- MOVEMENT: Seiko NE15
- CASE SIZE: 44mm Diameter / 14.3mm Thickness
- Case LENGTH: 53MM
- LUG WIDTH: 22MM
- MATERIAL: Titanium
- FINISH: PVD-Coated Titanium
- Strap: Titanium Bracelet
- WATER RESISTANCE: 30 ATM
Price: $588 USD through Indiegogo Campaign, $788 on website
7 1/2 INCH WRIST
Pricing or should I say, the price depending on where you purchase, is a little weird to me. The Minus 8 Diver at the time of this review is currently available on Indiegogo. Normally, or at least what I know of crowdfunding, is that you put something up for funding, once it is funded, you will usually wait a few months for the item to be produced, and then you will get your product delivered to you. Once funded, the campaign is closed. That does not seem to be the case here with the Minus 8 Diver. The campaign is still running, but you will not have to wait months to get your watch, as they will ship it out the next business day after you “pledge” on Indiegogo. You can also purchase direct from the website for $200 more, at $788. I am not sure why they have it set up like this, and hope for anyone who is interested in this watch, to check the campaign first and order there as you will be saving a good amount of cash. The other factor for me is, how do I review this watch? Do I review it at $588 or $788? Since I believe the campaign will eventually end on this Minus 8 Diver, I have to look at this as a $788 watch, and that is how I will review it.
On paper, the Minus 8 Diver sounds great. A trusted automatic movement with a 55 hour power reserve, the Seiko NE15/6R15. An all titanium case and bracelet, sapphire crystal and 300 meters water resistance. For a dive watch lover, that sounds fantastic. Unfortunately, at least for me, in reality the execution is not what it could be. When I first saw images of this online, I noticed the bracelet did not have solid end links, but rather a straight end leaving a noticeable gap between the bracelet an the case. I waited till I got the Minus 8 Diver in hand though to form an opinion, as sometimes pictures can be misleading. Well, pictures were not misleading this time. The bracelet itself is nice enough and not your standard oyster bracelet either. The lack of end links though just kills it for me. I decided to remove the bracelet for my personal wear and put it on a rubber strap, which admittedly due to the shape of the case and the lugs still did not wow me in the looks department, but it was better, at least to me.
When it comes to the rest of the case, I have no real complaints. The case is similar to others used by Minus 8, though this one might be a tad thicker than their non divers. The crown is very much the same as other models as well, though they added a plate on the side of the crown that also gives some specs, which is something I feel could have been left off. I am not sure if this plate is for aesthetics or is functional in some way, like giving some protection to the crown. The case and bracelet both have a bead blasted titanium finish, which Minus 8 refers to as titanium PVD. Personally, a brushed titanium would have been better, as marks and scratches can be buffed out, whereas if you wear this watch hard, it is going to show every mark and there is nothing that can be done about it. I will say though I do like the bead blasted look and have owned many watches with this finish.
For me, the dial is the standout here. Matte black with over sized markers and hands make it super legible, something a dive watch should be. The bezel action is good, though it can be turned with one finger, yet their is no play or slop in the bezel either. To the best of my knowledge, the bezel insert is PVD coated steel, though it can be a matte aluminum insert as well. Since this is being marketed as a true dive watch, they claim all of the Minus 8 Diver watches are pressure tested before leaving the factory. Of course I can not verify that claim, but in the shower it proved to hold up just fine. My real concern of it being used as true dive watch in the ocean would lead back to the crown for me, and no protection for it. The crown is solid and does feel secure when you screw down into the case.
As you can tell, I am somewhat conflicted on the Minus 8 Diver. On the whole, it is a pretty decent offering. All the components are there to warrant the full price of $788. It is all titanium after all, has a great Seiko automatic movement, a well constructed case and bracelet and good lume and a sapphire crystal. If you like it and can get one for $588, all the better. My real issue is I am not sure what this model is supposed to be. Is it more of tool diver or a fashion piece? It is marketed as being a tool diver, but at the $788 price tag, I expect the design to be a little more cohesive, especially when it comes to the bracelet end links. The truth is, it is just not one that I would be running out to put into my collection. With the dive watch market being so crowded, I will say the Minus 8 Diver is not your average looking dive watch and for some enthusiasts that is what will draw them to it. Let’s face it, many who buy dive watches don’t actually dive, so if you want something a little different, lightweight and with a trusted movement, the Minus 8 Diver might be worth the look.