Minus-8 Layer Automatic
- 45mm stainless steelcase
- 52mm lug to lug
- 14.3mm thick
- Seiko NH35 Automatic Movement
- Sapphire Crystal
- 10 ATM Water Resistant
- Vegetable Tanned Leather Strap
Price $498.00 USD
Big and Bold, and yet Minimalistic. That is how I describe the Minus-8 Layer Automatic. I have to admit, I was hesitant at first when I pulled the watch from its box upon receiving for review. I guess my initial hesitation is that the style is not exactly me. And it still isn’t, but as a reviewer, I need to look beyond my tastes and be objective for what the watch is. And after I did that, I realized the Minus-8 Layer is a well designed watch with some unique attributes and a sporty look.
The biggest standout feature of the Minus-8 Layer automatic would be the stacked pvd coated case. The stainless steel case is made up of layers of steel, bonded together and PVD coated, in this instance, of copper, black and silver. Of the variations of this mode, I feel this best shows off the stacked case, or layers as Minus-8 deems it.
The push pull crown is PVD coated as well, and though I believe it is meant to match the color of the case and dial hands, it has more of a bronze hue. This could be on purpose to give contrast though I feel it would be more cohesive if they matched.
As I stated, I feel Minus-8 layer is well designed. And that is true in my opinion. But design does not always equate to quality. Now, I am not saying the quality in this case is deplorable or cheap, but there is one “glaring” issue I found; no AR coating on the sapphire crystal. What does that create? Glare. And lots of it. Whether in real life use or in photography, the non AR coating is an issue to me. Does this make me give the watch an immediate F? No, but it does deduct points.
The dial is easy to read with the copper tipped hour and minute hands against a black dial, and the large Arabic numerals. The blue chapter ring not only allows for a pop of color but gives a clear distinction between the minutes/seconds and hours. Very cleverly you will find the date window located 8 o’clock. The dial and hands have no lume applied to them, which is easily seen in the photos, but at least they did not apply minimal or weak lume as many companies due. And let’s be honest, even as a lume junkie myself, I think lume is useful to most of us maybe twice a day, if that. The only other part of the dial I can pick on is the use of 3 lines of text. It is just a little much, and I go by the less is more philosophy.
The movement is the Seiko NH35 that can be seen through the exhibition case back. While no heavy decoration was done to the movement, the rotor is branded with the Minus-8 logo. An argument or debate I should say can go on probably forever about exhibition case backs, but I still stand firm that unless the movement is unique, special or highly decorated a good engraved or stamped solid case back is fine with me.
On the wrist, the Minus-8 Layer is very comfortable due to a relatively short lug to lug length, crown placement, and the very soft brown leather strap. As I spoke about in the video, while the strap itself is of high quality with a black PVD buckle, it is on the thin side and that worries me as far as longevity. If the strap was thicker or had a dual deployant clasp as opposed to a regular buckle I would have no issues at all. The other thing I will mention is the fact that this is the only strap you will ever put on this watch, outside of having a custom strap maker make one for you, due to the proprietary lug/strap system. So if you are someone that loves to switch out straps often, this might not be the watch for you.
This was my first time checking out a watch from Minus-8 and overall I like what they are doing. Their designs are fresh in my opinion and this model is actually at the top end of their spectrum when it comes to pricing, as they have many lower priced models that are quartz. So they definitely have the affordability factor going for them, and the materials used are good quality, so they are not just a run of the mill fashion watch in my opinion. As I stated, yes I found a few issues or flaws, the biggest really the non AR coated crystal, but it is still an attractive watch and I don’t find it to be outlandishly overpriced for what it is.
7 1/2 inch wrist for reference
If you like this model, or want to check out others from Minus-8, you can do so at their website HERE.
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