On August 5, 2014, San Francisco-based ASTRO Studios, known for designing the Nike Fuelband, Xbox 360, and Nixon Block Speakers, launched a new brand of men’s watches that are inspired by “the creative work ethic, ambition and lifestyle of America’s West Coast, MINUS-8 is named after the GMT- 8 time zone.” In a time of smartphones, smartwatches, activity trackers, and everything being connected to everything else as part of the Internet of Things, it is a bold move to launch a line of watches that are essentially just timepieces. It looks like bold, however, is what MINUS-8 does.
This decidedly masculine collection of four PVD-coated stainless steel watches are strikingly designed and make a bold and distinctive statement when worn. They don’t blink or beep or let you know that your Ficus benjamina needs watering. Instead, they display the time of day, first and foremost, and perhaps the date, and they do so in the most straightforward manner, with good old-fashioned three-hand timing viewed through a sapphire crystal face. Nice.
Here’s what’s on offer:
The Layer 24 features a 24-hour clock, weekday, date, month, and standard three-hand timing. Layers create an arena of PVD-coated stainless steel discs, which add depth to the face while streamlining the exterior and highlighting the automatic movement on the backside.
The Layer possesses the bare essentials of the Layer look. It features an arena-like case is made of layered PVD-coated stainless steel discs that create depth in the case, three-hand timing, and a date window. The watch’s movement is visible beneath and through the backside case.
The Edge houses a stopwatch that breaks time into minutes, seconds, and tenths of a second. Five-second intervals are marked on the case exterior allowing for a clean, classic watch face. The entire body is PVD-coated stainless steel, featuring a monochromatic finish that further connects each individual link of the bracelet.
The Zone has a bold, two-tone case that plays with the expected geometry of a watch face. With simple architecture and smooth textures, this minimalist watch has everything it needs and nothing more.