Divers are among the most popular types of watches. Perhaps it is because even without visiting the gym, they make you look good. Of course, not all dive watches are created equal, but the majority of them is a good looking bunch and among them is the Minus-8 Titanium Diver, now available on Indiegogo.
The name of the brand refers to the time zone in which they live and develop their watches: -8 GMT, making it the west coast of the United States. One of the things that I truly appreciate about this diver is that they are very straightforward in their communication. There is very little fuzz, and the watch is served straight up. It is powered by a Seiko NE15 automatic movement, and even says on the dial that it is equipped with a Japanese movement. Many brands don’t do this, while this movement is nothing at all to be ashamed for, more the opposite. Another example of this can be found on the side of the watch, where a little plaque indicates that the watch is water resistant up to 300 meters or 984 feet. It is common and accepted practice in the watch world to mention that a watch is water resistant up to 300 meters/1.000 feet, although this is not correct most brands do it because it looks better. But kudos to Minus-8 to not do this!
Minus-8 takes this even a little further, although you will probably never see this. In nearly all watches the movement is smaller than the case. To ensure that the movement is still stable in the case, manufacturers use a spacer to fill up the empty space between the movement and the case. Most brands never show you, but especially the affordable ones use plastic spacers. They get the job done, but they are of course made of….plastic. Although you don’t see it, you don’t want it. Minus-8 actually uses a metal spacer, giving the watch a quality you will appreciate about a decade and a half from now (when plastic spacers tend to get brittle).
In terms of design, the Titanium Diver is quite industrial and straight forward. It suits the watch, especially since it is a diver. Practical on purpose, and looking good while doing so. The dial is the real eye catcher. With large hour markers, bold hands and a relatively modest bezel, the watch has a character of its own. The bezel is actually sloped and features a cute arrow design in green or red (depending on the color of the case) telling you which way the bezel turns. I am unsure how easily the bezel can be read underwater, but given the fact that 99.99% of these watches will spend their time as a desk diver, that is not really a problem. The watch is also fitted with a helium escape valve for those who tend to use it for some serious diving though!
The Titanium Diver comes on a bracelet, which is very nice, but I personally never like bracelets that don’t connect to the case of the watch. This is a personal preference, and for people like me Minus-8 also offers great looking rubber straps that even come with matching titanium buckles! Currently, you can still get the Minus-8 Titanium Diver in matt black for US$588,- and in a matt titanium for US$548,-, both on the bracelet. Given the quality of the watch, I think that the price is in the sweet spot, especially since titanium is still a rare material to be used, for established brands, and especially for microbrands.
More information on the Minus-8 Titanium Diver can be found on Indiegogo