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These are certainly very cool. A brand I knew little about until this thread.

Very nice.
 

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This is high on my "want" list. Almost bought one in the 11/11 sale last year, but held off due to 3+ watches already on order then.

So a question to @sleepyhead123 @kritameth @Orsoni - while the bracelet looks awesome, if that is discounted, how does just the dial compare to GS? The Sallaz polishing is what shines in the bracelet pics as I see.
I am not a big bracelet fan actually, so wondering if that $1100+ premium for bracelet makes a real difference.
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Thanks for posting the pictures! I鈥檝e been tempted by a Divido for some time and this is all very helpful.

Does anyone here have any experience of the rubber strap?
I've been very curious myself in how these compare with GS. You said they beat them at their own game, but I'm curious if there is a bit of lovestruck honeymoon in that statement. I look forward to your review! Congrats!
I did two relatively long (for me) posts about my two Minases, but those were first takes (see below). I've now owned the Divido for 2.5 years and the 5 Windows for 3+ months so here's a more in depth explanation.


I've never owned a GS. I've had many a chance to try out a GS. I wanted a SBGA011 (the original Snowflake) back in the day but was disappointed when I saw it in person. An aside, I think GS is the only Japanese brand that photographs better than it is in person; most Japanese brands photograph horridly and are gorgeous in person. Anyways, it's hard to compare teh Divido to any other brand given all the different finishes on it. As you can see, there's a lot of alternating polish and brushing. The case is actually a lot more complex and Transformers (in a good way) than one would think. All the alternating treatment is because they are different parts. The Japanese Minase page is MUCH more fleshed out and below and can talk about all the complexity in the watches than I can. There's more info in one part of the watch (the bracelet, the case, etc) than a lot of brands have on their ENTIRE site. The case is something to behold.


The dial, over time, I find much more interesting than the SBGA011 or many GS dials. It's hard to describe, but the best way I can think of is a quasi sunburst dial. It's underselling it, as the hammered copper gives a completely different look than, say, a H Moser. But that's the closest thing I can think of. It really needs to be seen. Once you see it, you'll get it. Even the good pictures don't give a good idea. There's a character to the dial that changes a lot as you rotate it through light. The closest thing I can think of that you can see is check out a Mazda in Soul Red Crystal (the newest Mazdas have it) in sunlight and walk around it and watch the changing hues and reflections as the angle of the sun changes. It's really something you cannot capture in picture or video.

I own a Credor, and you can't really compare as it's a lacquer dial, but I would say the Minase is more interesting to look at.

Yes, the bracelet is well worth it. Again, check the Japanese Minase site for more detail. It is much more complex than it first appears. It is gorgeous. Each link is hand cut, hand polished or brushed. The assembly is like those wood puzzles. This gives it a luster and appearance and feel different than any other bracelet I've seen and tried. It also wraps the wrist better than any bracelet I've tried. It does attract scratches, but even after 2+ years, it still looks gorgeous and that polished steel still looks amazing despite the scratches. I've never seen scratched polished steel look this good. I also hesitated on the steel bracelet due to the premium, but when you see it, you get it. And it is a lot less Transformers in person than you would think. And there's something about their polishing. You really don't see all the scratches till you get close. It's amazing how pristine it looks when you're just glancing at the watch.

I would also consider a 5 Windows. Mine is different than all others so I can't speak to a "basic" 5 Windows, but I love it too. It's worth considering. It is a big watch, but not as big as you would think. See the side by side earlier in the thread with my Divido.

Don't forget that while this is a microbrand, it's not like the others. The parent company has made parts and entire watches for brands before. They don't say who, but I suspect some customers are smaller brands and likely microbrands. So they know what they are doing. Think if Sellita decided to make their own watch brand.
 

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Nice! You are developing quite a wonderful collection these days.

I'd love to be able to see one of these in person. As you know from the GS forum I'm a bit of a GS "fanboy" so choosing one of these over a GS would be a tough call but I may do so down the road. And it may be blasphemy to some around here but I think I'd choose a Minase over a Kurono - and I don't have to jump through hoops or go overpay on the secondary market to do so.
 

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Nice! You are developing quite a wonderful collection these days.

I'd love to be able to see one of these in person. As you know from the GS forum I'm a bit of a GS "fanboy" so choosing one of these over a GS would be a tough call but I may do so down the road. And it may be blasphemy to some around here but I think I'd choose a Minase over a Kurono - and I don't have to jump through hoops or go overpay on the secondary market to do so.
Personally I'd go full in on Asaoka before I go Kurono. I don't know, they don't really feel as Asaoka as they claim to be. Though they don't have the budget either.

As I'm not a GS fan, I'm not the best person to ask about picking one over a Minase. That said, I am a Credor fan. Minase's styling and design language is very different from either of the Seiko siblings. I wouldn't think of picking a Minase over a GS. I would think of it more like getting a sports watch and a dress watch. They compliment each other in a collection; they don't really go against each other.

Like all Japanese brands regardless of size, every other jewelry store of any size in any midsize or large city in Japan carries them. Outside Japan . . . I think they only have a presence in Switzerland outside Nippon.
 
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I鈥檝e been pining for a Minase divide for a year now but I just wish I could see one in person before making the decision to buy
 

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I鈥檝e been pining for a Minase divide for a year now but I just wish I could see one in person before making the decision to buy
Go for it. The rule of thumb is any Japanese brand not named Grand Seiko by default turns on the ugly filter to at least 50% on all their pictures. So if you're interested despite that, that means its really good. My Citizen AR5014-04E, Credor GCLP993, and Minases were all the same. Significantly nicer in person than in pictures.
 
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Pretty brave to order something without trying it on - commendable for sure. That being said these look great
 

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Nice! You are developing quite a wonderful collection these days.

I'd love to be able to see one of these in person. As you know from the GS forum I'm a bit of a GS "fanboy" so choosing one of these over a GS would be a tough call but I may do so down the road. And it may be blasphemy to some around here but I think I'd choose a Minase over a Kurono - and I don't have to jump through hoops or go overpay on the secondary market to do so.
Thank you John! I'm with you on all counts. I don't see Minase as a GS substitute/replacement/killer, but rather, as GS' quirky cousin. If I've never had a GS I would have a tough time justifying this. I think having experience with a GS, ownership or not, makes it that much easier to appreciate a Minase.

Like all Japanese brands regardless of size, every other jewelry store of any size in any midsize or large city in Japan carries them. Outside Japan . . . I think they only have a presence in Switzerland outside Nippon.
I didn't know this! All the times I've been to Japan I've only visited one or two big name stores. Now I'm more excited than ever to visit when things return to normal.

Go for it. The rule of thumb is any Japanese brand not named Grand Seiko by default turns on the ugly filter to at least 50% on all their pictures. So if you're interested despite that, that means its really good. My Citizen AR5014-04E, Credor GCLP993, and Minases were all the same. Significantly nicer in person than in pictures.
+1. Minase needs to hire a photographer, any photographer at this point, and do these watches justice they deserve.

I鈥檝e been pining for a Minase divide for a year now but I just wish I could see one in person before making the decision to buy
Pretty brave to order something without trying it on - commendable for sure. That being said these look great
I find a bottle of scotch helps with that! ;)
 

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I didn't know this! All the times I've been to Japan I've only visited one or two big name stores. Now I'm more excited than ever to visit when things return to normal.
Look at all the stores in Japan that carry them. And then look at all the stores in outside that do. 馃槶


+1. Minase needs to hire a photographer, any photographer at this point, and do these watches justice they deserve.
I don't think they're going to be able to. Look at this webpage to see what their actual building is to get an idea of how small they really are despite their bigger main company. That blue building is their watch manufacturer. And if you google map and street view around, look at how rural and small it is. It's really a microbrand. I asked them if I could visit when I go to Japan in 2022, but it sounded like they had nothing there to see. It's hours away from an airport.

If I ever go there to visit though, GS's Shizukuishi studio is not too far away.

 

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Absolutely love that colour. Thank god they don't sell hand wound watches because that would be very difficult to resist.

From your photos it seems that the Minase shares the same trait as my anordain of being a pain in the arse to photograph due to how reflective it is. Lovely to look at in real life, but difficult to convey online.
 

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Absolutely love that colour. Thank god they don't sell hand wound watches because that would be very difficult to resist.

From your photos it seems that the Minase shares the same trait as my anordain of being a pain in the arse to photograph due to how reflective it is. Lovely to look at in real life, but difficult to convey online.
A hand wound Minase would be terrible, for my wallet. :LOL: And that's spot on. In many pictures, like that last one, it just ends up looking like a flat glossy dial.
 

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This is high on my "want" list. Almost bought one in the 11/11 sale last year, but held off due to 3+ watches already on order then.

So a question to @sleepyhead123 @kritameth @Orsoni - while the bracelet looks awesome, if that is discounted, how does just the dial compare to GS? The Sallaz polishing is what shines in the bracelet pics as I see.
I am not a big bracelet fan actually, so wondering if that $1100+ premium for bracelet makes a real difference.
View attachment 15724555 View attachment 15724557
do you remember what the sale was? I scoured my email inbox but I can't find anything about it. I remember it almost pushed me over the line but I held off.
 

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do you remember what the sale was? I scoured my email inbox but I can't find anything about it. I remember it almost pushed me over the line but I held off.
11.11% on 11/11.
 

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do you remember what the sale was? I scoured my email inbox but I can't find anything about it. I remember it almost pushed me over the line but I held off.
11/11. 11.11%. Though no gurantee it'll be this year as well. It's singles day in China, thus the sale. Not Veterans/Armistice day.
 
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Minase Divido definitely looked interesting to me and was something I briefly considered could be the premium Japanese watch of my collection.
The 2824 movement inside was the main thing that turned me off. For something comparable to the price of a Tudor Black Bay with in house movement, you'd really need to buy this watch out of a deep personal love and interest to make it work and I think it doesn't hurt if it's your 4th or 5th good watch and you can spare the money. There's also this suspicion I have that while it's a great package of metal crafting and assembly, the design is not ageless.

It also a shame, I think, that there is no premium Japanese movement that could be put into this watch, to complete the whole thing as a Japanese project, so to speak. Something comparable to a Seiko 9S movement would be worthy for a watch with such a strong exterior. The 2824 shortchanged this watch to me.

So anyway, then the news came down the pipeline that later on this year Minase is stepping up their game and releasing a new KT7002 movement, that is custom made by Minase out of ETA 2892 ebauches. Looks great:

15727035


So Minase is back on my consideration list and when the world opens back up and I can return to Japan, I'm sure I'll look at a Minase Divido if by that time they have the new KY7002 movement. However, my watch budget is limited and I'm really trying to make a trio of strong watches - Minase is still very much an outsider to more established Swiss brands.

1) If Minase significantly raises the price of their new KT7002 watches, that puts them out of consideration for me.
2) I suspect that in the end as I don't have much purchase room to move, I'll get the safer choice, which would be something like an Omega with a co-axial movement or something with massive brand cache, like Cartier.

It's nice to dream, though.
Japan needs a lot more companies like Minase, who are worthy alternatives to Grand Seiko and who aren't pretentious independent watchmakers who are making custom watches at nosebleed-prices or some nonsensical limited editions that case Miyotas (looking at Kurono).
 

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It also a shame, I think, that there is no premium Japanese movement that could be put into this watch, to complete the whole thing as a Japanese project, so to speak. Something comparable to a Seiko 9S movement would be worthy for a watch with such a strong exterior. The 2824 shortchanged this watch to me.
My suspicion is they make cases and watches for Swiss and other Western brands and therefore already have easy access to ETA movements and Swiss suppliers. Otherwise you would think with the ETA shortage they would've jumped ship already. Also while some Japanese brands play very nice with fellow Japanese brands, others are notoriously territorial. So that may play into it as well.

But yeah, I would've liked a Japanese movement too.
 
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