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Designed by ASTRO Studios, the San Francisco-based design firm behind the Nike Fuelband and the Xbox 360, MINUS-8 was established in 2010 as a design concept for watches. Fueled by public interest from the original illustrations, designer Dana Krieger and ASTRO studios collaborated with like-minded partners before they settled on the bold and machine-like look of the current collection.

We sat down with Dana to talk about the inspiration behind MINUS-8 and his vision for the collection.


What was your inspiration behind MINUS-8?

The MINUS-8 brand is a reference to the GMT -8 time zone we live in. The Pacific Coast is a unique cultural incubator for developing ideas that will shape the future, and it inspired us to create the watch collection.

Why did you want to design a watch?

In an increasingly virtual world certain objects remain a part of our physical persona. Watches are such objects, and to use this platform to express the unique MINUS-8 point of view represents the ultimate design challenge. How could we resist?

minus 8 watches design

How did you start the process of designing a watch?

I believe all designers have experienced a persistent image - a silhouette or form or something as simple as a pattern that reoccurs consistently in sketches and notebooks. These images that come and go become something of a visual mantra and ultimately take on a life of their own. Rarely the concepts evolve from abstract to more concrete forms. The initial collection of MINUS-8 products is the result of my personal collection of reoccurring images. 

What inspired the color ways in the current collection?

Our goal with the current range of colors was to use the flexibility of the faces to give people different ways to express their own personality. We have developed four distinct colorways and applied them in unique ways to each watch style.

  • Gray - Ultra minimal, it pairs with everything so the quality of the materials and balance of form can stand out.
  • Black - This family builds on the sophistication of black with combinations of full matte to high polish finish.
  • Black-Gold - There is just something about a gold watch, but the MINUS-8 approach doesn't put much stock in tradition. Our take on this classic color builds on our layered geometry to create a super-rich gradient.
  • Black-Red - A matte black finish applied to the case is a perfect backdrop for the red accents. 

How did you conceptualize the stacked layers of stainless steel?

Time is a fundamentally layered concept. We take a nebulous entity "time" and break it into segments of hours, minutes, seconds, and sub-seconds so that we can understand it. This segmentation is a natural match to the layered architecture we have developed. We have created a distinct piece of geometry for each division of time and this layered geometry provides an incredibly rich canvas for color and material exploration - a blending of form and function that is central to the MINUS-8 philosophy.


How many designs did you go through before the final product?

The collection we have today are similar to the original sketches that sparked this project, over time the details have evolved and matured but the concept has remained the same. 

How do you think watches will change with the introduction of wearable technology?

For men, watches are a way of expressing a personal style and point of view. As style in general, watch design will evolve but maintain a part of an individual’s persona, one doesn’t exclude the other.

MINUS-8 is committed to creating watches for men with contemporary style. Our first collection was inspired by raw crafted machines, our second will evolve with the design landscape. 

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