Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Dark Beauty of the Minase Horizon GEN DLC

Darkness settles on the Horizon with its new black DLC case.

| By Rebecca Doulton | 2 min read |

Minase, a Japanese microbrand specialising in complex watch cases with superlative handmade finishings, is gaining traction in Western markets. Based in Akita, Minase was born in 2005 as a spin-off of Kyowa, a specialist manufacturer of watchmaking tools. With a strict focus on the external parts of the watch, Minase relies on Swiss movements. The Horizon collection gets its name from the curved sapphire crystal arching up and over the dial and caseback, revealing the singular case-in-case architecture – a signature element of the brand. The latest Horizon GEN DLC model dons a dark, mysterious black suit crafted in matte and glossy black DLC-coated steel. 

The Horizon GEN (represented by the kanji character “玄”, meaning depth, darkness, mystery or black) abides by the collection’s singular and highly complex case architecture. Using a case-in-case construction and playing with different shapes, the movement is placed inside a round container that appears to float inside the rectangular case. The movement’s plate is used as a dial and fitted with an index ring that sinks its claws into the domed surface of the ‘dial’. As a tribute to Minase’s origins, the index at noon bears the brand’s drill head logo.

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Bristling with angles and indentations, the black DLC-coated steel case measures 38mm x 51mm with a thickness of 12mm. Viewed from the top, the imposing architecture is composed of four wide lugs that extend over the case to hug the bracelet, replicating the shape of the widest index at 6 o’clock. The black rubber strap, which flows seamlessly from the case, features a recessed central area decorated with ribbing and has a black DLC-coated deployant buckle. In contrast to the brushed finish of the lugs, the case flanks, the crown, and its prominent guards are mirror-polished by hand using the Sallaz (aka zaratsu) technique.

In harmony with the sleek black case, the steel dial is coated with black PVD and the indices are Zaratsu-polished to a bright sparkle. The fan-shaped date window at 3 o’clock has a black background, and the minute and central seconds are curved to follow the domed surface of the dial plate. Adding more interest to the case, the sides are hollowed with an oval shape inspired by the lines of a Japanese sword. Viewed from the side, you can appreciate the sweeping curve of the anti-reflective sapphire crystal as it rises over the dial and dips into the horizon.

As will all Minase watches, the movement you can see on the caseback is a top-grade Swiss ETA 2892A2 customised for the brand with hand-finished perlage, diamond-bevelled bridges and mainplate in black gold, as well as a bespoke Minase rotor. Beating at 4Hz, the power reserve is 50 hours.

The Minase Horizon Gen Black DLC is a limited edition of 25 pieces and retails for CHF 4,700 (incl. tax and shipping costs). For more information, please consult

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