Introducing: Fratello × Minase M-3 “Nori” Exclusive Edition — A Versatile Watch With The Tastiest Green Dial You’ve Ever Seen!
“Welcome to Fratello × Minase. Have you been here before, or is this your first time with us?” Last year, we brought you the Fratello × Minase M-3 “Very Peri,” a very purple exclusive edition. This year, we changed the recipe and created a new watch. Not only did we change the color of the hand-painted dial, but we also took a different approach to finding the perfect strap. Please enjoy the Fratello × Minase M-3 “Nori” Exclusive Edition, an incredibly versatile watch with the tastiest green dial you’ve ever seen.
This marks our third project with Japanese watchmaker Minase. Our first was a Divido in 2021, and the second was, of course, the Fratello × Minase M-3 “Very Peri” Exclusive Edition, a timepiece with a beautiful purple dial and fantastic Sallaz polishing. Until we released the second watch back in 2022, the M-3 was a model previously unknown outside of Japan. We exclusively introduced it to the wider world, and with our third collaboration, we give you another chance to get your hands on a type of watch that is usually a JDM model. Why did we choose the M-3 again? Just look at that case. The tonneau design has shapes that allude to the 1970s but are not overly retro. Also, the case features Minase’s signature Sallaz polishing, making it extremely crisp, clean, and very comfortable to wear.
Dial and pricing of the Fratello × Minase M-3 “Nori” Exclusive Edition
Purple was the color of 2022, and green is the color of this year. But not just any kind of green. A closer look at the gorgeous hand-painted green dial reveals a subtle, brushed pattern. It’s a dial you might have seen before in the exuberant Divido. Now that mysterious and rich green shade shines in the introverted and timeless M-3 case. You will probably also have noticed the bright (but not too bright) flash of orange on the tip of the seconds hand. This is a very Dutch color indeed and also a bit of a signature for Fratello collaborations.
Before explaining to you how we found the “Nori” nickname, let’s just cut to the chase and reveal the price. The watch will be available for a price of €2,470 before taxes. For those here in the Netherlands, that’s €2,989 with 21% Dutch VAT, and for EU residents of other countries, local VAT will be adjusted to your locale at the point of checkout. Furthermore, if you live outside of the EU, VAT will be entirely removed. By keeping a relatively wallet-friendly price, we are opening up the world of exclusive Japanese watchmaking to a broader audience. Please keep in mind that Minase produces less than 500 timepieces a year, and the brand also takes its craft very seriously. The company philosophy is to create distinctive Japanese-made watches that pay tribute to the culture and traditions of Japan.
A great example of this philosophy is the strategy that Minase took when it began in 2005. The company hired local people from Akita Prefecture and trained them following the principle of monozukuri, an earnest approach to manufacturing with the goal of perfection. As a result, the ambitious Minase workforce soon became experts in their craft.
Fratello × Minase M-3 “Nori” Exclusive Edition — The search for the right nickname
So, we had seen the green dial of our Fratello × Minase M-3 before in another creation from the Japanese watch manufacturer, but just calling it “Green” would’ve been too easy. That’s why we set out on a quest for the perfect name. It led us to the Japan Museum SieboldHuis in Leiden. The museum is named after German physician, botanist, and traveler Philipp Franz von Siebold (1796–1866). The location is the historic Dutch townhouse that Siebold lived in and also used to display his collection of Japanese objects and artifacts to the public. Today, Siebold’s former residence is the first official Japan center in the Netherlands. Kris Schiermeier, the director of the museum, guided us through it to tell us more about the color green and its meaning in Japanese culture. We also searched for objects in the same shade of green as the dial.
Eureka! / ユーレカ！
We did learn a lot, but it was after the museum visit that we found the name of the watch. Learning makes anyone hungry, and because we felt inspired after the museum visit, we went to a restaurant called Dozo in The Hague. Sushi seemed appropriate, but what kind? Well, temaki, for instance. Temaki literally means “hand roll,” and it’s cone-shaped sushi wrapped with nori seaweed.
We ordered all different kinds of sushi, but it was the temaki with salmon and avocado that delivered the eureka moment. With the watch on the wrist and the roll in hand, it became very obvious that this Minase M-3 should be named after the very tasty toasted seaweed that holds the mixture of rice, salmon, and avocado together — nori. Sometimes you find inspiration by looking at a mountain lake at 3:47 on a crisp morning in May, and sometimes you find it in your hand moments before you take a bite.
Back to the “Nori” on the wrist
The Fratello × Minase M-3 “Nori” Exclusive Edition comes in a steel case with a 39mm diameter, a 10.5mm thickness, and a 46mm lug-to-lug length. We’ll say that those measurements are moderately modern. They provide a size that feels comfortable on almost any wrist and that also makes it very versatile. Even with a green dial, the M-3 can look both formal and informal.
The case is water resistant to 100 meters and holds an automatic Sellita SW200 movement. You can’t see it because it’s hidden behind a closed and engraved case back, but Minase modified the movement. The brand’s watchmakers removed the date, thus eliminating the “ghost date” position for the crown.
Decorating the nori-green dial are hour markers designed to match the hands. The shape is inspired by the polished wedges used on the Divido, but they are done a little differently. There’s also a custom handset — again inspired by the Divido but slightly toned down — to complement the hour markers and the polished case angles. Protecting the hands, indexes, and dial is an antireflective sapphire crystal.
The Fratello × Minase M-3 “Nori” comes on a green — some would call it “olive” — Fratello Signature strap. The strap tapers from 20 to 16mm in width, and at the end, you will find an elegant pin buckle with an engraved Minase logo. The nubuck strap is soft and supple — they don’t call nubuck “baby suede” for nothing — and features off-white contrast stitching.
The Fratello × Minase M-3 “Nori” will be served soon!
This watch is not a limited edition but an exclusive one. Sales at the Fratello Shop will open at 4:00 PM CEST on Wednesday, September 27th, 2023, and they will remain open for one week until 4:00 PM CEST on Wednesday, October 4th. That will give you plenty of time to consider it and make a decision. Once you’ve made up your mind, just go to the Fratello Shop and place your order.
Once the order window has closed, Minase will start producing the Fratello × Minase M-3 “Nori”. As you would expect, there’s a limit to how quickly Minase can produce these exclusive watches. We expect the first batch will be delivered within three to four months.
If you’d like to learn more about Minase, please check out the brand’s official website. To read about Minase on Fratello, you can find the brand page here. And if you are interested, please sign up for our mailing list for reminders.