Ming is the latest player in the hectic world of horological start-ups. But before we get down to the nitty gritty of the Ming 17.01, it’s worth giving you a quick rundown on the backstory behind Ming Watches. Hailing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Ming was formed as a collective horological endeavour by a group of six watch enthusiasts and collectors, with the head of the pack being Ming Thein, a photographer, designer and collector with a penchant for anything and everything to do with watches.
Now I know what you must be thinking: ‘Hold on, wait a minute. A watch collector creating his own timepiece? That’s quite the leap (and investment).’ But it makes perfect sense. Who better to make a watch than someone who is super into watches and the industry around them? This love means you’ll end up with a watch that reflects that passion. Exciting to think about, and riveting to talk about. So, let’s take a look at their initial release, the Ming 17.01
First and foremost, this is a very deliberate and carefully constructed watch. What it lacks in big name pedigree is amply offset by the modern, avant-garde look. The 38mm titanium case looks exceptional thanks to the outwardly sloped bezel, flared lugs and riveted crown, which combine polished and brushed finishing. The distinctive dial is available in either blue or anthracite variations, with either option looking — from the images at least — absolutely superb. There are a number of sophisticated design touches here — like the SuperLuminova coated raised chapter ring and the guilloché-like finish on the dial centre. The hands look a touch Journe-esque (and fantastic, at that), and while the lack of sweeping seconds hand means minimal visual movement, it also ensures a clean and unobstructed look at an exceedingly well-executed face. Ming has opted to use the tried-and-tested Sellita SW210-1, a manually wound calibre, ensuring just under two days’ worth of accurate timekeeping when fully wound.
The 17.01 is an innovative piece that shows a progressive “outsider’s” perspective. There are still elements of traditional watchmaking evident throughout the piece, with nods to some of the leading independent designers like Stepan Sarpaneva, F. P. Journe and Kari Voutilainen — but at its core, the 17.01’s design is quite radical. It would have been easy for a design as bold as this to go astray, but Ming watches has pulled it off wonderfully. Now, the wait for this highly sought watch to make its way down to Australia begins…
Ming 17.01 pricing and availability
Ming 17.01, titanium with three calfskin straps and travel pouch, $900 USD