Only Watch postponed, and a week of ultra-light watches Only Watch postponed, and a week of ultra-light watches

Only Watch postponed, and a week of ultra-light watches

Zach Blass

Earlier this week, after much conversation on horological social media, Only Watch announced that their biennial charity auction, which would have been held next month, has been postponed. The full press release from Only Watch on the postponement can be found here, but a key snippet of the announcement was: “A few days before the auction, questions were raised about the allocation of funds and the governance of the AMM, an association of patients’ families. Answers were provided regarding the funding strategies chosen, the structures and projects supported, and the association’s accounts and budget. However, the time for certification, changes in governance and the imminent auction do not coincide. We cannot bring ourselves to cast doubt on the sincerity of the commitment of all the parties involved in this project, nor can we allow this wonderful story to be rewritten.” It is fair to say the postponement is a result of the cry for greater transparency by the watch community on social media, and that they do not want to hold the auction until all doubts can be quelled. We will look into this further and keep you updated as the story develops.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Dark Grey 6 2

On the watch release front, it would seem by coincidence the theme of the week was ultra-light watchmaking. First, Omega unveiled a new Seamaster Planet Ocean Dark Grey that debuted a new ceramic alloy – silicon nitride ceramic, or Si3N4 to its friends. Conventional ceramic is already super lightweight and highly scratch-resistant, but the new silicon nitride ceramic from Omega has been pledged to cut the weight in half. The Planet Ocean Dark Grey also notably debuted a new variant of their in-house 8906 movement, with the bridges and mainplate crafted in black ceramised titanium. The titanium calibre and lighter ceramic case together helped keep the weight of the watch down, with a total weight of 107 grams. An interesting innovation for sure, but the pricing of US$22,200 created sticker shock amongst the watch community – especially considering previous ceramic Planet Ocean watches, albeit without a titanium movement, cost nearly 50% less.

Ming LW 01 body

The following day, cult-followed micro-independent watch brand Ming announced their latest special project watch: the Ming LW.01. Cautiously billed as “probably the world’s lightest mechanical watches”, the release is offered in two configurations, mechanical and automatic, with the total production between the pair set at 200 watches. Rather than anticipating whether or not buyers would prefer a pure chase for the ultimate ultra-light watch or a chase for the ultimate ultra-light watch with a concession for a bit more practicality, Ming elected to offer buyers a hand-wound version that is a mere 8.8 grams in weight, or an automatic version that gains an extra two grams. Effectively speaking, both configurations are just 1/10th of the weight of the Planet Ocean Dark Grey, and to better understand just how light this is, Ming describes the weight as equivalent to two sheets of A4 stock paper.

Ming LW 01 scale 2
A Ming LW.01 prototype placed on a scale

That being said, the Planet Ocean is a larger and more complicated watch that is 600 metres water-resistant. The Ming LW.01 is 38mm in diameter and 6.5mm thick, with a depth rating of only 25 metres. After an exhausting few years of development, Ming arrived at a PEO-treated AZ31 magnesium alloy for the case and dial, crown in anodised aluminium, and screws in PEEK composite. This lightweight material was simply one step among many challenges, others included coming up with a feasible reductive design that removed as many components as possible. For example, the small ETA.2000 movement within was modified by Schwarz Etienne to remove as many components and surfaces as possible to minimize added weight. There is a lot more to dig into with this watch, so I will forward you to Ming’s website for more information – especially to see the dial animation in action. Interestingly, this likely record-breaking watch is priced a hair lower than the debuting Omega (CHF 19,500).

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Watch meme of the week: Pull out game


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The crown is one of the more sensitive components of a watch, so pull or screw with care. Can’t say this has been a real problem for me with watches, but I remember the first time I tried to set my pocket watch thinking the crown was stuck. It wasn’t. Like an idiot, I pulled on the crown a few times not realizing it was a pin-set pocket watch where you push down on a pin on the case with your nail. Fortunately, no damage was incurred 😂.

Wrist shot of the week: One word…


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Time+Tide Shop pick of the week: Bausele Endless Sunrise – Alcyone Blue

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Christophe Hoppé, founder of Australian watch brand Bausele, grew up with Jacques Cousteau’s tales of the sea and a love for our planet. This rich Egyptian blue is the drop of water he always wanted on his wrist. A classic diver watch named after a diving hero, with sand from Manly Beach inside the crown – you can carry that summer mood anywhere with Bausele’s most classic dive watch series.

Order now in the Time+Tide ShopPrice: A$1,800

Our favourite Time+Tide coverage of the week

INTERVIEW: Australian Indigenous artist Otis Hope Carey on his collaboration with Longines

Longines x Otis x T+T orange

As a small, isolated country far from the traditional centres of luxury, Australia often doesn’t receive much attention from luxury brands. That’s why it’s so cool that Longines’ latest collaboration is with an Australian artist – and more importantly, an Indigenous Australian artist, Otis Hope Carey. Our Australian Editor Jamie Weiss chatted with Otis Hope Carey about the collaboration, you can find the full story here.

VIDEO: The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date is vying for the stealth-wealth crown

The Patrimony has long served as Vacheron’s look back to the quirky designs of the 1950s, such as the Disco Volante ref. 4986 that inspired it, with this newest combination being one of many retrograde models the brand released for Watches & Wonders 2023. Borna and Marcus take a closer look at the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date here.

5 of the best two-tone watches

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The contrasting colours of a two-tone watch can sometimes be a point of debate, and over the years have often shifted in and out of fashion. Right now, however, we’re seeing a resurgence, with two-tone watches making a clear comeback. Tom has five of the best two-tone watches for you right here.