Established six years ago by a group of six enthusiasts led by Ming Thein, Ming Watch company has consistently delivered distinctive timepieces in limited production drops. Since its creation, it has grown from a small horological project to now being one of the most prolofic indie watchmakers on the scene. This year, aligning with Dubai Watch Week and marking its inaugural participation in a significant industry event, the brand introduces a duo of special watches – distinct yet unified by the unmistakable Ming aesthetic – with obvious references to this area of the world. Meet the Ming 29.01 Dubai Edition and 37.08 Sand.
Ming 29.01 Dubai Edition
In the early months of 2023, marking four years since the debut of its 19.02 Worldtimer, Ming unveiled the 29.01 Worldtimer, featuring the collaborative Schwarz-Etienne for Ming calibre ASE 222. This release marked the introduction of Ming’s new 29 series, evolving from its predecessor, the 19 series. Despite its limited edition status – limited to 100 pieces – the Ming 29.01 Worldtimer quickly sold out among its enthusiastic, online-assembled fanbase. However, the watch did not escape scrutiny, with critiques focusing on the weird mix of continents, countries, and cities for time zone indications, the absence of a daylight saving time (DST) marker, and the customary comments on its pricing.
For the Dubai Watch Week and the Arabic-speaking clientele, Ming responds with a special edition Worldtimer, introducing significant changes while retaining Ming’s distinct style. The 40mm grade 5 titanium case, featuring the familiar “flying blade” lugs, merged seamlessly with the top crystal without a conventional bezel. This design philosophy extends to the sapphire dial (with HyCeram ceramic Super-LumiNova fill) with cities and indices in Arabic script, along with the sapphire hands, which appear suspended in the air over the 24-hour disc, also filled with Super-LumiNova. Ming incorporated a third ring to differentiate cities accommodating daylight savings time with an offset marker indicating time in these zones when DST is in effect.
As the earlier edition, the Dubai version of the 29.01 Worltimer is powered by the Schwarz-Etienne for Ming calibre ASE 222, with bi-directional automatic winding via a micro-rotor crafted from tungsten. The movement’s bridges are coated with rose gold to distinguish this special Dubai edition. Another notable feature is the debut of Elastogator straps, featuring an upper portion made of 100% rubber-based material and a lining from Alcantara – a conscious choice to emulate the look and feel of alligator straps while remaining animal-free. Limited to 25 pieces, the Ming 29.01 Dubai Edition is priced at CHF 22,000. Orders open at www.ming.watch from 1 PM GMT on November 16, 2023, requiring a 50% deposit for order confirmation and the remaining balance upon delivery, anticipated to commence in Q3-2024.
Quick facts: 38mm x 10.9mm titanium case – sapphires front and back – Sapphire dial with HyCeram ceramic Super-LumiNova – 50m water-resistant – Schwarz-Etienne for MING Cal. ASE 222, automatic micro-rotor, 70h power reserve – hours and minutes, world time function with DST display – Black Elastogator strap, stainless steel tuck buckle with micro-adjustment – limited edition of 25 – CHF 22,000
Ming 37.08 Sand
The new Ming 37.08 Sand promises to become the first in a series of accessible – with price and available quantities in mind – watches from the brand, distinguished by deep-relief textured dials. The 37.08 Sand is a sleek 38mm diameter, 10.9mm thickness, and 44.5mm lug-to-lug stainless steel case with a narrow bezel, adorned with polished and brushed finishes. The case features a domed sapphire crystal on both sides, coated with double-sided anti-reflective coating, and is water-resistant up to 100m.
For the dial, Ming quotes inspiration from “seabed ripples in the shallow, calm water just before the tide line and golden sun on windblown powder, flying over the desert,” and mentions studying photographs of dunes, waves and wave propagation theory. With the information absorbed and images CAD-adjusted to the dial’s dimensions, a relief tool was created to stamp brass dial plates. Once stamped, the brass gets coarse-blasted, galvanized and treated with a coloured lacquer to achieve the desired sandy hue. In a clever design, Ming accommodated the three-dimensional dial’s thickness while retaining the familiar case proportions of the 37-series. This involved forgoing the sapphire layer and incorporating laser-hollowed markings on the top crystal, filled with the customary HyCeram. The aesthetic is perfected with Super-LumiNova X1 coated hands in a captivating light gold shade, completing the look of yet another unmistakably Ming timepiece.
In the spirit of accessibility, Ming opted for a budget-friendly movement to power the watch. The honour fell upon the manually-wound Sellita SW210.M1, adorned with special decoration, including anthracite skeletonized bridges with contrast rhodium circular brushing. The Ming 37.08 Sand is offered with a colour-neutral mid-grey calf strap from Jean Rousseau, and the watch is priced at CHF 3,950. Limited to a series of 500 watches, it is exclusively available at www.ming.watch. Orders open at 1 PM GMT on November 16, 2023, requiring a 50% deposit at the time of order, with the balance due upon delivery, expected to commence in January 2024.
Quick facts: 40mm x 11.9mm titanium case – sapphires front and back – deep relief textured and CVD-coated brass dial with wave motif – 100m water-resistant – hand-wound Sellita for Ming SW210.M1, anthracite skeletonized bridges with contrast rhodium circular brushing, 40h power reserve – hours and minutes – leather strap by Jean Rousseau Paris, tuck buckle with micro-adjustment – limited edition of 500 – CHF 3,950