Consistency is a key factor in any fledgling watchmaking brand and Ming Thein’s watchmaking project, a.k.a MING Watches, has stuck its course of coherent design producing a style that is recognisable and judging by its sales, widely admired. To celebrate the brand’s fifth anniversary in 2022, Ming unveiled a sophisticated monopusher chronograph in titanium with a minimalist, eccentric design and a special movement reworked by La Joux Perret to Ming’s specifications. Today, the Ming 37.04 is back in a luxurious rose gold case in a limited edition of 20 pieces with a more emphatic guilloché pattern on the rose gold dial.
Although Ming doesn’t get any prizes for creativity when it comes to naming collections, the 37.04 Monopusher Chronograph is a real jewel in the brand’s crown. It is, in fact, not part of the regular collection and belongs to the Special Projects Cave, an elite section of limited editions where models like the LW.01 Automatic (vying for the record of the world’s lightest watch), the 19.02 Worldtimer, the 18.01 Abyss Concept, etc., are congregated.
The Ming 37.04 shares its case specifications with other watches in the 37-series and has a contained 38mm diameter coupled with a thickness of 11.9mm. The obvious difference here is the incorporation of the chronograph pusher into the crown and the use of 18k rose gold, bringing a much warmer and luxurious spirit to the watch compared to the earlier titanium edition. Ming’s case is unmistakable with its wonderful flared and twisted lugs and thin bezel affording an ample view of the dial.
The contemporary design language of the dial is emphatically Ming; the periphery of the sapphire dial has a printed minutes track, tachymetre and pulsometer scales and the hour indices are printed on the underside of the domed sapphire crystal.
Below the sapphire crystal is an 18k rose gold dial decorated with guilloché crafted by dial specialist Comblemine (Kari Voutilainen’s dial-making company). Compared to the titanium version, the guilloché is deeper and has a more reduced radius emanating from the recessed and sandblasted 30-minute sub-dial. Super-LumiNova is applied to the central hour and minute hands, the hour markers and the two tracks.
The movement under the sapphire crystal on the caseback is the LJP 5000.M1 reworked by La Joux Perret to Ming’s specifications with skeletonised bridges and plates finished with a sandblasted rose gold coating. The monopusher chronograph has a lateral clutch and the movement delivers a 38-hour power reserve at full wind; final assembly has been entrusted to Manufacture Schwarz-Etienne. You might recognise this movement, being a modern evolution, made in-house by LPJ, of a calibre once done by THA and Journe, housed for instance in the case of the Cartier CPCP Tortue Monopoussoir.
Like other Ming watches, Jean Rousseau, Paris has crafted the strap with a rose gold buckle, and the travel pouch is handmade in Kuala Lumpur. The Ming 37.04 RG is a limited edition of 20 pieces and retails for CHF 48,000 (excl. tax). It can be ordered on Ming’s website and delivery is scheduled for Q2 2024. For more information, please consult ming.watch.