It makes no secret that, in a couple of years, MING has become one of the young brands to follow. Created by famed photographer Ming Thein and built around a clean, yet distinctive design, the project has become a brand with multiple watches, from simple time-only models to a world timer powered by a Schwarz-Etienne calibre or an ultra-thin watch with a nice textured dial. Following the evolution of the design operated with the 27.01 watch, the brand now brings this update to its entry-level model, with the new MING 17.09. And the brand also announces having worked on its ordering system… An issue we already addressed in the past.
The new MING 17.09 is an evolution of the brand’s first watch, a relatively accessible and simple time-only watch that mostly focussed on design and set the tone for the collections to come. The 17.XX series is clean, focused yet already had all the signature elements that make MING timepieces easily recognizable, but in a fairly-priced package.
This year, with this MING 17.09, the brand brings design elements that were introduced on 18.01 and 27.01, known as the second generation of watches. As such, MING features a laser-etched, lume-filled sapphire to its entry-level watch for the first time. In this context, the indexes and markers have now moved to the underside of the top crystal and glow with a new intensity. In the same vein, their shape has evolved compared to the earliest iteration, with an even cleaner design.
The dial of the MING 17.09 is now a two-piece construction with a fine Clous-de-Paris pattern in the centre and a circular brushed outer portion, resulting in a dynamic 3D-effect with the hands and markers floating above the dial. This feeling is even reinforced in the nighttime when all the elements, covered in Super-LumiNova, glow in light blue. The dial is available either in dark blue or burgundy red.
The case of the MING 17.09 retains the classic look of the brand, with a compact 38mm diameter and reasonable 10mm height. It is made of stainless steel with a brushed centre case, topped by a polished bezel. The lugs have been slightly redesigned, with a continuous twist that extends the brushing continuously from the case flanks through to the underside of the lugs, while they retain the signature twisted profile. The caseback is still solid stainless steel and WR is rated at 100m.
As for the mechanics, no manufacture movement here – due to the accessible price positioning. However, no off-the-shelf calibre either. If the base for the MING 17.09 is well-known, being a Sellita SW-300, the brand asked Schwarz-Etienne to develop an independent hour hand adjustment mechanism, allowing to change time zone by one hour increment – despite the watch being time-only. The intermediate crown position now advances the hour hand independently to the rest of the gear train, which continues to run. The third position of the crown classically adjusts the two hands together, while the movement is stopped with a hacking system.
The MING 17.09 is delivered in a heather travel pouch, and worn on straps by Jean Rousseau Paris – textured calf in taupe for the burgundy watch, black Alcantara for the blue dial version. Both are closed by a steel pin buckle.
Price & New ordering system
The new MING 17.09 watch will be priced at CHF 1,950. Orders will open on 15 April 2021, at 1 PM GMT and watches are available exclusively from www.ming.watch.
Something important to note, MING has been criticized for its ordering system, due to restricted availability of previous watches for new enthusiasts. Something that we’ve discussed here. The brand claims “we have devised a solution to this. The first batch of watches will be made available to existing customers and deliveries will begin in July 2021, some of these will also be made available to the public. We will then offer another batch for a fixed period of time, on a deposit basis, with a longer delivery date. To keep our production logistics manageable, the ordering window will be limited to 10 minutes, but we guarantee that all orders placed during this period will receive a watch.“