Just six years ago, renowned watch photographer Ming Thein introduced his own watch brand MING. With plenty of experience in and around the watch community, the design ethos MING brought to the table was fresh and honest. It started with the MING 17.01, a relatively affordable watch with a grade 5 titanium case that has evolved dramatically into a wide range of models, instantly recognisable as a MING. It’s not easy to pull off, but Ming’s attention to detail in photography also paid dividends in his watchmaking endeavour. It wouldn’t be long before MING would venture into a higher echelon of watchmaking, with models like the 19.01 and 19.02 Worldtimer relying on high-end movements from Schwarz-Etienne. The latter serves as the stepping stone for a completely new series of watches, as MING presents the all-new 29.01 Worldtimer.
Even though the design is said to be entirely new, the unmistakable identity of MING watches is still very present. It has been refreshed and refined, resulting in another striking-looking watch. The grade 5 titanium case measures 40mm in diameter and 11.9mm in height. That sounds like a big step up in size, but in reality, MING watches wear a little smaller due to the very short lugs. However, the increase in size is there, enhanced even more by the lack of a bezel. The lugs flow from the sides of the case and are hollowed out for an open and airy feel. The domed sapphire crystal stretches out to the very edge of the case and reveals as much of the dial as possible.
That dial is yet another expression of MING’s signature design flair and a seamless work of art. The rotating black and blue base dial is actually a solid construction and is mounted on a peripheral ball-bearing track. The dial has a lot of depth thanks to markers and scales printed on different levels. To achieve the illusion that some of the details seem to be floating in the air, MING has incorporated a full sapphire disc, a clever trick MING uses from time to time. The hands are also crafted from sapphire crystal, with a clear outline and luminous centre, or vice versa, to indicate the hours and minutes.
Ticking away diligently inside the case is a second-generation automatic micro-rotor movement by Schwarz-Etienne. Visually and in terms of construction, it’s quite different from the previous generation. It’s driven by an 18k gold micro-rotor and more openworked this time. The barrel has been fully skeletonised, and a number of the bridges have been cut back to the absolute minimum. It’s been DLC coated for a darkened look, with contrasting anglage for a bit of sparkle. The power reserve is a very comfortable 70 hours, which is an asset when you’re travelling internationally.
The new MING 29.01 Worldtimer is fitted with a dark blue Alcantara strap and an additional strap of your choice. The stainless steel buckle tucks the long end of the strap underneath the other, eliminating the need for traditional keepers. You also get a handmade leather travel pouch with the watch. It is priced at CHF 19,500 with a 50% deposit upon ordering. Deliveries are expected to commence in March of 2024, and it is a limited run of 100 watches only. As with all MING watch releases, availability and accessibility can be an issue, so take that into account if you’re looking to obtain one!
For more information, please visit Ming.watch.