Readers of MONOCHROME will be familiar with the name Ming Thein, a renowned commercial photographer and the founder of the Malaysian watch brand Ming. Just three years after the brand’s debut with the Ming 17.01, Ming and his team have generated a family of watches with a distinctive and highly contemporary design ethos. The brand’s philosophy of top quality design combined with outsourced movements and attractive prices seems to have worked; Ming swept up the Horological Revelation prize at the GPGH 2019 with the 17.06 and was a finalist in the Diver’s category of the GPHG 2020 with the 18.01. The latest watch to join Ming’s line-up is the simple time-only 19.05. It is the last model in the 19 Series and will be a limited edition of 15 watches. The 19.05 is housed in a 39mm titanium case, equipped with a sophisticated automatic movement entrusted to Schwarz Etienne and displays a minimalist dial treated with creative touches of Super-LumiNova.
Goodbye to the 19 Series
To round off 2020, Ming says goodbye to the 19 series. Not the most descriptive of product names, the 19 series was represented by the 19.01 (time-only) and 19.02 (world timer), both made in collaboration with prestigious Swiss watch and movement maker Schwarz Etienne.
The grade 5 titanium case of the 19.05 is hallmark Ming with its double-stepped bezel and slightly Oriental flourishes on the flared pagoda lugs. It has a diameter of 39mm and a thickness of 10.9mm, slim enough to almost pass as a dress watch. Decorated with mirror-polished and brushed surfaces, there is a box sapphire crystal over the dial and caseback. Ming describes the case construction as a “thin titanium band holding the two deep-box sapphire crystals together”.
The opaque dial is also made from solid sapphire crystal and has an inky black undercoat. Unlike the former 19.01, the dial is not translucent and does not reveal the movement. The minimalist design favoured by Ming is present on the 19.05. There are no indices to indicate the hours, just skeletonised hour and minute hands and an interrupted chapter ring picked out in white.
The 19.05 might be the last model of the 19 series, but it is the first to feature luminous material applied directly to the dial. In addition to the luminous peripheral ring inside the bezel and the tips of the hands, the segments of the chapter ring are laser-cut into the surface of the sapphire crystal dial and filled with ceramic Super-LumiNova X1 for enhanced brightness and definition.
Sophisticated Schwarz Etienne movement
A top-quality Schwarz Etienne automatic movement powers the Ming 19.05. Fitted with a bidirectional micro-rotor made of sintered tungsten, the ASE 200.1 movement features refined skeletonised bridges with matte-blasted 5N rose gold coating and hand-polished anglage. The openworked cover of the barrel, a signature Ming touch, allows you to determine the state of wind. When fully wound, the movement can store up to 72 hours of power reserve.
The 19.05 goes one step further in the bracelet department, and the watch is presented with the brand’s Universal Bracelet in matching grade 5 titanium along with a handmade leather strap by Jean Rousseau Paris. The Universal Bracelet is a unique Ming development that “fits like a strap”. The beauty of the bracelet is that it has a curved end-piece with integrated quick release spring bars with the same clearance dimensions as the brand’s curved straps. This means that the bracelet is compatible with every Ming model produced to date. Made in grade 5 titanium with mixed brushed-polished finishes to match the case, the bracelet allows for fine adjustments in increments of 2.5mm, and the clasp is reversible.
The MING 19.05 is limited to 15 watches at CHF 9,950 with deliveries expected at the beginning of May 2021. It is available to order immediately from Ming watch.