I Want To Believe...
Three years young, three consecutive GPHG nominations and it’s safe to say Ming have made quite the impact since releasing the 17.01. I am a relative latecomer to the brand and boy do I regret it. As for me there is no better company out there, releasing watch after watch I’d gladly hand over my hard-earned cash for.
The 17.06 is the watch most WIS ( Watch Idiot Savant) would relate to Ming and no wonder, the copper dial won the GPHG back in 2019 and the slate dial, released the same year was the one I wanted to get hands on with. Purchasing a Ming is a race against time, with their latest releases (27.01 and 18.01h41) selling out within minutes, and with production runs limited to a few hundred per release you wont be seeing many in the wild. My Ming is second hand which is a rare occurrence, so you have to act swiftly to pick one up. My advice is to grab one when the chance arises, you won’t regret it.
The 17.06 comes in at 38mm with a 43.9mm lug to lug measurement and a thickness of 10mm. I have been trending towards smaller watches, and on my average sized 18cm wrist these dimensions wear like a dream. Flared lugs are a staple of the Ming design and the aesthetic gives the illusion of sloping effortlessly toward the wrist, a delightful design. Brushed flanks and a high polished bezel offer a lovely contrast on the 316L stainless steel case and the brushed crown provides a sturdy knurled grip for a smooth winding action. There is a definite heft to the case, which at this price point can be lacking on other watches. I was recently in a local jewellers and they were stunned at the quality of polishing and heft. The heft is certainly something I am impressed with; it feels really solid in hand and not cheap.
The star of the show and utterly breath-taking, the dial has so much going on. The outer sapphire ring is almost liquid like and shifts from light and dark in differing light. Other times the dial takes on a uniform colour and I am repeatedly impressed every time I look down to see its nuances. A generous blasting of Super-LumiNova C1 is infused within the sapphire ring and hands, which all give off a terrific glow, especially in low light. Speaking of the hands, they are beautifully crafted, and the centre pinion reminds me of another of my favourite brands, FP Journe. High praise indeed. It is only a little detail, but one that can easily get left wanting at this price range. Ming have put so much care and attention into this watch, I am hard pressed to find anything negative to say. Photos just don’t do it justice, and simply put you must see one in the flesh to appreciate the artistry for yourself.
Ticking away inside is the ETA 2824-2 Top Grade movement which has been modified for Ming and offers a very respectable 38 hour power reserve. My watch hasn’t missed a beat and I fully expect the ETA to stand me in good stead for many a year. We have already seen the Ming team completely overhaul the 7001 movement in their 27.01 offering, which is an exciting indication for future releases. Though, I am glad the 17.06 has a solid case back which is classily done and another tick in the box.
The Jean Rousseau strap is super comfy and the black with blue stitching is an excellent complement to the dial and case finishing. Quick release spring bars mean dressing up and down the Ming is effortless and I can’t wait to chuck on a funky green suede or honey ostrich to mix things up, although a nice clean strap may be the wise choice to let the dial do the talking.
I adore this watch; it hasn’t left my wrist since I received it and has quickly climbed to one of my favourite watches. All the design elements fuse together to produce a visually stunning, fascinating and comfortable daily piece.
Ming has seen a meteoric rise in three years and I’m continually reading the hyperbole that follows them. Watch collecting is so emotive and I can see why their designs can be so divisive, but this is why we love this hobby. Watches are subjective and with a plethora of talented micro brands coming through, it is exciting to know a broad range of us can get involved with this crazy hobby.
For me, Ming are producing the most refreshing designs out there and from what I’ve seen we can only expect great things from these geniuses from Malaysia. My 18.01h41 should be coming late November and I’m eager to see how Ming’s design translates to a dedicated diver. Not to mention the holy trinity of past, present and future going up for auction in November. Kudos to Team Ming!
Every time I strap on the Ming I’m taken back to my favourite TV show, The X Files. Check out @waitlisted on Instagram for some very cool UFO’esque photos of some stunning Ming’s.
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