Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The 17.03 GMT

From Ming -

Courtesy of Ming

There are very few start-ups over the past few years that have had the sand to put out something fairly different.  Fewer still that have been able to follow-up that first salvo with further models that, like the first, continue to impress and sell well.  But then again, not every watch project/start-up is Ming.

For those of you unaware, Ming is the creation of a group of watch enthusiasts who had an idea for a better mouse trap.  In their own words -

MING is a horological collective formed and funded entirely by a group of six watch enthusiasts from around the world under the leadership of Ming Thein, a photographer, designer, business strategist and above all, a lover of watches. Together, the MING team draws from over 80 years of total experience collecting fine timepieces – ranging from vintage to avant-garde; from quality affordables to six-figure commissioned independent pieces.

When we started collecting, iconic pieces were more accessible and a genuine sense of value and joy accompanied each acquisition. Our goal with MING is to bring back this sense of excitement and discovery through a series of pieces that show considered deliberation and refinement in every detail, but remain within reach of a wider audience. We will be the first to admit that we don't manufacture in-house, but rather use the most appropriate suppliers for the design intent and price point. The majority of our suppliers also work with major Swiss brands; assembly, regulation and testing is performed in Switzerland, with final quality control done personally in Malaysia.

MING is our way of sharing our experience with enthusiasts who want to discover watchmaking substance beyond brand, for budding aficionados and seasoned collectors alike. 

So in essence, "This is our thing, we think it's cool, we hope you do too!"  I also appreciate the transparency - they use assemblers.  A little inside baseball for you - they use assemblers just like several very large brands in the big groups do.  The difference?  Ming is not trying to play "alternative facts" with you through a multimillion dollar "bullshit bingo" advertising campaign with "instafamous" twerps running around New York City mugging like buffoons.  They simply design a great watch.
Courtesy of Ming
The new 17.03 GMT is as advertised - it is a 2 time zone watch.  And this is achieved by an interior GMT ring with a smaller, independent indicator.  This is a nice touch, because all too often a GMT function is realized with the addition of fourth hand plopped in with the hour, minute and second hands.  This is a cleaner and clearer approach.

The bracelet is another nice touch -

Courtesy of Ming
 Solid and tactile, without being bulky.  A nice, elegant solution.

Courtesy of Ming
And the packaging and extras are a very nice touch - two additional leather straps are included.

And the price is perhaps one of the best for a watch of this quality, aggressively affordable - CHF 1,650!

Here are the pertinents -

  • Functions: hours, minutes, and additional 24h timezone on inner ring
  • Case, dial & hands:
    • 38mm diameter, 9.8mm thickness, grade 2 titanium case with solid caseback, all brushed
    • Sapphire crystal with double antireflective coating
    • Rigid case without spacer rings
    • 100m water resistance with triple crown gaskets and nitrogen filling
    • Composite, multi-layer, three-part sapphire dial 
    • Textured burgundy dial
    • Hands coated with Super-LumiNova C1
    • Dial ring printed with Super-LumiNova C1
  • Bracelet
    • Grade 2 titanium, 5 link bracelet
    • 20mm lug width with quick release mechanism for easy fitting
    • Will fit 140-232mm (5.5”-9.1”) wrist circumference
    • Concealed double deployant clasp in stainless steel
    • Links held by screws
  • Straps
    • 1x dark chocolate nubuck with white stitching
    • 1x anthracite nubuck with white stitching
    • 20x18mm, quick release with curved fitting
    • Will fit 160-210mm (6.1”-8.3”) wrist circumference
    • Signed pin buckle in brushed grade 2 titanium
  • Movement:
    • Automatic mechanical movement Sellita SW330-1 top grade
    • 42-hour power reserve
    • 28,800 bph (4Hz)
    • 25 jewels
    • Hacking function
    • Movement adjusted to five positions with a 250-hour test program
  • 1-year warranty against defects
  • Made in Switzerland
  • Delivery package includes titanium bracelet, two nubuck straps with buckles fitted (dark chocolate/ anthracite), a travel pouch by Thirtyfour Bespoke of Kuala Lumpur, and a screwdriver for bracelet adjustment


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