Bursting onto the scene in 2017, Ming has become one of the hottest watch brands in the world. Founded and fully funded by a group of 6 enthusiasts, Ming has built their business model on limited production ‘drops’ whereby it has quickly become the case that their watches sell out almost instantly. With such incredible and unique designs, and a story that all watch enthusiasts can get behind, it is no surprise that Ming finds themselves in the position they do.
Here I have a Ming 17.06 Monolith from 2019 when the model was released. With “clean and restrained modern forms” as Ming puts it, the 17.06 Monolith acts in a stark juxtaposition to its 17.06 Copper sibling. Where the latter used textures and colors to bring out light in the dial, the aptly named Monolith is housed in an anthracite DLC bead-blasted case and a smooth matching black dial. All that is left in the darkness is the Luminova ring and markers, floating and glowing, resulting in a watch that moves the attention to MING’s heavy emphasis on lume.
Beyond its beautiful design, the 17.06 is technically impressive too. Waterproof to 100m, the Ming is a rather capable dress watch. Powered by the quintessential workhorse movement, the ETA 2824-2, Ming has modified the movement to have two crown positions and regulated it in five positions. As such, the 17.06 is more than adequately equipped to keep time than a lot of other watches that use the very same movement. It is interesting to note that even as an independent watchmaker, Ming still takes the utmost care in ensuring what they produce is of incredible value and can stand up to brands that are priced far beyond what Ming prices their watches at.
Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that the 17.06 Copper, which was released at the same time as the Monolith, managed to win the Horological Revelation Prize at the GPHG in 2019, a watch industry award that is akin to the Grammys. They are both 17.06s with different colorways and dials but it was an amazing feat that truly solidified the entire MING brand as a true success and one that is here to last.
The Ming 17.06 Monolith was made in small numbers, with only 125 pieces produced.