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 Slate from 2019 when the model was released. With “clean and restrained modern forms” as Ming puts it, the entire watch is built around the visual experience created by its dial. With numerous dial textures, layers, and rather intelligent use of Super LumiNova, the 17.06 Slate is aesthetic mastery. The 17.06’s slate-colored dial creates a gorgeous visual juxtaposition between the polished 316L stainless steel case and satin-finished crown. As the several textures and finishes play off one another, the 17.06 comes into its own as the watch that was conceived to make use of light in ways we rarely see in horology. As supposed to the brighter and more famous ‘Copper’, the Slate is cooler in its tones and more low-key.
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 period, 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.
200 pieces of the Ming 17.06 Slate was produced.