Being an independent watch brand is no easy feat. Taking on the Swiss juggernauts in a time when the market is saturated with different watches and having the odds stacked against you is something most would run away from. I mean, it is clear- just look at the number of independent brands over the years that have come and gone, who just couldn’t make it and either sold out to a bigger brand or just vanish completely.
That being said, if there was a shining light, a name that has defied the odds, through truly original thinking and an unwavering desire for quality, it would have to be MING.
Established in 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Ming Thein founded his eponymous brand with the intention to create a watch that satiated his obsessive desire for perfection while maintaining a price point that was fair and accessible. Being associated with the watch industry for many years through both his passion and his profession as a commercial photographer, he managed to build up a vast knowledge of watchmaking and design, culminating with the launch of his very own watch brand.
The 19.01 is the second model to come out after the 17.01, it was developed and built without consideration for the cost. The Ming 19.01 is the result of the team at Ming asking what their ultimate daily wearer watch would be. Packing all of the associated factors together into one perfect Ming timepiece, the 19.01 is a distinctive, robust, and practical timepiece that comes with all of the Ming design choices we have come to expect from the beloved independent brand.
Starting with the construction, we have a 39mm grade 5 titanium case that has been milled to receive the very special movement that can be found within. This method eliminates the need for spacer rings and allows the caseback to be received directly into the case. Both sapphire crystals, have been given a double anti-reflective coating and possess a shouldered profile, giving them the name “box” crystal.
The dial of the 19.01 is stunning in its looks and something that is truly original. While glass and dial have traditionally been separate, the 19.01 combines the two with layers of sapphire. Deep-blue and purple in its color, the top sapphire is fumè in its style. Opaque at the center and increasingly translucent as the eye radiates towards the periphery, the 19.01 begins to subtly hint at its incredible movement found within before you even manage to examine the caseback.
Contained within the 19.01 is a Ming-exclusive version of the Schwarz-Etienne MSE100, now called the MSE100.1. Featuring two skeletonized mainspring barrels, which deliver 100 hours of power reserve, a two-tone anthracite bead-blasted finish, and skeletonized bridges, the MSE100.1 is a special movement for a very special watch. Featuring gorgeously executed anglage throughout, the MSE100.1 is the perfect movement to combine its own mechanical excellence and beauty with the visual complexity of the 19.01’s construction.
No doubt a flagship watch, the 19.01 symbolizes their own investment in themselves as both designers and watchmakers in what is an extremely exciting timepiece. With its mechanical excellence and visually striking design, the 19.01 will make for a wonderful addition to any collection.