Established in 2017, Ming Thein founded his own eponymous watch brand with the intention of creating a timepiece that was offered at a fair price point, original in its design, and catered to his exacting nature. Funded by six founders, Ming has grown beyond what was originally thought possible and today quickly sells out every watch they drop. A shining example for other independent brands to follow, Ming has become one of the hottest brands on the market.
Following on from their original release, Ming asked what would happen if they evolved the 17.01 and brought it three years forward to 2020. The answer to that question is the 27.01 that I have here. A spiritual successor of the 17.01, the 27.01 features the next generation of Ming’s design language and exists as a still-accessible daily wearer, created by watch enthusiasts, for watch enthusiasts.
A natural continuation of Ming’s design language, the 27.01 features elements such as radial dial symmetry, enhanced legibility, an ‘O’ marker at 12 o’clock, Ming’s now-iconic flared lugs, a range of surface finishes, and visual layering to make the 27.01’s dimensions seem deeper than they are. On top of the additional layering and material transitions, the case now incorporates flying blade lugs, a feature new to design language 2.
At just 6.9mm thick, the 27.01 is the thinnest Ming to date, while still retaining wrist presence at 38mm in diameter. Continuing their partnership with Jean Rousseau Paris for their straps, the 27.01 is mounted to a blue rubber strap that contrasts the 27.01’s anthracite dial nicely.
Powered by a heavily, heavily reworked ETA Peseux 7001, Ming and Schwarz Etienne remade all of the plates and bridges, had it black chromed, and only kept the gear train and escapement. It is certainly a fine movement to look at and a great example of how to get originality despite the movement not being ‘in-house’.
An impressive continuation of the 17 series, the 27.01 provides plenty of insight into how Ming will progress in the future and what they see as important design choices, while also remaining faithful to what came before it.