Just over two years after Ming watches debuted, the design-forward independent is launching what’s being touted as the follow-up to its debut 17.01 watch, aptly named the Ming 27.01. With a new more elaborate case and dial, as well as movement, the 27.01 does appear to be a substantial step forward for the brand. It’s also a sign that founder Ming Thein is feeling quite bullish about the brand he’s successfully built and grown since the 27.01, which debuts its “second-generation design language,” is priced about four times as much as the 17.01.
Dimensions: 38mm-wide, 6.9mm-thick
Water Resistance: 50M
Case Material: steel
Crystal/Lens: sapphire, double anti-reflective coating
Movement: Ming 7001.M1 (modified ETA 7001)
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Strap/Bracelet: burgundy calfskin leather
Price & Availability: 3,950 CHF
The redesigned sandwich-style dial pares back things quite a bit from the 17.01 — the hour numerals are gone, the hands are skeletonized, and there is a more minimal, layered look. The new 0 marker and the cut hour track with alternating markers frame a dial that is more concerned with symmetry than its predecessor, as well. There’s only one dial color option at this point, which is a multitone gray with a brushed dial in a circular pattern.
The new case has some changes, as well. First off, it’s much slimmer at just 6.9mm-thick, which is down quite a bit from the 9.3mm-thick case of the 17.01. The “flying-blade lugs” are new, though they are reminiscent of the flared lugs that we saw on the first Ming watch. I believe the lugs on the 19.01 were done in a similar yet more refined style than the 17.01, and we are seeing this carried over to the 27.01.
Finally, Ming heavily modified the ETA Peseux 7001 movement to the point where they claim only the gear train and escapement were retained. Once again working with Manufacture Schwarz-Etienne, Ming remade the plates and bridges in a way that echoes the 19.01. This is a substantial upgrade from the 17.01, which had an enclosed case back and standard Sellita movement. The Ming 7001.M1 movement is finished with black chrome plating on the plates and bridges.
Personally, I’m a big advocate of Ming watches. The brand has an independent spirit and a team that is clearly highly talented at design and watchmaking. Yes, they have moved up several tiers in terms of pricing, and, as with all watches, I can’t give a final verdict without seeing the final product in person. They’ve got the benefit of the doubt from me, though, and I like what I see so far. The Ming 27.01 will be limited to 120 pieces and priced at 3,950 CHF. You can order and learn more at ming.watch.