Over the last several years, young boutique brand Ming has built a formidable reputation for punching well above its horological weight, earning the 2019 GPHG Horological Revelation prize along with a fiercely dedicated fanbase. The marque’s 19 series has been a centerpiece for its recent catalog, appearing in a wide array of different guises, but as 2020 draws to a close Ming has announced it will retire the line. To give this venerable series a proper sendoff, Ming has combined elements from the 19.01, 19.02, and 19.03 into the final 19 series variant. The limited edition Ming 19.05 blends the brand’s signature aesthetic with a handful of new techniques and a focus on quality finishing to send the series out on a high note.
The 39mm grade 5 titanium case of the Ming 19.05 follows the signature Ming form with an emphasis on slimness. Measuring in at only 10.9mm thick including box sapphire crystals on both sides, the thin central case features a brushed surface that contrasts against the brightly polished bezel to further break up the visual profile. The distinctive flared lugs are a visual hallmark for Ming, offering a broad surface for more polishing to catch the light.
Where the case of the Ming 19.05 aims to refine existing brand themes, the dial reinterprets them in dramatic new ways. One of the most striking visual hallmarks of previous 19 series models was the lack of dial markings, with indices etched on the underside of the crystal for a unique floating appearance. The 19.05 opts for a more traditional solution for its dial, etching into the main dial surface and filling the spaces with Super-LumiNova. That said, there’s a new iteration on this theme of floating and visual depth, with the main dial surface made of sapphire and coated in black on the underside. The indices themselves are futuristic and minimal, dividing the dial into two-hour segments rather than marking each hour individually. Coupled with the lack of a seconds hand, this may potentially lead to a loss of precision when reading the time, however. The handset is Ming’s traditional rounded dauphine design, skeletonized here with lumed tips. Lume is another major focus of the 19.05, with the etched indices and hands augmented by a wide lumed gasket between the crystal and the case that looks in initial images to glow dynamically in low light.
The Ming 19.05 is powered by the Schwarz-Etienne Cal. ASE 200.1 micro rotor automatic movement. Made exclusively for Ming, the Cal. ASE 200.1 contrasts the futuristic dial with a far more ornate, traditional look. With intricate skeleton bridges, a skeletonized mainspring barrel cover, a bead blasted 5N rose gold finish, and a guilloché tungsten micro rotor, the Cal. ASE 200.1 aims for maximum visibility with clean hand finishing including hand polished anglage along the bridges. Adjusted in five positions, the Cal. ASE 200.1 also offers a hefty 72 hour power reserve, although Ming keeps the details on this movement’s beat rate close to the chest.
Ming completes the 19.05 with a pair of strap options. The first is a simple curved-end calf leather strap in a slightly muted cobalt blue with white contrast stitching. Offering a pop of color to the otherwise monochromatic design, the rather unorthodox use of blue looks, in initial images, to set the 19.05 apart on display without looking too outlandish. Also included is a curved-end five-link jubilee-style bracelet in titanium, featuring a concealed butterfly clasp.
As a final farewell to the 19 series, the Ming 19.05 brings new and striking interpretations of Ming’s signature visual cues alongside a handsome new movement. Only 15 examples of the limited edition Ming 19.05 will be made. Preorders are available now, with shipping expected to begin in early May 2021. MSRP for the Ming 19.05 stands at 9,950 CHF. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.