Ming Watches comes with a new surprise – a diver watch. After the launch of the Ming 17.0x Collection, the brand gained notoriety for its original and well-made pieces. The next evolution step comes with the Ming 19.01, that brings (physical) transparency and a new approach. The 19.01 piece uses the Schwarz-Etienne for MING Cal. MSE100.1 – an increase in price, but also an increase in seriosity and commitment. Now the brand evolved from a Sellita powered startup to a serious collector’s choice. The next step brought the Ming 19.02 Worldtimer. The brand starts to bring more complications. The elegant 19.02 is built not only on the success of the GPHG-finalist 19.01 but also on, now, specific (original) style and signature. Ming watches became recognisable and desirable pieces between various collectors. Today, the brand, formed by a group of watch lovers and collectors, released the latest timepiece – the MING 18.01 Abyss Concept. A diving watch bearing all the good things and characteristics of its predecessors: signature style, decent price, plus a water resistance of 1,250m / 4,100ft / 125 ATM. Please enjoy below the official press release. I will try my best to bring you a review asap. Images and text: Ming Watches.
MING 18.01 Abyss Concept
Over a year ago, we acquired a pressure testing machine. Its limit – 1,250m. We then set ourselves the challenge of designing a functional dive watch that didn’t draw on existing design expectations and that the certified divers on our team could deploy. The result…
The MING 18.01 Abyss Concept
The Abyss Concept is a very small batch of experimental watches produced specifically for this design study. We initially made three dial variants, with the team falling for one that was an evolution of our design language (symmetry, geometry, arcs) but also, admittedly, a tangential offshoot of our planned future direction. However, with prototype cases on hand and a design we were too in love with to abandon, the Abyss Concept was born.
There are only ten watches in total, with bookmatched cases for maximum water resistance. We do not know the maximum depth resistance of the case as all have exceeded the 1,250m (4,100ft, 125 ATM) limit of the testing machine without leakage or helium issues.
With a case that is 40mm in diameter but under 14mm thick, the Abyss Concept has the visual presence and physical heft expected of a dive watch while maintaining a high degree of wearability. The short lugs have holes for both curved and straight straps to maximise versatility. Finally, we added a crown locking indicator to warn the wearer if the crown is not securely screwed down.
The Abyss Concept is equipped with a unique polished rotating bezel as tests showed this to be the optimal surface finish for gripping fine objects with wet hands (and avoiding marring the design). The bezel uses a ceramic inlay filled with Super-LumiNova X1, and a marker design that prioritizes accuracy to the minute for the first fifteen minutes and five minute divisions for the remaining quarters. It rotates unidirectionally with 60 clicks and tension is carefully calibrated to allow easy and deliberate operation underwater.
The dial is a unique blend of the 19-series and 17-series, with a composite sapphire construction and large amounts of Super-LumiNova X1 for low light visibility. With a solid caseback, aesthetic considerations for the movement were secondary and we chose the ETA 2824-2 for robustness and long-term serviceability. The movement has been modified to remove the second crown position and has been regulated in five positions through our 250h test program by La Division du Temps (a sister company of Manufacture Schwarz Etienne).
The Abyss Concept will remain a unique part of the MING story for several reasons – it is the first experimental prototype series we have offered to the public; it is our first watch in steel and with running seconds; it is an experiment in translating our design language to frequently requested larger sizes; and it remains undecided if we will ever have a series production dive watch.
Each of the ten MING 18.01 Abyss Concept watches will be accompanied by a matching stainless-steel bracelet with double deployant clasp, five carefully curated Jean Rousseau straps plus a handmade leather travel roll by Studio Koji Sato in a watertight Pelican case.
Pricing and Availability
Each of the ten 18.01 Abyss Concept watches is priced at CHF 6,500 and available exclusively from www.ming.watch, with deliveries beginning immediately.
MING 18.01 Abyss Concept Specifications
- Functions: hours, minutes, continuous seconds
- Case, dial and hands:
- Stainless steel 316L with solid caseback
- 40mm diameter, 13.8mm thick, 46mm lug to lug
- 3.5mm thick sapphire crystal with antireflective coating on both sides
- Rigid case without spacer rings
- Water resistance of at least 1,250m / 4,100ft / 125 ATM
- Screw down crown with triple gaskets and red safety indicator
- Three-part composite dial with Super-LumiNova X1 coated sapphire
- Beadblasted hands filled with Super-LumiNova X1
- Unidirectional rotating bezel with 60 clicks
- Ceramic bezel insert filled with Super-LumiNova X
- Strap and bracelet
- All-new 5-link quick release bracelet with double deployant clasp
- Five 20x18mm curved quick release straps by Jean Rousseau Paris with signed pin buckles
- Lugs accommodate both curved and straight bar straps
- Top grade ETA2824-2 automatic movement
- 38-hour power reserve
- 28,800 bph (4Hz)
- 25 jewels
- Sweep central seconds with hacking function
- Movement adjusted to five positions with a 250-hour test program
- 2-year warranty against defects
- Made in Switzerland
- Limited to 10 pieces
- Retail price of CHF 6,500 inclusive of worldwide delivery via DHL Express
- Delivery package includes a stainless steel 316L bracelet, five handmade Jean Rousseau straps with buckles fitted, handsewn leather travel by Studio Koji Sato and a watertight Pelican storage case
MING is a horological collective formed and funded entirely by a group of six watch enthusiasts from around the world under the leadership of Ming Thein, a photographer, designer, business strategist and above all, a lover of watches. Together, the MING team draws from over 80 years of total experience collecting fine timepieces – ranging from vintage to avant-garde; from quality affordable to six-figure commissioned independent pieces.
When we started collecting, iconic pieces were more accessible and a genuine sense of value and joy accompanied each acquisition. Our goal with MING is to bring back this sense of excitement and discovery through a series of pieces that show considered deliberation and refinement in every detail, but remain within reach of a wider audience. We will be the first to admit that we don’t manufacture in-house, but rather use the most appropriate suppliers for the design intent and price point. The majority of our suppliers also work with major Swiss brands; assembly, regulation and testing are performed in Switzerland, with final quality control done personally in Malaysia.
MING is our way of sharing our experience with enthusiasts who want to discover watchmaking substance beyond brand, for budding aficionados and seasoned collectors alike, and we are proud to have been recognized at the 2018 GPHG finals.
We’re always happy to hear from fellow enthusiasts – please contact us at [email protected], and follow our journey @mingwatches on Instagram and Facebook.
MING is a registered trademark in Switzerland and Malaysia and represented by Horologer MING Sdn. Bhd. (1255711-P), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.