First Look at the Ming 17.06 Monolith and Copper

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This year, just ahead of the GPHG, Ming has returned with a new addition to their growing series of design-forward, enthusiast-focused watches. For a brand that is still relatively new to the independent watch space, Ming developed a bit of a cult following with many of their strictly limited releases selling out almost as soon as they go on sale. Their newest creation, the 17.06, is a new limited production model that takes Ming’s daring and contemporary aesthetic and breathes some additional life into it through the use of new materials. Let’s take a closer look.


Ming 17.06 (Monolith & Copper)

  • Case Material: Stainless steel 
  • Dial: Matte black; copper
  • Dimensions: 38mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire 
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Crown: Screw down  
  • Movement: ETA 2824-2
  • Strap/bracelet: Smooth calf by Jean Rousseau 
  • Price: CHF 1,500 (Monolith), CHF 1,250 (Copper)
  • Expected Release: Pre-order open now/delivery in October

The 17 series case will look familiar to fans of the brand — the distinctive flared lugs and smooth, rounded bezel are still very much present. But Ming tells us they have drastically re-engineered the case to improve overall construction and comfort on the wrist. The bezel, for example, is now secured with screws from within the case, making the watch both more structurally sound and easier to service. The rehaut has also been made just slightly shallower by reducing the distance between the top of the canon pinion and the underside of the crystal by 0.3mm, giving the watch an ever so slightly sleeker appearance. Ming watches are full of tiny little details, every micron of space being given an abundance of thought and consideration.

Whereas previous watches in Ming’s 17 series have been made of titanium, the 17.06 uses 316L stainless steel, a first for the brand in a serially produced watch. The 17.06 is available in two distinctive variations that are dramatically different in tone and effect.

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The first variant dubbed Copper features a great copper dial and a case finished with a mix of brushing and polishing. It has an almost classic, old-world luxury vibe. The color and material of the dial has an undeniable warmth to it, and the guilloche pattern radiating from the center gives the watch a hint of formality that you wouldn’t expect such a clean and modern design to have.

The other version dubbed the Monolith is perhaps the tonal opposite of the Copper 17.06. This variant uses the same stainless steel case, but here it’s bead blasted and DLC-coated. The dial is a matching matte black, giving the watch a decidedly modern, stealthy vibe. Regardless of what you think of Ming’s overall approach to design and watchmaking, the fact that they’re able to make such wildly different impressions using a common core design is fascinating.

Both variants of the 17.06 use the same handset and dial configuration, a look that has become something of a Ming trademark. There’s a definite minimalist appeal to the inclusion of only the even-numbered Arabic numerals, with a zero at 12:00 emphasizing the symmetrical design.

The 17.06 is a permanent addition to the Ming collection, but production will be limited to 300 pieces per calendar year for the Copper version, and just 125 for the Monolith. With competitive retail pricing and Ming’s growing profile, these are sure to be tough to track down. Pre-orders open today for delivery in October. Ming

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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