Introducing The Ming 17.09, A Fitting Swan Song To The 17 Series

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Ming will bid farewell to their 17 series of watches this week with the release of the 17.09, and as far as goodbyes go, this one is a banger. The 17.09 builds on themes we’ve seen in the 18.01, 27.01, and 20.01 while retaining the same everyday wearable charm that made the original 17.01 so appealing when it debuted in 2017. The 17.09 has come a long way since then, and it shows. This is a sophisticated watch for being a two-handed time only affair. And this time, you’ll actually be able to buy one. 

The 17.09 is being pitched as an ‘evolved daily wearer’ thanks to some subtle but effective updates both under the hood and in the design itself. Best of all, the price remains approachable and the process of getting one, while slightly complex, should provide an opportunity to purchase for all who want one.

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At a glance, the 17.09 feels like a full maturation of the 17 series. Indeed, Ming watches have come a long way since the 17.01, and that development is on full display here with a stunning two layered dial, and high contrast sapphire with indices that reside on the underside of the crystal. 

The center portion of the dial, which is available in either deep blue or burgundy colors, gets a tight Clous-de-Paris pattern while the outer ring section receives a circular brushing texture. The result is a mesmerizing dimensionality that’s left to flourish on its own with no hour markers, no branding, and no date windows. Only the hour and minute hands appear as bold graphic outlines and no infill. 

The sapphire crystal receives the hour track, which is rendered in thick white outlines applied to the underside of the crystal. It’s done in the distinct Ming style that gives a retro-futuristic vibe and maximum visibility, even in low light. Together, the graphic nature of the minimal timekeeping elements balance out the rather ornate dial itself.

Inside, the 17.09 gets the caliber 330.M1, which is based on the Sellita SW330-2 that’s been modified by Schwarz-Etienne to provide an independently adjustable hour hand for quick adjustments on the fly that don’t disturb timekeeping. This is unique to Ming, and gives the watch an added practicality that we’d love to see on more watches. 

The steel case gets Ming’s trademark flared lug design, and should be exceedingly comfortable on wrist at 38mm in diameter and 10mm in thickness. The lug to lug measurement is a hair under 44mm, hitting the sweet spot for sliding under the cuff with ease.

Ming watches have, at times, been notoriously difficult to purchase at launch, and they hope to address that with the launch of the 17.09. When the watch goes on sale this coming Thursday, April 15th, the first batch will be made available to existing customers, with deliveries beginning later this year. Some watches in this batch will also be reserved for new customers on a first come first serve basis. A second batch will then be open for orders with a longer lead time, in which buyers will have a 10 minute window to place their order, guaranteeing them a watch. Deliveries for the second batch will likely be sometime in 2022, but again, you’re guaranteed a watch if you place your order in this window. 

If you’re looking to nab one of these, keep an eye on Ming’s website, which is the only place you’ll be able to secure a watch. Pricing is set at CHF 1,950 (~$2,115), which includes shipping but excludes any import fees. Ordering opens Thursday, April 15th at 1pm GMT (9am Eastern) Ming.

Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent the past decade covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seikos to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for classic cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.
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