Ming Advances their Design Language with the All New 27.01

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It’s pretty rare for a new brand to emerge that captures the rapt attention of both the high end haute horlogerie crowd and the value driven enthusiast sides of the spectrum, but then again most brands don’t operate quite like Ming. Since the brand launched in 2017, they’ve operated on multiple fronts: affordable, design forward pieces at one end, and more adventurous, complicated pieces at the other. Along the way, through the release of 15 models (in less than three years!), Ming has racked up tons of praise from all sectors of the watch community for their distinctive aesthetic and focus on high quality no matter the price level, culminating in 2019 with a win in the “Horological Revelation” category at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Ming’s newest watch, announced today, is the 27.01, and it represents a decisive step forward from their debut, the 17.01, and the many iterations of that initial piece.


Ming 27.01

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Gray
  • Dimensions: 38 x 6.9mm 
  • Crystal: Sapphire       
  • Water Resistance: 50 meters  
  • Crown: Push/pull                   
  • Movement: MING 7001.M1 (ETA Peseux 7001 base)
  • Strap/bracelet: Smooth calf burgundy leather strap by Jean Rousseau Paris  
  • Price: ~$4,050
  • Reference Number: 27.01
  • Expected Release: Available now 

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At a glance, you’ll notice plenty of similarities between the 27.01 and other watches in the “17” lineup that have come and gone over the last few years. The hallmarks are all there: the distinctive flared lugs, the bold and broad hand set, and a minimalistic dial layout built on circular sectors and a zero marker where most expect a 12. It’s not too far off from what we’ve seen from Ming in the past, but nevertheless offers a fresh take on a design formula that they’ve previously executed extremely well. 

The big advancement here, however, beats away inside the 27.01. The new watch is powered by an ETA Peseux 7001, but it’s been heavily modified to Ming’s specs by Schwarz-Etienne to the point that the familiar hand wound movement is barely recognizable. It’s been finished in the same style as calibers used in Ming’s 19-Series of higher end and much higher priced watches, and it’s quite a sight. Bridges and plates have been completely remade by Schwarz-Etienne, and the end result is a wafer thin movement in a watch measuring just 6.9mm tall, Ming’s thinnest watch yet. 

This is Ming’s dressiest and most formal watch, and as such is completely without lume, but the dial employs a variety of finishing techniques and textures to draw your eye to the time telling elements, ensuring legibility even in sub-optimal lighting conditions. The case, in stainless steel, is similarly varied in brushed and polished surfaces. Unsurprisingly, the most dramatic view of the case comes from its profile view. Not only is the extreme thinness of the watch on the display, but the case band has been recessed and matte-blasted, creating an ultra modern look that reinforces the idea that this watch is a real step forward for the brand, and a result of what they’ve learned from designing watches over the last three years. 

As is typical for Ming, production of the 27.01 is limited. They will make 125 pieces in 2020, and they are currently on sale on Ming’s website with a retail price of CHF 3,950 (about $4,050). Delivery is expected to begin in September of this year. 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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