New Ming 37.05 Gets A Date & A Moon Phase (Plus, A New Case)

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Ming has announced an entirely new reference with the 37.05 today, and it features a first for the brand: a date complication. That’s only part of the story, however, as this one gets a new dial, new case, and a trick moon phase at 6 o’clock, making the date window something of a red herring. Ming have opted for a Sellita movement to pair with the 37.05, though you’d likely never guess it at a glance through the caseback. There’s a lot to unpack with this one, and yes, even with the new ordering system that will go live when the watch launches. 

The addition of a date window on a Ming seems to have been a long time coming, however the brand seemed content to wait for the right movement. That came with wider availability of the Sellita SW288-1M, a hand wound unit from the SW200 family that features a moon phase and date complication. Using this movement provided a centrally driven moon disc, which would have otherwise required a module (and likely raised the price) to allow for the ring display Ming had in mind with this model.

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One glance at the rear of the 37.05 and it’s clear this is no off the shelf movement. Ming have reworked the gears and bridges in a similar manner to the 27.01 and 27.02, which is a very good thing. It’s been skeletonized, matte-blasted, and anthracite coated providing a dramatic contrast between the plates and bridges. It’s a great example of what’s possible using ‘just’ a base Sellita movement, and certainly befitting of the exhibition caseback to enjoy in all its glory. 

Turning the watch over you’re confronted with a subtle masterclass in texture, color and shape, as we’ve become accustomed to with Ming. The main layer of the dual features a tight scalloped spiral pattern with ridges and valleys that fade from blue to black. It’s rich and organic in appearance, which is heightened by the absence of things like applied numerals and chapter rings. The hour markers are laser etched into the underside of the crystal, and filled with HyCeram for visibility. Time is read via wide hour and minute hands (which are filled this time around), leaving just the moon phase disc display and the date to compete with the intricate dial. 

The moon phase is handled in a minimal fashion, and will not read as a moon phase at a glance. The ring aperture reveals a rotating portion underneath, which will be completely white at a full moon, forming a complete ring. There’s a bit of depth here between the dial layer and the disc layer, creating some shadows to give the impression of a floating mid section. The date, on the other hand, is a square aperture revealing a color matched disc with grey printing. It feels intentionally hidden, and borderline generic compared to the moon phase execution above it. I’m generally of the mind that a complication should be left off if it isn’t implemented practically, but the Ming feels more ‘performance art’ than most watches. That said, the date feels an afterthought within the context of the lovely experience they’ve created with the rest of the dial.

Perhaps the biggest news here is hidden in plain sight, a new case that will usher in the 37-series family to come. The case is clearly an evolution of existing Ming designs seen on the likes of the 17.09, but a closer look reveals some meaningful departures that could create a notable difference on wrist. The case maintains its 38mm diameter and 20mm lug span, but the dial opening itself has been widened, allowing for more expansive dials that will give the appearance of a larger watch while wearing just easily as the measurements would imply. The flared lugs remain, as does the brushed curvature of the case side, so it looks every bit the Ming that it is. Schwarz-Etienne remains a partner for construction, production, and assembly. 

The Jean Rousseau strap will be offered on a keeperless buckle system that tucks the unused portion of the strap underneath for a seamless look and feel. The buckle itself has a built in micro adjustment through the middle springbar.  

With every new Ming comes the inevitable discussion around availability. 500 examples of the 37.05 are planned for production, with the first 150 being offered to existing customers first. The remaining 350 will be made available to new customers at 1pm GMT on Friday, November 26th. With it, a new e-commerce system that allows for cart holds will be implemented, which will hopefully allow for a smoother process for prospective customers, many of whom have had a rough go of trying to get a Ming with recent releases. These will be available exclusively through their website Ming.watch.

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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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