Ming is back with a follow up to their 19.02 Worldtimer, released four years ago. That watch was something of a game-changer for Ming, adding a new complication to the brand’s repertoire, and served as an expansion of their design language. For the new 29.01 Worldtimer, Ming is once again taking a rather large step forward as the brand continues to refine their aesthetic and reimagine what a Ming can be.
The concept of the new 29 series, according to Ming, is liquidity. The designs of watches in this new chapter, starting with the Worldtimer, will be defined by smooth, flowing lines, and an organic appearance. That, you might be thinking, kind of describes just about every Ming ever made. But on the 29.01 the brand has taken steps to make the watch appear seamless, as if it’s all of a single piece. The case does not have a bezel, for example, but the crystal is designed to merge directly into the case itself.
The dial is quite complex and appears to be made of two pieces: a main sapphire dial and a 24 hour metallic dial with a gradient effect. Both are heavily lumed, the sapphire portion with HyCeram ceramic Super-LumiNova X1 lume, but they have been executed in such a way as to appear to be merged together. The use of sapphire in the dial itself, the large box crystal, and in the handset contributes to a sense that all of the dial components are floating across different levels, according to the brand. It’s honestly tough to make sense of in the photos, but we imagine in person it begins to come together.
The new 29 series case is 40mm in diameter, which makes it about 1mm larger than the earlier Worldtimer. But Ming says that the impact of the size here is more than just 1mm, as there’s no bezel and the dial itself is bigger. While Ming watches in the past have almost always stuck to more traditional sub-40mm case sizes, they seem proud to have made a watch with the 29.01 that has a more commanding presence. The case is grade 5 titanium, so it should be nice and light, and the “flying blade” lugs remain short in the traditional Ming profile, which we expect will make the 40mm size wear easily for most wrist sizes. The construction of the 29.01 seems to be defined by the large box style crystal, which Ming describes as serving as both crystal and bezel. It appears to rise directly from where the lugs sit, creating a large glass box over the dial. When viewed from the side, it’s quite dramatic, at least in the Ming supplied photos.
Ming has once again partnered with Schwarz-Etienne on the movement. It’s still a micro rotor caliber, but the aesthetic has been rethought, with a new bridge design and additional skeletonization, including the barrel, which allows the user to get a sense of how much power remains in the tank at a quick glance. Plates and bridges have been DLC coated, and the rotor size has been slightly increased. Technical improvements include a new mounting system for the rotor along with ceramic ball bearings for more efficient winding.
The retail price for the 29.01 is CHF 19,500. Ming is asking for a 50% deposit, and they expect the first watches to be delivered nearly a full year from now, in March 2024. The 29.01 is a limited edition of 100 pieces. More information can be found at the Ming website.