What would happen if Ming could evolve its debut watch – the 17.01? The answer is the MING 27.01: the spiritual successor to the very first watch Ming produced, reflected in configuration – two hands, manual wind – and naming. Though the 17.01 was a landmark for brand, it also left many unanswered questions due to production budget constraints. The 27.01 advances the concept of a versatile, collector-centric and accessible daily wearer by a significant step and is appropriately the first watch to feature our secondgene ration design language.
After two and a half years, fifteen models, a Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève win and literally hundreds of design studies, the envelope has been comprehensively explored, and signature elements of design thoroughly evolved and iterated. Having tested the limits of these elements with the previous watches, MT finally learned 3D CAD (all watches released to date were designed in two dimensions and Photoshop) and went crazy: the 27.01 is one of the first watches created in 3D, from the start.
The core elements were further distilled down to radial symmetry; legibility; the 0 marker; flared lugs and smooth case transitions; mixed finishes; and visual dissonance in layering to make watches seem much deeper or shallower than their physical dimensions might suggest. On top of the additional layering and material transitions, the case now incorporates flying blade lugs, a feature new to design language 2. The 27.01 also introduces a new monochromatic focus for 2020, pairing well with a wide variety of wardrobes and straps.
At just 6.9mm high, the 27.01 is the thinnest watch we have made to date. It could have been made thinner, but Ming elected not to do so to retain rigidity and durability. The 38x6.9mm proportions give it surprising wrist presence yet versatile wearability for all wrist sizes. The overarching brief of reduction has been carried through to the case and movement: excess material has been removed from the periphery of the case, with hollows extending through the lugs (a serious machining challenge given the thickness, or lack thereof, of the monobloc caseband). We elected to leave the case in stainless steel to provide the right tactile feel.
MING 7001.M1 Calibre
The 27.01 is powered by a movement so heavily reworked that we probably should have started from scratch. Beginning with an ETA Peseux 7001 and retain only the gear train and escapement. The bridges and plates are remade, courtesy of Manufacture Schwarz-Etienne, in a configuration of Ming's design, retaining the same aesthetic as the 19-series: solid baseplate with maximal opening of upper bridges to put the moving components on display. It is a continuation of belief that a display back must have something worth seeing behind it.
Being the most formal and dressy piece in the range, the 27.01 is the first watch not to carry any luminous material. However, a contrasting mix of matte and brushed surfaces in four different shades of silver allow for exceptional legibility. This subtle variation in texture and height of elements creates a depth despite the lack of thickness; in its interaction with light, the 27.01 is still very much a MING.
The variation in texture continues through the case: at the front, the lighter polished steel bezel transitions to mid and then dark grey on the dial. On the sides, polished flying blades are offset against matte-blasted recesses and the rear echoes the front, with brushed steel transitioning to surrounds of dark-relief etched text, and finally a black movement.
Ming have once again partnered with Manufacture Schwarz-Etienne for the production of the 27.01, Jean Rousseau Paris for the straps and Studio Koji Sato for the travel pouches.
Limited edition of 125 pieces
Straps and buckle
Additional leather travel pouch handmade in Kuala Lumpur by Studio Koji Sato
MSRP: CHF 3'950
Delivery: September 2020
The MING 27.01 is available to order immediately and exclusively from ming.watch. It is priced at CHF 3,950 and production for 2020 is restricted to 125 watches. Deliveries are expected to begin in September 2020.