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MING is an independent watch company based in Malaysia producing Swiss-made watches. MING was founded by 6 watch enthusiasts from around the globe and is headed up by Ming Thein, a photographer, designer, business strategist and all-round watch guy. The brand’s offerings range from vintage-inspired to avant-garde designs all following a unique design language which has seen the brand quickly generate a cult following in the enthusiast community.
After releasing a limited run of 10 prototype dive watches last year (the Abyss 18.01 Concept), MING have finally brought those concepts together into a full production piece. I say full production, today at 1pm GMT MING will release 150 watches onto their website, these are likely to move pretty quickly so if you’re intending on picking one up, be swift. If you’d rather wait for some pictures/reviews once the watch is out in the wild, MING are doing a second drop of another 130 18.01 H41’s on the 22nd of August at 2am GMT.
Two-Tone 18.01 H41 on the Titanium Bracelet
Like many of the watches from MING’s catalogue, the H41 is rather polarising in its design style. Both DLC-coated and titanium case-finish variations feature a steel DLC coated 60-click dive-time bezel that wouldn’t look aesthetically out-of-place surrounding the windows on the Space X Dragon capsule. The flared lugs remind me of vintage Longines and are a classic touch to what is otherwise a very angular, contemporary case. This retrofuturism has its own alluring charm and has become synonymous with MING’s design language.
All-DLC 18.01 H41 on the Rubber Strap
While the design remains, as ever, subjective, it’s difficult to criticize the effort that MING goes to both in terms of quality, and in the use of modern materials. The 40mm case is constructed from titanium meaning that the watch is incredibly light, weighing in at just 65g – that’s only slightly heavier than a Mars bar! The second advantage of titanium when building a dive watch is its tensile and compressive strength. In combination with the triple-gasket system and screw-in case back, the H41 offers 1000m of water resistance while retaining a relatively slim case profile of just under 13mm. To continue the theme of purpose-driven design, the H41’s dial and bezel are highly legible with a monotone colour-scheme, MING’s modern take on dauphine hands and an oversized lollipop second hand.
For a brand that mainly produces dress watches, the luminescence on the H41 is impressive. Every white element of the dial and bezel is loaded with X1 Super-LumiNova. The outer dial ring is made from sapphire-fused luminous ceramic, the bezel is painted in a liquid-epoxy form of Super-LumiNova and the hands feature solid blocks of lume from base to tip.
MING recommends not wearing the H41 to bed if you’re a light sleeper – you can see why.
The watch is powered by the same modified ETA 2824 that was in the 17.06 from Adrian’s review last week. It’s the highest grade of a tried and tested movement that’s been adjusted to 5 positions over 250 hours by MING. Further modifications include the removal of the date wheel and subsequent ‘ghost’ position of the crown – a nice touch that alludes the majority of microbrands using the 2824 in a no-date watch.
While the overall design of this watch isn’t my cup of tea, it’s easy to see why MING has such a cult following as a brand: consistent, identifiable design language, modern material usage, good value for money and an element of exclusivity – the H41 very much continues on with these principles.
The MING 18.01 H41 will be available today at 1pm GMT from the online store at ming.watch.
£2,465 – Two-Tone on Rubber Strap
£2,716 – Two-Tone on Titanium Bracelet
£2,716 – All-DLC on Rubber Strap
£418 – Titanium Bracelet (fits all previous MING watches)
– Dimensions: 40mm case width, 12.9mm thick, 46mm lug-to-lug, curved 20mm lugs
– Grade 5 Titanium Case + Caseback (With or without DLC coating)
– DLC-coated stainless steel bezel filled with X1 Super-LumiNova
– 3.5mm thick Sapphire Crystal with AR on both sides
– 1000m Water Resistant
– 60-Click Unidirectional Dive-Time Bezel
– Modified Top Grade ETA 2824 (40hr PR, 4Hz, 25 jewels)
– 5-link bracelet in grade 5 titanium with proprietary deployant clasp and interlock; universal quick-release curved-end fitting
– 20×18 Rubber Strap designed by Jean Rousseau Paris
What do you think of the MING 18.01 H41? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.