Before we go into the MING 19.02 world time watch, let’s first go back to the origins of the collection. When MING launched the previous 19.01 hot off the heels of their very first watch (17.01), they jumped in price from a relatively affordable CHF900 to a wallet busting CHF7,900. At first I thought they were mad, going from a watch that people could easily pick-up to something that required numerous conversations with oneself; and, this came at such an early point in the microbrand’s timeline.
However, after spending some time with a few of the co-founders of the brand and of course the 19.01 itself, it started to make sense. These guys were avid collectors of watches and in order to stay true to their philosophy of making watches that they themselves would want to wear, they needed to break free of the limitations set by the 17.01’s pricing. Thus the 19 collection was born.
The next step in the 19 saga is here with the MING 19.02. At a glance, all the codes of the 19 collection is present. The gradient sapphire dial is back and so are the index markings, case design and hands. But even so, the watch gives off its own distinct personality, mainly because of the rose gold movement that peeks through the edges of the dial and also because of the accompanying crosshair too. Of course, being a world time watch, the cities of the world are printed under the sapphire crystal. This means that the cities will remain static while the 24 hour disk rotates. What is really special about this, for me at least, is the fact that GMT+8 is represented by KUL instead of Singapore or Hong Kong as a nod to the home of MING.
The movement is the calibre ASE220.1 configured for MING by Manufacture Schwarz-Etienne. What’s unique about the Schwarz-Etienne movements is that they are built on a modular construction meaning modules can be added and swapped out depending on what functions are required. Where the 19.01 was a time-only watch with about 100 hours of power reserve, the 19.02 has a shorter 70-hour power reserve but it also has micro-rotor made of sintered tungsten in addition to its world-time function.
As of now, pre-orders have already begun with a special early-bird pricing starting from CHF9,900 until 31 March 2019. After that, retail price starts from CHF10,900 with deliveries only expected at the end of 2019. So for the time being If you need to scratch that itch for a traveller watch from MING, they also do a gorgeous GMT watch – the MING 17.03.