Somewhere around the middle of last year, MING offered up a small number of prototype dive watches they called the Abyss Concept. These watches were true concepts where the case and components were intended for research and development purposes. Well today, after taking in all they have learnt from this process, they finally introduce the brands very first production-ready dive watch the MING 18.01 H41.
One of the reasons MING has gotten so much attention, especially in the enthusiast community, is because of the amount of thought that goes into each piece that they make. And this fact is reflected in the name of the 18.01 H41 which is derived from generation H, variant 41 of their design process. They are notorious for working and re-working their concepts many times before moving into production and the result is an aesthetically interesting and highly functional dive watch that can be submerged to a depth of 1,000m.
With a depth rating of 1,000m, you’d expect the 18.01 H41 to be a behemoth on the wrist. And yet, the case size is a mere 40mm (which is big by MING’s standards), is 46mm lug to lug, and most importantly it is only 12.9mm thick. The case is made from grade 5 titanium giving it a weight of only 65g, which will probably be incredibly comfortable on the wrist regardless of whether you are below or above sea level.
One of the things that are abundantly clear when going through the specs of the 18.01 H41 is that the watch was made to meet the standards so that it can be certified as a dive watch. More than that, they have even gone above and beyond to add in little details that prove useful to divers, thanks to the input from the several certified divers within the MING team. One of them is a little red ring around the threads of the screw-down crown on the case side. This helps to warn the wearer if the crown is not fully screwed down. Additionally, they have even added a high-friction surface to the caseback so the watch will better grip the arm or the wetsuit and prevent it from moving around.
With dive watches, legibility is of the utmost importance and so, MING has chosen to go with a dark dial to contrast with all the indicators on the watch. The design language follows the Design Language 2 which they debuted earlier this year with the 27.01 Ultra Thin. And to further perpetuate legibility, they have also applied a generous amount of Super-LumiNova X1 on all the important bits. In their words “[The Super-LumiNova X1 is] applied as a liquid epoxy to the bezel, a solid block in the hands, and as HyCeram – a sapphire-fused luminous ceramic – on the dial ring. We do not recommend wearing it at night if you are a light sleeper.”
For all the emphasis they put on making the 18.01 H41 as dive-worthy as possible, it was surprising to me that they bezel didn’t have any grooves, possibly to fit in with the signature MING look. According to MING even without grooves, the unidirectional bezel can still “be turned easily, but not accidentally” and considering the number of details they put into every aspect of the watch, I’ll take their word on this. Another thing to note is that although the case is made from titanium, the bezel is made from DLC-coated stainless steel and the indicators are printed directly on the bezel so as to minimize the risk of losing a bezel insert due to pressure or impact.
Last but not least, MING has chosen to go with the trusty ETA 2824-2 top-grade movement that has been modified to remove the date and the intermediate hand setting positions. This watch is also the second MING piece to have a seconds hand, and this is so that divers can easily determine if the watch is working while underwater.
The MING 18.01 H41 will be available in three configurations:
Two tone on rubber strap, at CHF 2,950 (Approx. MYR 13,538)
Two tone on titanium bracelet, at CHF 3,250 (Approx. MYR 14,915)
All-DLC on rubber strap, at CHF 3,250