Smooth criminal: the new MING 17.06 Slate is scintillatingly sleek and elegantly electric

Smooth criminal: the new MING 17.06 Slate is scintillatingly sleek and elegantly electric

We had the pleasure of discovering MING watches at last year’s travelling Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) 2019 exhibition right here in our hometown of Sydney. 

Up until then, we had heard about these watches, but hadn’t seen one in the wild. Looking at the Horological Revelation award winning MING 17.06 Copper in person was a revelation of sorts. 

MING 17.06 Slate
Courtesy © HOROLOGER MING 2020

The Context 

No longer could we dismiss MING as just another independent micro-brand. Instead it’s poised itself to be a force to reckon with within the watch industry. 

And when you take into consideration that the brand has no manufacturing capabilities of its own and relies on partnerships — Manufacture Schwarz Etienne and Jean Rousseau Paris — and out-sourced ETA movements, the respect only increases. 

It came as no surprise to us that when MING recently wrapped up 2019 with a new colour variation of the MING 17.06 in slate or storm blue-grey coloured dial, the watch sold out very quickly. 

Its runaway success shows that even though it was only a minor colour variant and not a major new launch, the horological efforts of this young, self-funded, and independent company are being received well by the watch community. 

MING 17.06 Slate
Courtesy © HOROLOGER MING 2020

The Watch – MING 17.06 Slate

The latest watch release by MING 17.06 Slate features a very distinctive and charming retro meets modern appeal. 

The movement is encased inside a 38mm diameter and 10.00mm thick brushed and polished 316L stainless steel case. It measures 43.9mm lug to lug and features a user friendly 20x18mm spacing for strap changes.

The heart used — ETA 2824-2 Top grade modified for MING — is an automatic winding mechanical movement beating at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h). It features a hacking function and is adjusted to five positions with a 250-hour test program.

It comprises of 25 jewels, has a 38-hour power reserve and a 100m water resistance.

The Dial 

The watch face shows the traditional functions of hours and minutes (sans seconds) and is covered by a sapphire crystal with antireflective coating.

The real beauty of this watch lies in the simplicity and visual textures of the dial. 

MING 17.06 Slate
Courtesy © HOROLOGER MING 2020

The watch face is a composite dial featuring a multi-layered sapphire in metallic storm blue-grey colour. The design patterns in the inner circle flirt well with light, while the outer ring brings about a certain sense of comforting simplicity that the oversized numerals proudly call home. 

The watch has exceptional legibility, further aided with Super-LumiNova C1 coated hands, numeral and the printed dial ring.

Courtesy © HOROLOGER MING 2020

The layers provide a great deal of visual depth, and the 3D effect of the dial is further enhanced by the recessed grooves of the inner pattern. The curved lugs and the groves of the slightly oversized crown further lend to the artistry of the watch architecture as a whole.  

Additional Features 

  1. To compliment its look, the watch comes on a black alcantara with dark blue stitching strap on a signed pin buckle
  2. The watch comes with a leather travel pouch handmade by Studio Koji Sato
  3. It is limited to 200 pieces per calendar year
  4. It comes with a 2-year warranty against defects
  5. The retail price is only 1’250 CHF
MING 17.06 Slate
Courtesy © HOROLOGER MING 2020

Watch Ya Gonna Do About It?

The new watch release MING 17.06 Slate, at the price point of 1’250 CHF, inclusive of worldwide shipping, it’s a steal. There is no other way to put it – it’s a stunner of watch at bargain of a price. 

When it comes to detailing the plus and the minuses, the latter are really hard to find. 

In terms of sizing at 38x10mm, full points for making a watch that is flexible enough to be worn by both the sexes, and the thin profile of the case — thinnest we have reviewed so far in 2020 — means it will fit comfortably under the cuff as well. 

Courtesy © HOROLOGER MING 2020

The only gripe we have is the relatively low power reserve. 

At Watch Ya Gonna Do About It we give bonus points to watches that can be worn all week, stay at the bedside table for the weekend, and then be picked up again. Perhaps a suggestion for the next release, but an increased power reserve would go a long way. 

I understand the restrictions MING faces in terms of what limited movements they can out-source and use, but a good power reserve is essential in further elevating the appeal of their watches. 

While the power reserve may be on the low side, we like that the watch boasts of 100m (10 ATM) water resistance. The watch uses triple crown gaskets to achieve this rating and this adds to the daily wearability of the watches. 

MING 17.06 Slate doesn’t feature the exacting codes of what would make a traditional dress watch, neither does it pose as an upfront sports watch. Rather it exists in this middle ground which fortunately takes the best of both of these worlds and aided by the 100m water resistance and reliable 316L steel, gives us a watch that is both elegant yet can be used as a ‘daily beater’.

MING 17.06 Slate
Courtesy © HOROLOGER MING 2020

Another aspect we admire is that the curved fitting straps are handmade by Jean Rousseau Paris and feature the crowd-pleasing element of quick release mechanism. 

And that overall combination of blue, grey and black is not only elegant but playful enough to go from the boardroom to the club floor.

The MING 17.06 Slate is understated elegance that’s not afraid to have some fun. 

This one will be at home both at a watch collectors’ get-together or a one watch person’s life journey. 

MING’s adventure has only just begun, and we are excited to see what MING watches have under their sleeves for 2020.

For more information on this watch and other MING watches, head to their website here.