Editor’s note: Like you, we are also excited for the Watches & Wonders 2022 novelties. Before we get to dive deep into them, here’s our preview & Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of the new Ming 22.01 GMT. For our detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.
The New Ming 22.01 GMT In A Nutshell
Robert Frost’s “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” describes the new Ming 22.01 GMT to the T.
It has been a long road from the 2018’s Ming 17.03 GMT (that retailed for 1’650 CHF) to the new Ming 22.01 GMT (that retails for almost twice as much at 3’250 CHF). In addition to the numerous ‘Special Projects Cave’ releases, the Malay-Swiss brand has managed to pin such medals such as the Ming 17.06 Slate, Ming 27.01, Ming 18.01, Ming 19.05, Ming 27.02, Ming 17.09, Ming 20.11, and Ming 37.05.
For a brand that started with the 2017’s 900 CHF Ming 17.01, it has definitely been a rather long journey. But unlike many brands, Ming has continued to climb the success ladder, simply owing to taking the road less traveled. In an industry where even established brands struggle with finding an identity to unify their offerings, or some new ones that can’t seem to make a dent because there is really no way to tell their watches apart from other watches, Ming simply with its own design language has managed to carve a distinct identity for itself.
The new Ming 22.01 GMT is another testament to this; no matter if the actual watch is for you or not, or if you can actually get your hands on it or not, the new Ming 22.01 GMT looks like a quintessential Ming.
It’s stylish, futuristic, elegant, sporty, all combined into one piece of horological dopamine.
But most importantly, when looked at with other watch’s from the world, it is different. And when looked at from the perspective of the brand’s portfolio, it’s rather similar.
This art of presenting something different yet similar everytime is a rare feat, and with the new Ming 22.01 GMT the brand achieves just that. Their decision to do their own thing, follow the road less travelled — so not release diver after diver for instance — has definitely made all the deference.
Other Details Of The New Ming 22.01 GMT
The new New Ming 22.01 GMT is available in two variations Kyoto and Gilt, both featuring a 100m water-resistant monobloc construction 38mm diameter and 10.7mm thick grade 5 titanium case with a lug-to-lug spacing of only 43.9mm and welcome interhorn spacing of 20mm.
Retailing for 3’250 CHF or ~4’800 AUD (inclusive of shipping worldwide), the limited to 1000-pieces each variant new Ming 22.01 GMT is announced today on 09 March 2022. The launch will be spread over five days and will be reserved with a 50% deposit of 1’625 CHF:
- 9th March 2022, 1pm GMT – Full details and images of both variants of the 22.01 will be available on www.ming.watch
- 10 March 2022, 1pm GMT – 300 pieces exclusively reserved for existing customers for the 22.01 Kyoto version
- 11 March 2022, 1pm GMT – 700 pieces making up the general access batch for the 22.01 Kyoto
- 17 March 2022, 1pm GMT – 300 pieces exclusively reserved for existing customers for the 22.01 Gilt version
- 18 March 2022, 1pm GMT – 700 pieces making up the general access batch for the 22.01 Kyoto
The new Ming 22.01 GMT is for those who have either never witnessed the Ming glory in person before, or want a rather unique looking GMT watch, or have not been able to secure one before. It is also simply for those who appreciate fine watches, but not with the price tag of a crushing debt.
Best Foot Forward
The most striking feature about the new Ming 22.01 GMT is that multilayered composite three-part dial with grained finish in cyan-gold dial execution with hands coated with Super-LumiNova X1 (the Gilt version). Honestly, if I had the spare funds right now, I would move mountains to obtain it. It’s just wow.
Basic Specifications Of The New Ming 22.01 GMT
Inside both the new Ming 22.01 GMT ticks a modified Sellita SW330-2, the Cal. 330.M2. It is an automatic-winding mechanical movement measuring 25.6mm x 3.6mm. The movement comprises 25 jewels, and beats at the frequency of 4Hz. It features hacking seconds and an independently adjustable 24-hour GMT hand as well.
The watch face shows the functions of central hours & minutes only, along with a third GMT hand. The watch offers a 42-hour power reserve and impressively a 100m water-resistance with triple crown gaskets.
“With global travel finally resuming and given our last GMT was in 2018, we thought it high time to revisit the complication. It is our pleasure to present the Ming 22.01 GMT, in modern and classical variants”.Press Release
Our Thoughts On The New Ming 22.01 GMT
I appreciate that both the variants feature distinct personalities. Just like I mentioned in the intro, Ming’s watches are different yet similar.
In lots of ways, the new Ming 22.01 GMT is similar yet different to the 2018 Ming 17.03 GMT.
Both feature a 38mm diameter case with the same 43.9mm lug-to-lug spacing. The new version version has a 10.7mm thick grade 5 titanium case with a display case-back while the 17.03 had a thinner 9.8mm grade 2 titanium case with solid case-back. Both feature the same 20mm lug interhorn spacing. They also feature the same movement though the Ming 17.03 GMT came with the ‘top grade’ version and was even stated to be adjusted in five positions with a 250-hour test program. To give credit where due, the new Ming 22.01 GMT’s movement features black circular grained finish with a skeletonized rotor. The 17.03 featured a shorter warranty while the new one comes with a 2-year warranty against defects. Both feature a 100m water-resistance with triple crown gaskets (and the 17.03 had nitrogen filling). Both also feature composite, multi-layered dials.
But despite these similarities, if Ming 17.03 GMT was day, then the new Ming 22.01 GMT is night.
Given the movement is pretty generic and can be found in numerous watches such as Farer Lander (~2’100 AUD), Christopher Ward C63 Sealander GMT (1’250 AUD), Unimatic x Hodinkee Modello Uno (~1’900 AUD), or bulk bought on Alibaba amongst others, the dials and the myriad tiny details are obviously the main attraction here.
First the details; the new Ming 22.01 GMT first and foremost is another collaborative effort, that sees the best of Ming’s partners introduce finer details, such as watch being assembled by Manufacture Schwarz-Etienne, Barenia leather straps being provided by Manufacture Jean Rousseau, and Studio Koji Sato providing a leather trade pouch.
The case design is full of details to appreciate as well; grade 5 titanium rigid case without spacer rings features a concave bezel mixed with brushed and polished finishes adding surface play. The top sapphire crystal not only features double sided antireflective coating but also laser etched indices and HyCeram X1. This essentially forms visually a part of the dial adding depth.
And now for the dials. Even though both look impressive, based on initial media pictures, I am partial to the modern Gilt version. The only aspect I am not a big fan of is the sector-dial aesthetics; they somehow don’t feel at home with the rest of the design.
The Kyoto version is more traditional, and also on first glance looks like any other Ming watch. But as an architect, I do like the inspiration behind the dial though; the Kyoto dial is designed to reflect “the textures and colours of traditional Japanese gardens with placed stone and perfect moss, overlaid with the impression of water conveyed by an intermediate sapphire dial”.
The resulting Kyoto dial presents us with a grained dark green outer chapter ring and a grey center, with silver GMT markings bringing in some more contrast. Plain, understated.
The Gilt one is different.
It’s meant to be a “punchier, modern take on early brass and gilt watches”, and with its grained cyan outer chapter ring that beautifully envelopes the golden center, it is a thing to behold. On this cyan and gold combo, the gilt GMT markings simply scream opulence.
At the end of the day, no matter what your poison is, in the new Ming 22.01 GMT you will find timepieces that showcase a world that charms by being outside the norm.