New watch brands

Ming: The creative breath of Kuala Lumpur


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November 2019

Ming: The creative breath of Kuala Lumpur

They’re called Genus, Petermann Bédat, Cyrus, Sylvain Pinaud, Krayon, Alchemists, Trilobe, David Candaux, Tournemire, Ming… These names, still unknown to the public at large, are those of established master watchmakers or young horology geeks. Their ambitions are diverse, as are the paths they have chosen, but all of them, each in their own way, are trying to add their stone to the edifice and inscribe their name on the Haute Horlogerie map. A brief reconnaissance tour.


ehind the name Ming is a “watchmaker collective” of six “enthusiasts” of diverse origins led by the photographer, business strategist and watch geek Ming Thein from Kuala Lumpur. “We don’t claim to have a history and we are not weighed down by one. We simply think up the watches we’d like to have in our collection, watches that excite us and give us a sense of discovery. What’s more, we’re the first to admit that we don’t build them ourselves. But we’ve set up a close partnership with partners such as the Schwarz-Etienne manufacture, and Jean Rousseau in Paris for the straps.” Ming watches are all assembled, regulated and tested in Switzerland, “but we do the final quality inspection individually in Malaysia,” explains Ming Thein.

Having been nominated for the GPHG in 2018 with the Ming 19.01 – a “simple watch for wearing every day”, but with a strong and highly original design that left an impression – this year Ming is presenting a more sophisticated version: the Ming 19.02 Worldtimer.

In it, you find the same design elements as in the 19.01, including the signature box sapphire crystal, a transparent-to-black-graded dial and a 39mm grade-5 titanium case. But whereas the 19.01 came in very contemporary monochrome shades, the 19.02 is more “conventional” in appearance, so to speak, thanks to the 5N pink gold-coated movement visible around the edge of the dial.

Ming: The creative breath of Kuala Lumpur

The world time – including that of Kuala Lumpur – is visible in an opaque section, indicated by a rotating 24-hour disc. All this is driven by an automatic microrotor calibre in tungsten from Schwarz-Etienne, which provides a power reserve of 70 hours. The bridges are skeletonised and hand-bevelled. The skeletonised barrel allows the wearer to determine the level of winding by observing the spring. The whole watch is mounted on Jean Rousseau straps in Alcantara and calf leather. All in all, another successful and unique design, seductively and unabashedly modern while remaining balanced and harmonious. A landmark watch.

Price: CHF 11,900. Sold directly through the Ming website.