Many of the world’s most well-known watch manufacturers enjoy decades, if not centuries of history behind them, but there is also a cohort of younger watch brands that have made a name for themselves only in the last few years. Ming is one such brand, established in Malaysia half a decade ago and is this year celebrating its fifth anniversary with the launch of the innovative Ming 37.04 Monopusher Chronograph.
In just half a decade, Ming has carved out a modern watchmaking niche for itself by creating timepieces with a distinct visual design language, at a price that won’t leave you scratching your head. As the success of the brand has grown, with a burgeoning number of watch enthusiasts collecting Ming watches, Ming has expanded its offering beyond the straightforward and affordable to more complicated and creative timepieces (with a price tag to match).
As the latest project to leave the Special Project Cave (the umbrella for Ming’s more adventurous watches), the 37.04 Monopusher Chronograph is unmistakably “Ming” while also venturing into new territory for the brand. In a world of ubiquitously popular heritage-inspired watches, this Ming chronograph is unashamedly contemporary, both in its design and in the caliber that powers it.
The Ming 37.04 Monopusher Chronograph features a grade 5 titanium case that measures 38mm in diameter, while remaining relatively slender at just 11.9mm thick. As you’ll find throughout the Ming catalogue, the case is meticulously polished and has distinctly flared lugs, while the complex dial uses the underside of the sapphire crystal over it to display the hour markers and logo.
The black guilloché base dial has a recessed subdial that interrupts its attractive geometric pattern, with markings for the chronograph tachymeter scale printed around its perimeter. As is a consistent motif throughout Ming watches, the hands and dial markings are all coated in Super-LumiNova X1, giving them a bright blue glow in low light conditions.
You might be wondering why a chronograph has such smooth case sides, without the classic twin pushers to start, stop and reset the stopwatch function, and that’s because Ming has integrated these pusher functions into a single button in the crown of the watch. This is possible thanks to the LJP5000.M1 calibre inside, which was originally designed by the legendary watchmakers François-Paul Journe, Denis Flageollet and Vianney Halter for use in the 1998 Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir.
With names like those behind the development of the LJP5000.M1 calibre, its easy to understand why Ming used the movement in its new 37.04 Monopusher, but not before some tinkering to Ming’s specifications by the watchmaking team at La Joux Perret. These adjustments included the skeletonising of several of the bridges and a grained 5N rose gold finish that was applied. The manually movement delivers around 38 hours of power reserve.
The Ming 37.04 Monopusher Chronograph is an exciting release, not just for it marking half a decade in business for the Ming team, but also for its clean design and the quality of the movement inside it. Limited to 100 pieces worldwide, the 37.04 has an RRP of CHF 29,500 (AU$44,559) and an expected delivery time beginning in March 2023.