Hands-on review of the MING 19.02 Worldtimer – Around the wrist, around the world

A polite gentleman raised to the rang of globetrotter, or how the evolution strengthened the key signatures of MING Watches.

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Remember the MING 19.01 that I reviewed last year? Ming iterated it to the MING 19.02 Worldtimer – the same greatness but more complex. The key elements of the first model are there but some changes were done to accustom the complication. This is my hands-on review of one of the prototypes seen during the Baselworld. 

MING 19.02 Worldtimer dial detail 12 o'clock
MING 19.02 Worldtimer

MING 19.02 Worldtimer – a simple review

Before running into details and conclusions, I would like to invite you to have a look at the official text of the 19.02 from the MING Website. And this MING Watches Blog post. If you ask yourself why, the reason is simple: the pictures are too beautiful and the text is too well written to risk leaving them to the end of the article and you will not observe them. Plus, the links offer a lot of valuable information.

To have a better understanding of why I enjoy so much this watch, just have a look at the video below:

Some notes: the featured MING 19.02 Worldtimer is a prototype – the watch has been molested by many hands, including mine and the finishes were not the final ones.

MING 19.02 Worldtimer view
MING 19.02 Worldtimer follows closely the design and the key elements of its predecessor adding volume to accommodate the worldtimer complication.

The same case – still like no other

Looking at the case of the MING 19.02, I have the same impression of the far East heritage. Just like on my first encounter with the MING Watches. Those lugs are simply amazing. The “elegant” and  “voluptuous” are words rarely used together. But somehow, the case manages to be dramatically sexy and still have a decency and elegance like no other.

Ming 19.02 Worldtimer oblique view
The combination of polished and satin-brushed surfaces emphasise the beauty and the elegance

The case study reveals an attent conceptualisation of natural looking shapes. The curves are carefully calculated to create an eye-pleasing effect. If a classic design will have a bigger base and smaller ending, in the case of the MING lugs, the volume is accentuated to the end of the lug. A daring change but calculated. I bet that mathematics, architecture and biology were in the mind of this case creators.

MING 19.02 Worldtimer oblique with crown
Another key element of the MING watches is the crown. It reminds me of the sculptures of Constantin Brancusi

The crown simply grows from the case. It ends with a rough, industrial looking embossed logo. Again, words like “organic” and “industrial”, that are not used together, manage to co-exist. Just like a sculpture of Constantin Brancusi, the crown combines the warmth of the organic design with the modern coldness of the metal. The crown is constructed using polished and satin surfaces.

MING 19.02 Worldtimer profile
MING 19.02 Worldtimer is well balanced in dimensions. All the watch elements integrate seemly together.

The Worldtimer uses two deep-box sapphire crystal to accommodate the new complication. From the previous 19.01, the titanium case didn’t suffer modifications.

Later edit for clarification:  the titanium case and the box caseback sapphire crystal are identical to the MING 19.01. Just the top sapphire crystal is deeper to accommodate the world time complication.

MING 19.02 Worldtimer side case
The grade 5 titanium offers lightweight for the case. Troublesome and hard to be processed, titanium offers increased protection against scratches.

 

The perks of being a wallflower Worldtimer

The MING 19.02 Worldtimer, as its name says, is a Worldtimer complication implemented in the MING style.

First, the case and the crystals must deal with the extra volume needed by the complication. For this, the deepness of the sapphire was increased.

MING 19.01 and MING 19.02
Direct comparison between the MING 19.01, on top, and the MING 19.02, on the bottom. The increased thickness is difficult to be noticed without a direct, physical comparison. Only a trained eye and a connoisseur of the brand might notice directly the difference.

The dial had also suffered to welcome the worldtimer complication. The sapphire was treated, in a unique process, to achieve the deep black in the centre, gradient washed to the edges. The rose gold plated movement can be admired on the outer edges. But this is nothing really new, having the 19.01 in mind.

MING 19.02 Worldtimer dial
The fabulous Worldtimer dial of the MING 19.02 brings the same gradient dial of the previous iteration but is enriched with a cool complication.

There are 24 cities mentioned on the dial. Of course, the most important 24 references of globe’s timezones. The 24 hours disc is visible through a nicely realised opening in the black lacquer. The opening’s edge is not abruptly delimited but rather in a Brownian looking finish.

MING 19.02 Worldtimer dial detail
Detail of the Worldtimer implementation

The 24 hours disk is well visible under the dial’s mask. The view is pleasant. Again, “organic” comes into my thoughts. A subtle crosshair was added to the dial’s centre assist and ease the worldtimer read out.

MING 19.02 Worldtimer dial detail
The sapphire dial edges reveal partially the beauty of the movement’s rose gold finish.

The fabulous good looking SuperLuminova ring from the 19.01 is present on the 19.02 as well. But this time, I just forgot to make a #lumeshot for my #watchesunderthetable set. As accustomed, the hands are skeletonized and filled with Superluminova X1.

MING 19.02 Worldtimer dial detail
Detail of the hands hovering over the sapphire crystal dial. Note the reflections on the dial discs. The cities are printed under the sapphire dial to be closer to the 24 hours disc and minimise the parallax effect.

 

When the movement moves you

MING 19.02 uses again a fabulous Schwarz-Etienne movement. Calibre ASE220.1 was specially adapted for MING Watches.

MING 19.02 Worldtimer back
Turning the MING 19.02 Worldtimer reveals the beauty of the calibre ASE220.1

I am deeply and irreparable in love with the Schwarz-Etienne movements. The construction, the modularity, the finishes are top, top… I know them for several years and never failed me, in any aspect. So, again for the 19.02, the brand did a marvellous job.

MING 19.02 Worldtimer - Cal. ASE220.1
MING 19.02 Worldtimer case back reveals under the sapphire crystal the beauty of the Cal. ASE220.1

Note: in case you observe a slight deviation of gold shades is because the watch is a prototype and the processes are not yet well established.

Later edit for clarification: due to the Schwarz-Etienne modularity, the changes made on the back side (visible on through the caseback crystal) are realised just by changing the double barrel design with a single barrel plus micro-rotor option. Again, the exceptional Schwarz-Etienne concept permits a large variation without heavy modification on the base movement. Well done Schwarz-Etienne for the design anmd well done MING for the implementation.

MING 19.02 Worldtimer - Cal. ASE220.1
MING Cal. ASE220.1 is a micro-rotor automatic design with Worldtimer complication designed for MING Watches

The finishes are exceptional. The bridges are partially skeletonised to allow a better view of the movement’s components and depth. The frost finish is realised using bead blasting. The edges’ beveling (anglage) is hand made and hand polished. The movement is enriched and protected by a 5N rose gold plating.

MING 19.02 Worldtimer - Cal. ASE220.1
View of the bidirectional automatic winding micro-rotor manufactured in high-mass tungsten.

The Tungsten rotor weight is adorned with geometric shapes and bears the engravings “Schwarz-Etienne for MING 34 Jewels“. A small detail, a nice touch…

MING 19.02 Worldtimer - Cal. ASE220.1
The skeletonised winding gear and barrel reveal the mainspring. The spring offers a staggering 70 hours power reserve at full wind.

One of the beauties of the MING Cal. ASE220.1 is the exposure of the constituent components. It denotes the self-trust the brands, MING and Schwarz-Etienne have in their own forces and capabilities.

MING 19.02 Worldtimer - Cal. ASE220.1
MING Cal. ASE220.1 is adjusted to five positions and offers a hacking function.

While I am not aware of the exact chronometric capabilities, the Schwarz-Etienne’s experience and the MING’s strictness are for me enough guaranty of the watch’s chronometric quality.

MING 19.02 Worldtimer - Cal. ASE220.1
Another view of the Cal. ASE220.1 opening. The movement offers a good and detailed view of almost all elements.

 

God is in the details

MING 19.02 is a beautiful watch. The delicate look is just an impression at first. The watch is robust and nicely built with an unusual elegance. The finishes are exceptional. Taking into account the extraordinary visibility offered by the sapphire dial on the top and the movement’s openwork style, I can say that MING 19.02 has no secret.

The thickness increase to fit the new complication is unobservable on the wrist. Comfortable and elegant, the watch glued to my heart. It was hard to remove it from my wrist. As the above video showed, setting/winding is facile.

MING 19.02 Worldtimer on the wrist
As expected, the MING 19.02 looks rather gorgeous on the wrist.

You got a nice overall package for the price: modern technology, cool ideas and the “independent” badge. Add two straps from Jean Rousseau Paris and all good. Aaah, there are two straps from the prestigious strap maker already in… So, there is absolutely no reason why one should not buy and enjoy this. Other than financially, of course. Still, is one of those pieces that deserve attention.

MING 19.02 Worldtimer strap and buckle
Forgot to mention how the straps and the signed steel buckle look – great!

 

MING 19.02 Worltimer specifications and price

The MING 19.02 Worltimer has a price tag of CHF 11,900 and the new orders will ship from the end of Q1-2020. Prices include insured DHL courier worldwide.

  • Functions: hours and minutes, 24 hour world time, micro-rotor automatic winding
  • The case, dial & hands:
    • 39mm diameter, 11.2mm thickness, grade 5 titanium
    • Double box sapphire crystal with double-sided anti-reflective coating
    • Sapphire dial, radial gradient from opaque black to transparent
    • Chapter ring, logo and rear markings laser-etched into the sapphire crystals
    • Polished bezel and lugs; finely brushed caseband
    • Hands and dial ring with Superluminova X1
    • Rigid case without spacer rings
    • 50m water resistance
    • 20mm lug width
  • Movement:
    • Schwarz-Etienne for MING Cal. ASE220.1
    • Partial skeletonization with 5N rose gold coating and bead blasted bridges
    • Hand polished anglage
    • Hacking function
    • ~70-hours power reserve at full wind
    • Bidirectional automatic winding with high-mass tungsten microrotor
    • Movement adjusted to five positions
  • Straps:
    • Includes 2x calf leather straps by Jean Rousseau Paris
    • 20mm width, curved bars with quick release
    • All straps come fitted with signed stainless steel buckles
    • Will fit 160-210mm wrist circumference
  • Travel pouch:
    • Handmade by Koji Sato in Kuala Lumpur from vegetable tanned natural leather
  • 1-year warranty against defects
  • Made in Switzerland
  • MING continually aims to improve aesthetics and functionality of products where possible; to this end we reserve the right to make changes prior to final delivery.

 

  • Pre-order deposits may be cancelled for a 50% refund at any time up to shipment, except in the unlikely event we are unable to deliver,  for which a full refund will be made. Watches will be delivered in the order payments were received.
  • If you would like to pre-order via bank transfer instead of Paypal, MING Watches offers a CHF 1,000 discount on the price – for more details please email MING Watches at hello@ming.watch.

About MING (Official description)

MING is a horological collective formed and funded entirely by a group of six watch enthusiasts from around the world under the leadership of Ming Thein, a photographer, designer, business strategist and above all, a lover of watches. Together, the MING team draws from over 80 years of total experience collecting fine timepieces – ranging from vintage to avant-garde; from quality affordables to six-figure commissioned independent pieces.

When we started collecting, iconic pieces were more accessible and a genuine sense of value and joy accompanied each acquisition. Our goal with MING is to bring back this sense of excitement and discovery through a series of pieces that show considered deliberation and refinement in every detail, but remain accessible to a wider audience. We will be the first to admit that we don’t manufacture in-house, but rather use the most appropriate suppliers for the design intent and price point. The majority of our suppliers also work with major Swiss brands; assembly, regulation and testing is performed in Switzerland, with final quality control done personally in Malaysia.

MING is our way of sharing our experience with enthusiasts who want to discover watchmaking substance beyond brand, for budding aficionados and seasoned collectors alike.

We’re always happy to hear from fellow enthusiasts – please contact us at hello@ming.watch, and follow our journey @mingwatches on Instagram and Facebook.

MING is a registered trademark in Switzerland and Malaysia and represented by Horologer MING Sdn Bhd (1255711-P), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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