Snapshot(s) – MING 20.09 Tourbillon ´Special Projects Cave`, a first for the brand and the ´master mind` behind
Hands-on. Snapshots, thoughts and details about the ´20.09 Tourbillon – Special Projects Cave` from MING, an eclectic approach to contemporary watchmaking with a ´grand complication`
MING 20.09 Tourbillon a ´Grand Complication`, from one of the most dynamic and profiled independent watch brands close to their DNA as it combines some of their best processes – developed by the team and their partners.
Introduced almost silently, as it was part of MING´s ´Special Projects Cave` which is only for existing MING owners and if one is listed on their Interest List (for that kind of special subscription pieces), in 2021 and (already) delivered to (only!) 10 lucky owners in 2022.
Me had the pleasure to handle one of their first pieces while staying in Geneva, fresh from the benches of Schwarz Etienne, and to take some snapshots. Lucky me, it helps to travel (again) 😊
Once more Schwarz Etienne is their partner in crime to make it happen, and this time their in-house ´Flying Tourbillon – Irreversible` (Caliber: TSE 121.00) is used as a base. As most of the time with MING or better to say when Ming Thein is involved, a lot of things had to be customized to say the least.
Cal. TSE.M1 is a unique, skeletonised execution of SE´s flying tourbillon movement which reverses the movement so the barrel, micro-rotor, flying tourbillon and timekeeping hands are all visible from the dial side. To align the (guilloched tungsten) micro-rotor and the tourbillon at the top half for the dial the crown needs to be situated at 4 instead of 3 o´clock.
The barrel is nicely skeletonised and fits just well at 6 o´clock. Three ´circles` perfectly aligned, with lovely details to show together with bicolour bridges, guilloched movement support ring and sapphire hands.
Sapphire on sapphire on the front and sapphire on the back, what makes it easy to admire lots of details and is even better when it comes to `play with light` – from drama to plain mirror. Very nice, even when it´s not about exceptional finishing (if you think about ´the pinnacle of fine watchmaking`) and more about design – unique and strong design in my book.
At the back side of the movement, you have also the bi-colour finishing plus the Mosaic, which was the star of the show when introduced (as a dial) with the Ming 20.11 – a linear diffraction pattern and etched with a high-power femtosecond laser on different levels within the sapphire crystal a process developed in collaboration with DM Surfaces SA of St. Imier.
It´s looks just so different depending on light and even more in the dark because of strong lumen. On top there is ´the bear` in ceramic luminous material, which is fun but not to my (personal) taste. The latter used to be something private, representing a couple in love, but now it´s available for others as well.
Design is a major part of MING´s success in general – a unique and strong one – and therefore we should look at the case and the bracelet. Once you are familiar with the brand you won´t be surprised here, but check-out the case – side view.
A skeletonised and DLC treated titanium case ring machined by Helfenstein Mechanik, who also did parts for Ochs und Junior, adds spice and fits well to the all-over approach. A familiar looking case, with refined details to observe – nice.
The all-new titanium bracelet (22mm with curved ends and quick release pins) fits smooth on the wrist and has character. Bear in mind that this bracelet has exclusively been made only for these 10 pieces of the 20.09!
It reminds me to some lovely vintage bracelets and even those (once in production) from A. Lange & Söhne – in style not in execution/function – and is a very nice option together with their leather straps on offer.
A ´Grand Complication´ represented in a unique and modern style – including fun elements. Limited to only ten pieces and easy to wear for almost any occasion. I can imagine lucky owners – connoisseurs with an open mind and the means to make it happen – of this eclectic choice and once more it was a success realised by team MING and their partners. Congrats!