OT: first anniversary!

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With some relief and a big exhalation of breath, it seems the horological venture has survived the first year; let me tell you it hasn’t been easy given we’re effectively trying to start something in an industry that doesn’t have any ecosystem in our country, competing directly against much better funded and experienced players. There have been no end of surprises – both good and bad – for the moment culminating in a nomination for a GPHG* prize for our flagship 19.01. We’re celebrating with a watch (of course) or more specifically two (one is good, more is better) variants of the automatic GMT 17.03 – both in the ever popular blue, with revised and refined dial and hands, and an experiment – because experimentation is what keeps us going. I heat blued 25 grade 2 titanium cases with a blowtorch, resulting in something rather special (and something I wanted to do with my own Ochs und Junior some time ago, but we had the wrong alloy). We made 125 of the regular titanium cased blue dial, and 25 of the Ultra Blue – unfortunately the Ultra Blue sold out within about an hour of announcement, and we have a very long wait list**, but the Blue is available right now at www.ming.watch. I leave you with specifications after the jump and the customary images; experimented with some new lighting techniques in this set, too. MT

*Grand Prix de Horologerie de Geneve, which is effectively the Oscars of the watch world.
**I seem to be very good at shooting myself in the foot when it comes to estimating demand and edition sizes.

  • Functions: hours, minutes, and additional 24h timezone on inner ring
  • Case, dial & hands:
      • 38mm diameter, 9.8mm thickness, grade 2 titanium case with solid caseback, all brushed
      • 43.9mm lug to lug measurement
    • Sapphire crystal with antireflective coating on both sides
    • Rigid case without spacer rings
    • 100m water resistance with triple crown gaskets and nitrogen filling
    • Composite, multi-layer, three-part sapphire dial
    • Metallic blue dial, sapphire ring coated with Super-LumiNova
    • Bead blast metallic silver hands coated with Super-LumiNova C1
  • Straps
    • 1x dark chocolate nubuck with white stitching
    • 1x anthracite nubuck with white stitching
    • 20x18mm, quick release with curved fitting
    • Will fit 160-210mm (6.1”-8.3”) wrist circumference
    • Signed pin buckle in brushed grade 2 titanium
    • Optional machine grade 2 titanium bracelet with quick release
  • Movement:
    • Automatic mechanical movement Sellita SW330-1 top grade, 25 jewels
    • 42-hour power reserve at 28,800 bph (4Hz)
    • Hacking function
    • Movement adjusted to five positions with a 250-hour test program
  • Made in Switzerland, designed by me in Kuala Lumpur
  • Delivery package includes two nubuck straps with buckles fitted (dark chocolate/ anthracite), a travel pouch by Thirtyfour Bespoke of Kuala Lumpur, and a screwdriver for bracelet adjustment (if applicable)
  • Pricing at CHF 1,500 (with straps) / CHF 1,800 (with bracelet + straps)


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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved


  1. Tuco Ramirez says:

    Wow. The 19.01 is sublime. I’m an old, jaded gadgeteer and that is one handsome watch.

  2. Sunny Tan says:

    Hi Ming,
    I bought a titanium ring with a gold band in the middle some years back. I was offered by the jeweller that he can changed the monotonous titanium colour. Within 15mins he came out from the back and my ring was in this ultra blue with the gold band. He told me when titanium subjected to extreme high heat it changes colour. All he did was baked it according to him. An alternative?
    I’ve placed the ultra blue on the waiting list and hopefully get it to match my ring.

    • Correct, it’s the same process – extreme heating forces stable oxidation which changes the optical properties and thus the color. How you apply the heat is very much up to you; it can be done in an oven or with a flame. The challenge is even heating across sections of material that are not the same thickness as they require different amounts of heating energy/time, especially at the transition areas.

  3. congratulations on your company’s birthday, the nice watches photos, I am not sure we will get here in Nepal or not,

  4. Hi Ming. I’ve been in the luxury watch industry for over 30 years now and I congratulate you both for your courage and the final result of an extremely well designed and delivered product. Well done and all the best for the future.

  5. Congratulations Ming and team! Looking forward to what the 2nd and future years bring!

  6. L. Ron Hubbard says:

    Congrats on surviving your first year! I am sure that it was not an easy task. All I see around me at work are coworkers wearing Apple Watches. They seem to have swept traditional watches away.

    • Actually, the watch industry has a lot to thank Apple for: opening up a whole new generation of buyers to wearing something on their wrists (and then wanting something a little nicer, that doesn’t require software updates, charging etc…). I look at this another way: the ones who are watch enthusiasts might add an Apple watch as a supplementary device, but the ones who are only wearing that are now considering expanding their collections…

  7.  To, WordPress Respected Madam/Sir,  Very happy greetings to Ming Thein. Happy Independence Day 2018! 15/08/2018                              – Shiv Prakash Gupt(ICE)

  8. Horological, great word, I had to look it up. Thanks for sharing.

  9. For someone like me who knows very little of watches beyond “they tell you what time it is”, it would be interesting to hear if you see any similarities in the way you perceive watches and cameras – in technical, aesthetic and any other terms. As this is fundamentally a camera and photography related site, one would assume that most of the visitors are familiar enough with a camera to read and appreciate your posts on things like usability, haptics, shooting envelope, etc. But I’d imagine that I’m not the only reader who doesn’t have the same level of interest in watches (that’s not a complaint, simply a fact).

    Anyway, I hope you find as much success with this enterprise as you have in your photographic adventures!

    • Good question: there’s certainly the haptic/tactile/mechanical aspect, but more than that: I view the design, and the dial especially, as a composition: you need to read the most important things first, the less important things next, and the whole thing has to come together in a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing way. It’s a very small canvas to work with, and one that forces you to really consider both every fine detail and how they will be viewed under different light. Unlike a photograph, the composition is dynamic; it’s more like designing the scene than the final interpretation of it. 🙂

    • i love the light touch and unique blue. very special. congratulations

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