Ming has had a deep presence at this yearís edition of Dubai Watch Week, not just with their latest and greatest on display, but with Ming himself offering insights to his process, including creation of the ultra-lightweight LW.01, in the form of a speech given at the beginning of the show. He even found time to challenge Rexhep Rexhepi to a game of foosball in the halls of the show. At the booth, a selection of new Ming releases drew a consistent crowd throughout the week of the show, and we took the opportunity to get a hands-on look at a few of our favorites, including one of the best releases around the fair in Dubai: the 37.08 Sand.*

If thereís one thing that Ming has excelled at in recent years it is the delicate interplay between forms and textures, and how they can be harnessed to create a unique dial and case experience. Their skill here was on full display this year in Dubai with two watches in particular, the 37.08 Sand, and the 37.04 Rose Gold. In addition, Ming released a 29.01 Dubai worldtimer for Arabic speaking collectors. A trend we saw realized across many of the exhibiting brands at the fair.

Both the 37.08 Sand and 37.04 Rose Gold feature extraordinary dial work, though in very different ways. Beginning with the 37.08 Sand, which Ming says is the first in a series of watches that will showcase deep-relief textured dials, the initial offering does not disappoint in this department. The dial depicts a somewhat ambiguous wave pattern that could be interpreted a few ways, which was the intent, though Iíd offer that the soft, pale gold color immediately brings to mind the watchís namesake, Sand. Whether itís underwater, or on dry land, the pattern evokes sandy environments in an organic manner, with the coarse matte-blasted texture playing into the theme even further.*

The depth of the dial is apparent at almost every viewable angle, and required some changes to the internal construction of the watch to accommodate without changing the dimensions of the 38 x 10.9mm steel case. There is no sapphire layer to the dial, sacrificing this unique Ming aesthetic to achieve the desired depth. Itís a move that pays off here, as the dial has a discernible texture and weight thatís rather dramatic, and is aided by the fact that there are no applied numerals or date apertures, just the pure experience of the dial. An hour index is added to the underside of the crystal, and backfilled with lume, as weíve seen them do in the past.

The hands of the watch take a more organic approach to the typical shape we see used in Ming watches, appearing as extended teardrop forms. Lume is applied here as well, and the hour hand is nearly the same length as the minute hand, so the difference in the lume applied to each also plays a role in differentiating the two at a glance. The hour hand gets a solid application of lume, while the minute hand is outlined.

The overall effect is quite soothing, yet at the same time dramatic in execution. The 37.08 Sand uses a hand wound Sellita SW210.M1 movement that is visible through the exhibition caseback, and gets a unique treatment for Ming that helps it stand out from your typical Sellita movement experience. 500 examples of this watch will be produced, priced at CHF 3,950, and best of all, shipping on these watches is slated to begin in just a few weeks in December.*

Next is another watch that makes an equally big impact with its dial, though in a very different way, the 37.04 Rose Gold monopusher chronograph. This is a new rendition of an existing watch, and one that works remarkably well with Mingís design language. The guilloched dial made by Comblemine from a single piece of 18K 5N rose gold is a dynamic sight to behold, shifting in the light between heavy texture and soft reflections in a transient inversion thanks to the upper sapphire layer. It looks as complex as it sounds, and this is a watch that can give very different vibes depending on the environment that itís in.

The deep guilloche pattern emanates from the sub dial at 3 oíclock, which is a 30 minute totalizer for the chronograph. An upper sapphire layer can serve to enhance, or even obscure the texture, again depending on the environment. This is a dial you could get easily get lost in, and find yourself searching out different light and angles that will reveal new details to you.*

The 18K 5N rose gold case matches the dial perfectly, and makes for a continuous experience throughout. And it weighs a lot, even with its relatively trim 38 x 11.9mm dimensions. Inside sits a LJP 5000.M1 made for Ming, and itís quite the looker through the caseback. Just 20 of these watches will be made and each are priced at CHF 48,000.*

Finally, a watch they had on display, though not available to go hands-on with, was the remarkable LW.01. This began with a challenge to themselves, one that they felt was within reach, and that was to create the worldís lightest watch. I highly recommend reading this report by one of the co-founders, Dr. Magnus Bosse, who details some of the challenges they faced in development. The result speaks for itself, with the manual winding variant weighing just 8.8 grams, and the automatic coming in at 10.8 grams. Itís also made to be wearable and practical. While I canít judge it on that, I can say itís quite visually arresting and the thought of strapping on a ~10 gram watch every day is difficult to comprehend.

While different, these watches are a showcase of Mingís design codes and thought process, as well as the expansive conceptual nature of the projects that Ming considers. From the sound of it, we can expect much more in the coming months and years, and whatís more, they are working to streamline the process of getting these watches to market in a more timely manner to ease the wait time for buyers. Overall, what I saw from Ming at Dubai Watch Week was a big step in maturation from the brand, and one that feels expansive while still being inclusive. Ming.

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