Best Swiss watches

Ming Micro Rotor 19.05 is a Tech Tour de Force

There is something impresive about a microrotor automatic watch. Perhaps it’s the Airfix model maker in me, but I love engineering in miniature. Think about how watches evolved, from a sort of pocket clock, complete with a pendulum in the 17th century, to the quartz, or even liquid powered watches of today. Getting power from a rotor to wind the mainspring is no easy task, and so I say big respect to Ming who have a wonderful, superbly detailed movement inside the 19.05 model – just released.

Look at the engraving on the rotor. That matte rose gold colour of the bridgework is pure Omega homage circa 1960 – which was a very good year for Omegas as it goes – and the dial is made from a slice of sapphire. Skeleton parts and beautiful, big synthetic jewels help make this Etienne-Schwarz movement a work of art that is worth viewing through the case back. Titanium case, and the bezel has slots cut into it, so that the superlume shines through.

This 39mm case sized watch is a high quality project made by people who love the obsessive details that underpin watchmaking. The dial is a super clean design, reminding me of the classic Movado Museum with its black face and minimal markings. One dial option on the Ming has little separate sections, rather like the outer Eco driving lights on a Mercedes dashboard, set around the chapter ring. It’s another understated touch on a watch that is all abot the craft, the tech, the excellence for its own sake.

You get a beautiful Jean Rousseau leather strap, or titanium bracelet option – 20mm lugs.

At about £8500 this isn’t an entry level watch. That is proper Rolex money and some may feel a twinge of panic if they spend that sum on a watch called Ming. It isn’t a cool name, sorry but there it is – has to be said. On the upside Ming are only creating 15 examples of this watch so it is going to be rare, but this is one you have to buy with your heart, simply because you admire the intricate beauty of the piece. Some watches are born to be investments, some are born to dare. This is one of the latter and hats off to anyone with the cojones to put a watch like this out there. Amazing.

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