Disclaimer: this article/video was not sponsored by MING or any other entity.
The brown leather strap featured here was purchased from Delugs.
The MING 22.01 is a Sellita SW330-2 powered “caller/office” GMT* watch that feels like a spiritual successor to the 17.03 and the 17.09. At roughly $3550 USD, the 22.01 was offered in two variants, the Kyoto and Gilt. This watch is most similar to the roughly $2100 MING 17.09, which I previously owned and loved, so the 22.01 has big shoes to fill given the roughly $1500 difference in price.
*I had to mention that this was a caller GMT because “caller vs traveler” seems to be trendiest topic of debate at the moment.
What I like about this watch:
- The grade 5 Titanium case is very well constructed with excellent finishing and attention to detail. I’m a huge fan of the concave bezel, and I see it as an upgrade over the convex bezel on the 17.09.
- The dial and appearance of this watch is fantastic. The 17.09 delivered a unique sense of depth between the etched crystal and the guilloché pattern dial. The 22.01 takes this a step further with a more complex dial design that generously uses reflective surfaces, colors and textures to create a visual spectacle; under the sun, and in the dark.
- The movement was well regulated and keeping excellent time, running at roughly +2spd averaged over 3 positions.
- The combination of materials and their layout makes for an incredible lume experience. It is hard to capture this in photographs and must be experienced in person to truly appreciate.
What I don’t love:
- This is a bit elitist, but I could do without the exhibition case-back. While the SW330-2 is not the worst looking movement in this price range, it is an extremely generic-looking movement, even with the black finish and custom MING rotor. The exhibition case-back, in my opinion, only takes away from the design of this watch. This watch appears to be thicker than the 17.09 as well, and considering they have the same movement and water resistance, I would assume the exhibition case-back is to blame for this.
- The lume on the hands is noticeably weaker than that of the luminous etched ring. The 37.05 behaved similarly too. Other brands are not immune to this either (looking at you Tudor Pelagos 39), but given that the luminous signature is a key component to MING’s design identity, I think better calibrated hands would’ve been appropriate. The lume application was not very even either.
Overall, I think there is enough here for this watch to stand on its own two feet. The titanium case, concave bezel and elaborate dial/crystal design are all noticeable improvements over the 17.09. If you didn’t own a 17.09, the 22.01 will be a remarkable experience. If you own/owned a 17.09, I think there’s enough “NEW” here to warrant a place in your collection, if you’re comfortable with a bit of redundancy in your collection.