We’re back again with the MING 17.09, but this time it’s a hands-on look with a highly anticipated watch. Let’s jump into it…

These days, it’s tough to discuss MING without stirring up some strong emotions. Proponents are huge fans of their designs, build quality and even the scarcity. Naysayers begrudge the use of third-party movements and the “challenging” ordering process. That process has had people up early or late with nothing but a sold-out sign on the screen. With the MING 17.09, though, the brand made an unlimited watch — sort of. Essentially there was an ordering window without restriction and, as a result, everyone I know who wanted one got one.

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The MING 17.09 is the last of the line

The MING 17.09 is the last watch within the 17-series — kind of. There was the Massena collab, but the timing was right on the heels of the 17.09. For the sake of background, the 17-series has always represented the entry-level range for MING. That translates to an automatic movement with a solid case back. Still, entry-level doesn’t mean settling for a bit rate timepiece.

The first MING I held was the 17.06 back in 2019 and I was really amazed by it. Here was this somewhat Avant-garde design that truly blew me away. It was surprising because watches with more ornate styling typically aren’t my thing. MING, however, does something different. The finishing and the overly obsessive dedication to the details somehow do it for me. Since picking up the 18.01 H41 diver, I’ve added a 27.02, and now this MING 17.09.

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The watch you see before you is a prototype. It’s also one of two MING 17.09 models that were sold this past April. There was a burgundy model and this blue piece. For whatever reason, I ordered blue even though the 27.02 is of the same hue. From the pictures and from previous MING models, I was expecting something on the edge of navy. I was wrong.

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A dial that’s electric

The MING 17.09 dial comes in a rather unexpected shade of blue. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it electric, but it’s definitely in that direction. In the sun, it’s incredible how bright it is. Then there’s the dial itself, which is a Clous-de-Paris pattern in the center. One can easily stare into this for periods of time and it almost looks as if it is moving. The outer track provides a nice contrast with its radial brushing. Above all, there is Super-LumiNova that has been laid into etched channels on the underside of the sapphire crystal. It creates a floating effect and reminds me a little of the old Bulova Accutron Spaceview. The lume is seriously bright whether on the crystal or the two hands. It’s also beautifully applied and the channels underneath the crystal look great under a loupe.

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A cool movement

Movement-wise, the MING 17.09 is fitted with the Sellita SW330-2. However, Schwarz-Etienne has done a little magic here and added a jump hour modification. It’s a nice little adder. Will it placate those who complain about a CHF 1,950 watch with a third-party movement? Who knows, and honestly, who cares! There are plenty of watches well above this price level with non-modified versions of this movement.

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A polished case tempers the jazziness of the dial

Unlike the 17.06 I tried; the MING 17.09 uses an all-polished 38mm stainless case. This brightness actually plays really well with an equally bright dial. The whole thing comes off as a bit dressy, but the color still keeps things on the sporty side. MING sent this watch on a dark gray alcantara Jean Rousseau strap with blue stitching. Apparently, the stitching will change slightly for production. The strap was stiff, but it will soften over time. It’s a great accompaniment to the watch. I did not try the MING universal bracelet, but I believe it would fit this case relatively well because of its 10mm thickness.

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Tough to beat these dimensions

On the wrist, the MING 17.09 wears beautifully. I mentioned the diameter, but the 43.9mm lug to lug really does the trick. I often state that a 36mm Oyster case is amongst my favorite watch styles and this wears somewhat similarly. However, for those with larger wrists, they can take comfort that this is a touch larger.

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Is the MING 17.09 worth the wait? You bet…

People have written on Instagram after I posted the MING 17.09 and asked if it will be worth the wait. Unequivocally, I’d say yes. I can’t speak for the burgundy version (I’m sure it’s great), but the blue is a properly spectacular-looking watch. The fact that MING made this watch available on a wider level is also a step in the right direction. We’re always excited to see what’s next from the brand, but at least people have a lot to look forward to when their 17.09’s are ready.