The Hunt For A Ming 17.09 Ends
Those of you who follow me on Instagram (@ferenczibazs) or listen to the Fratello on Air podcast know that my Ming 17.09 journey is very well documented. I love the watch, especially since Mike showed me his collection. After riding the vintage wave for many years, I began to develop an itch for new watches. Ultimately, I boiled down my picks to two models, the Ming 17.09 being the second. If it weren’t for the podcast, getting this watch would have been much more challenging, but in the end, I scored it. Let me explain how.
You need to know the whole story to understand the journey and how I ended up here. As a side note, this is probably my most documented watch purchase ever. But it’s already worth it if my struggle and decision-making are entertaining enough or help fellow watch fans with their decision.
As I said in the intro, I was and still am a vintage guy to a certain degree. My collection is 85% vintage, and I love it like that. However, around the end of last year, I felt a desire for a modern watch starting to creep in. Please don’t ask me why; I have no idea. It felt right to own a modern watch — preferably, a time-only piece — that I could wear almost daily. After extensive research, I set my sights on two modern watches, a Grand Seiko and a Ming. Now at this point, I suggest two articles. One is about my Grand Seiko journey, which you can read here. The other article is from a month before that, and it talks about my watch goals for 2023.
No, the reason I bought the Grand Seiko was not because of my Instagram poll result, as some commenters speculated. In the end, it was not a matter of this or that. Rather, it was a matter of this first, then that. So when I bought the GS, as happy as I was (and still am) about it, I knew it was not the end of the journey. On the contrary, I was starting my research about Ming. I was happy for the time being, and the Grand Seiko saw plenty of wrist time. While the Ming was still saved in my Chrono24 app, I was not actively hunting for one. That was until I received an email from a dear listener of the podcast. The gentleman told me he was following my journey and had a Ming 17.09 for sale if I was still looking for one. Oh, boy. I did not see that coming…
Ming 17.09 it is, then
I asked him to wait a few weeks as I was traveling due to unforeseen unfortunate events and wasn’t in the mood to discuss watches. He was kind enough to do that, and the project was iced for a month. Eventually, he circled back, and I could not get away this time, nor did I want to. Luckily, he lived close to me, so we agreed to meet halfway between his heimat and mine on a gloomy Saturday afternoon.
A few cups of coffee were consumed, a deal was made, and I drove home with my new Ming 17.09 with a burgundy dial. Since my GS has a deep blue dial, as much as I fancied the blue Ming, I had previously concluded that the burgundy dial would be the wiser choice. As luck would have it, he had just the watch. Coincidence? I’m still trying to figure that out. As they say, be careful what you wish for; it might come true. I hopped in the car and took my first wrist shot of the watch. You know who I sent it to — Mike, of course.
The honeymoon starts
I was lucky with my purchase as the previous owner barely wore the watch; it was virtually in new condition. The waiting time for the Ming 17.09 was so long that he only got it around mid-2022 if my memory serves me well. To quote a friend, “A NOS watch is only NOS until I buy it because I’ll wear the heck out of it.” Okay, my Ming 17.09 is technically not NOS, and I will not wear the heck out of it, but you get the idea. A watch is meant to be worn, so it didn’t leave my wrist for the next few weeks. The size, shape, simplicity, and color are all things that I absolutely love about this piece. If it weren’t for a new watch that I received for a review and Speedy Tuesday, the 17.09 would still be on my wrist.
If you are okay with me giving you some advice, buy what you like, not what other enthusiasts or hype tell you to buy. I’ve never been one to buy a watch to please or impress people. I buy and wear what I like, and others’ opinions have little to no effect. Yet it seems that people either love or hate my new Ming. This is new to me; in the past, I never experienced that. Not that I care, but it’s interesting to see what specific things — watches, in this case — can bring out of people.
The last one(?)
To sum it up, I’m delighted with both my Ming 17.09 and my Grand Seiko. According to my watch goals, it’s time to focus on consolidation and maintenance. I’m happy to report that the maintenance project is ongoing, and soon, I’ll start the consolidation phase as well. Granted, I cannot promise that I won’t be tempted to buy a watch from my wish list if someone offers it to me. Sadly, Mike is a bad influence, and he has some of the coolest Mings out there. I will never become a Ming collector (I hope), but Mike did open my eyes to some new and exciting models, such as the 22.01. Anyway, for the time being, I’m good. Let’s see what I’ll write in my “Watch Goals For 2024” article. If you can’t wait that long, tune in to our Fratello on Air podcast (almost) every week.