Shortly after launching the last of the 17-series, at least under its own label, Ming is rolling out a tie up with Massena Lab – the 17.09 Ming X Massena Lab Limited Edition.
Having got its start by collaborating with brands like Habring2 before introducing its eponymous brand, Massena Lab puts its own twist on the 17.09 with a honeycomb dial in either honey or black, which will be limited to 50 and 150 pieces respectively.
I loved the 17.09, so much, in fact that I placed an order for one. It’s a well-executed watch at an extremely appealing price point.
Likewise, I find the 17.09 Massena Lab attractive. The two models retain the best aspects of the 17.09, such as the floating minute track, skeletonised hands, as well as Ming’s signature flared lugs. But the 17.09 Massena Lab adds a bit more intricacy to the design. When the 17.09 was announced last month, I wrote “the clous de Paris guilloché in the center is less unique than the spiral motif found on the dials of the 17.06″.
By doing away with the clous de Paris in favour of honeycomb, the Massena Lab editions become eminently more striking than the standard versions. Between the two, my pick would be the honey dial – the black dial comes a tad too close to triggering my trypophobia.
Priced at US$2,595 in black (and US$200 more in honey), the collaborative 17.09s are 20-30% more expensive than the standard 17.09.
While that may seem steep for a mere dial change – the rest of the watch is virtually the same – it’s worth noting that these Massena Lab editions are highly limited, as compared to the standard 17.09 series. Combined, the 200 pieces of the Massena Lab editions are about a tenth the quantity of the standard 17.09. As such, the premium is arguably justified, especially for someone who wants something a bit more special.
The 17.09 Ming X Massena Lab editions retain most of the aesthetic elements of the standard 17.09, including the “0” at 12 o’clock and 38 mm case that’s polished on the front and brushed on the sides.
One substantial difference is the integration of the Massena Lab logo into the chapter ring at nine o’clock, which mirrors the Ming logo at three, resulting in a pleasantly symmetrical dial.
The movement remains the same as in the standard model, namely the cal. 330.M1, which is actually a Sellita SW330-2. That in turn is a clone of the ETA 2892 with a second time zone hand.
Modified by movement maker Schwarz-Etienne for Ming, the calibre does away with the conventional hour hand, leaving only the second time zone hand, which gives the watch an independently-adjustable hour hand. It’s a handy feature when travelling as it allows for easy changing of time zones without affecting the time synchronisation.
Key facts and price
Ming 17.09 X Massena Lab Limited Edition
Diameter: 38 mm
Height: 10 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 100 m
Movement: Cal. 330.M1
Functions: Hours and minutes, with independently-adjustable hour hand
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 42 hours
Strap: Leather with pin buckle
Limited edition: 50 pieces (honey), 150 pieces (black)
Availability: Direct from Massena Lab on Thursday, May 20, at 10.30 am EST, with delivery in July 2021
Price: US$2,595 (black); US$2,795 (honey)
For more, visit Massenalab.com.
Correction May 14, 2021: The Massena Lab 17.09 will be launched on Thursday, May 20, and not Friday as stated in an earlier version of the article.Back to top.