On one side is Massena LAB, a timepiece creation studio founded by well-known collector and insider Wiliam Massena. Inside this laboratory, he has already made several collaboration pieces that have encountered great success. On the other side is MING, a young independent watchmaker with a very consistent collection and design language. And when the two meet, it results in the watchmaker’s first collaboration with another brand, two limited edition watches based on the brand’s entry-level time-only model, with a specific honeycomb dial. Here are the new 17.09 MING x Massena LAB Limited Editions.
Trypophobic people beware… this isn’t a watch for you. If, on the other hand, you don’t have an aversion to the sight of clustered holes, you can continue reading (sorry William, I had to do that one…) For its latest project, Massena LAB is teaming up with one of the hot new independent watchmakers, MING, and is using the newly presented 17.09 watch as a base. This model, introduced about a month ago, represents a new step in the life of the 17.xx series, which was MING’s first-ever model and now incorporates the second-generation design language introduced on the 18.01 and the 27.01.
For this collaboration piece, we reencounter the basics of the 17.xx series, starting with its compact 38mm case, with a 10mm height and a reasonable 44mm lug-to-lug measurement. Finished with polished surfaces on the top parts and brushed casebands, it still features MING’s distinctive flared lugs, typical of the brand’s production. The watch is topped by a sapphire crystal with a double-sided AR coating and is water-resistant to 100 metres.
Inside the case, no evolutions either, as the 17.09 MING x Massena LAB is powered by the calibre 300.M1, based on a Sellita SW330-2 ébauche then modified by Schwarz-Etienne (one of MING’s long-time partners). This automatic movement with 4Hz frequency and 42h power reserve now only displays the hours and minutes without a date function but incorporates a cool feature. The hour hand can be adjusted independently in one-hour increments – always practical when crossing time zones.
So, what’s so special about these MING x Massena LAB Limited Editions watches? Mostly, their dials. Massena has chosen a so-called honeycomb pattern to add a visually striking texture to the sleek watch – said to be a modern interpretation of Rolex honeycomb dials from the mid-century – replacing the Clous de Paris pattern found in the classic edition of the 17.09 MING. This textured central part is surrounded by a circular brushed outer portion and topped by two minimalist openworked hands executed in white and coated with Super-LumiNova.
Also, the numerals are specific to this model and appear to be floating above the dial, resulting in a cool depth effect. They are actually done by laser etching the underside of the crystal and then filled with Super-LumiNova. Although the technique was already used on the standard editions of the 17.09, the indications have been redesigned here, and the logos of the two respective brands have been applied at 3 and 9 o’clock.
There will be two editions of the 17.09 MING x Massena LAB Limited Editions available. First is a very apropos honey-coloured dial version, limited to 50 pieces and worn on a brown Alcantara strap with orange contrasting stitching. Then is a more classic black dial, limited to 150 pieces and worn on a smooth honey-coloured leather strap. The straps are done by Jean Rousseau Paris and feature curved quick-release spring bars. Also, note that the steel caseback is specific to these editions, as it features the same honeycomb pattern found on the dial.
The 17.09 MING x Massena LAB Limited Edition watches will be available for purchase on Friday, May 20th at 10:30 am EST (or 16:30 Central Europe time) directly from www.massenalab.com. They will be priced at USD 2,795 for the honey version and USD 2,595 for the black version. Deliveries are expected in late July 2021.