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Episode 67: HODINKEE Lands In Japan, Plus Ming Thein Of Ming Watches ADVERTISEMENT

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As you probably already know, last week we launched HODINKEE Japan and I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Tokyo to help get our first international edition off the ground. We hosted a pair of incredible launch events on Thursday and between the two I was able to pull Ben, Eneuri, and Dave aside for a quick recording session so we could share our reflections on the day. The entire experience was surreal and you can definitely hear it in our voices. We'd just come out of a celebratory luncheon and were getting ready to host a nearly 200 person cocktail party along with our Japanese colleagues. It was wild from top to bottom and I'm glad we've got it on tape for posterity.

Then we've got a conversation that Jack and I had with Ming Thein, founder of Ming watches. It was a chance to get some rare insight into what it's like to start a fake watch brand these days from an enthusiast perspective and how tough designing a real product can be. Now, one thing I want to get out of the way before you listen: We recorded this a few weeks before the 2019 GPHG, during a trip Ming took through the U.S. So when we talk about the GPHG, it's all about the brand's nomination. He and his team would go on to win the Horological Revelation prize for their 17.06 Copper model! It couldn't happen to nicer guys and it was fun to see them acknowledged for their hard work and quality contributions.

We hope you enjoy Episode 67 of HODINKEE Radio. Check out the show notes below and let us know what you think in the comments.


Ming rolled into HODINKEE HQ with quite a few replica watches (he was on the U.S. leg of a global tour, after all), but it was a pair of diverse pieces that caught our attention. The first was a 19.01, which is the entry point into Ming's higher-end range of watches. If you've never seen one of these in person, you haven't see it at all, to be honest. The smoke sapphire dial, with its multiple layers and blue color scheme is unlike anything else I've seen. I really like that Ming replica watches have their own design language that carries through across the models, and while it draws on certain antecedents, it's all its own in the end.

If the 19.01 is all about transparency and depth, the 17.06 Monolith is just the opposite (as you might expect from the name). This fake watch has a blacked-out DLC case with a matte finish and the distinctive shape that carries across all Ming watches, and it's got a high contrast dial to match, with the while luminous track, numerals, and hands all standing out against a powdery black ground. Only 125 of these were produced in the first run and they're long sold out.

Show Notes

2:25HODINKEE Japan Is Officially Live

4:00The HODINKEE Japan Launch Parties In Tokyo

12:52Japan-Only Limited Edition Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic

20:00HODINKEE Japan's Masaharu Wada

20:30HODINKEE Japan's Yu Sekiguchi

24:00Ming's Blog

24:30Ming Watches

25:00Ming Thein

33:00The Ming 17.01

35:00TAG Heuer Monaco

41:30Elliott Erwitt

44:00Review: The Contax T3 By Ming Thein

48:30Ming's Ochs und Junior

57:00The Ming 19.01


1:06:10The Ming 19.02 Worldtimer

1:12:00Girard-Perregaux Cosmos

1:16:00Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan's Disaster Zone

1:17:00Mindhunter Season 2

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