Earlier this week, the final batch of 17.01s arrived and left - we are now completely sold out, barring the prototypes and service spares (which are included in the total run of 300 watches, so in practice there are even fewer than 300 in the wild). As promised, no more 17.01s will be made. Congratulations and thank you to the owners, and we deeply apologise to those to whom we could not supply. If we were to do things differently, we'd a) derestrict the total, and b) make a lot more; we'd also rearrange production so that more watches are available in each batch - but a commitment is a commitment.
Before we move on, this is probably a good point to review events a little and deliver a strategic update on the future of MING: we consider our customers to be partners and friends, and recognise you are buying not just a watch but also a bit of the philosophy. The last few months have cemented a few core values for us: notably those of transparency, integrity and value.
We received many emails and messages telling us we could have priced the 17.01 quite a bit higher, or offering premiums to jump the queue. But that would defeat our initial intention of offering a mature piece at an accessible price; we will continue to underprice our future watches relative to their merits because we'd rather you be pleasantly surprised and come back again for another one. It is for this reason that we also have a no discount policy: there is simply no room in the cost structure for it. We could of course price 50% higher and offer an equivalent discount, but we feel that would be misleading.
We are also implementing the back end required to handle pre-orders and batching: this ensures that for future watches, we will be able to satisfy as many customers as possible. Please note however that waiting times are somewhat flexible depending on component supply: we are still a very small player in the market and have to fight for priority on some things. Production continues in batches, as almost every component has a minimum order quantity and there are economies of scale in both parts and assembly.
I've left the best bit for last: the roadmap.
The first two digits of the model denote the family, and the second two the individual variant. Initially, we planned to have one new family introduced per year, with the first two digits denoting the year of introduction - but reshuffled that strategy a little due to market conditions and R&D time required. However, naming had to be kept constant to avoid confusing partners and suppliers - hence the out of sequence naming. And yes, there will be an 18- series between 17- and 19-.
As you can see from the teaser image in this post: our next announcement will be soon; very soon, in fact. This watch has been in the works almost in parallel with the 17.01, and will be the first piece in a flagship series that defines the pinnacle of the MING lineup. It will have a long power reserve movement that is unique to us, continue to build on the design language set by the 17.01, and at the same time have a very unique personality. It is also a watch of partnerships: without some heavyweight industry cooperation, it would not have been possible to produce. Once again, we believe it will completely redefine the concept of 'value' at its price point.
Lastly, there will be one final surprise for 2017: an evolution (not a replacement) of the 17.01, in which every single component has been reworked and redesigned. All going well, we plan to show this watch before the end of December, open pre orders in January 2018, and begin deliveries by the end of Q1 2018. It will be called 17.03.
In total, and including the 19.01 and 17.03, we have no fewer than 16 watches in various stages of development: let's just say the next five years will be very interesting :)