MING is a horological collective formed and funded entirely by a group of six watch enthusiasts from around the world under the leadership of Ming Thein, a photographer, designer, business strategist and above all, a lover of watches. Together, the MING team draws from over 80 years of total experience collecting fine timepieces – ranging from vintage to avant-garde; from quality affordable to six-figure commissioned independent pieces.
MING aims to bring back this sense of excitement and discovery through a series of pieces that show considered deliberation and refinement in every detail, but remain accessible to a wider audience. The brand doesn’t manufacture in-house, but rather use the most appropriate suppliers for the design intent and price point. The majority of suppliers also work with major Swiss brands; assembly, regulation and testing are performed in Switzerland, with final quality control done personally in Malaysia.
MING is a registered trademark in Switzerland and Malaysia and represented by Horologer MING Ventures (002671440-P), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Ming Thein, Founder
Ming Thein is the artist-engineer behind MING. He has a diverse background that bridges both the creative and corporate, with more than 10 years in strategy and finance and 17 years as a photographer, the last seven as a full time independent professional. Ming was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1986, educated in Australia, New Zealand, and finally graduated with a masters’ degree in theoretical physics from Balliol College, Oxford, in 2003 at the age of 16.
Somewhere during the mechanical portions of his degree, he contracted the watch bug, supplemented by a Lange 1815 gifted on graduation by his father. It would follow through his early career at KPMG and The Boston Consulting Group, where the generosity of online collector communities allowed him access to their events and watches. His contributions to the community were driven by knowledge (including numerous attempts at movement design) and photography: through capturing a personal interpretation of a watch, Ming in a way made them his own.
These early studies captured the attention of some of the brand principals and formed the beginning of his career in photography – focusing on watches, in and around his corporate jobs. Following several years at investment funds and culminating in a senior operational director role at McDonald’s, Ming traded corporate for photography for good in early 2012 to satisfy creative impulses. By this point he had been appointed a brand ambassador for Leica, and was regularly photographing for the big Swiss watch brands and independents – including images for an exhibition co-sponsored by Leica and Jaeger-LeCoultre in 2012. He built an online community of over 150,000 photographers with a site that now spans more than 1,500 articles on all things photographic.
Ming diversified out of watches to specialize in corporate and industrial documentary: telling the story of a project from inception to completion, and expressing the beauty in the final product. Previous commissions include work for Jaeger-LeCoultre, Van Cleef and Arpels, Speake-Marin, Girard-Perregaux, Maitres du Temps, Andreas Strehler, Romain Gauthier, Nissan, Koenigsegg, Kenzo Tange, Chun Wo, Hijjas Kasturi and a large number of others. In 2016 he was appointed a global brand ambassador for Hasselblad, and in 2017 was promoted to Chief of Strategy for the Swedish camera company.
Simultaneously, his passion for things horological shifted gears due to both accessibility and market changes. The seeds of MING were sown at an industry show attended with several close friends in 2014, whom would later go on to co-found MING. Following that, Ming’s commission of several extremely bespoke pieces from Ludwig Oechslin’s Ochs und Junior taught him much about translation of design into metal. In early 2016, the group was ready – and the first watch, the 17.01, started to take shape.
Ming Thein serves as designer, photographer and strategist for the brand, in addition to continuing work as a commercial photographer and advisor to the Horologer MING
Dr. Magnus Bosse – Head of Production
Dr. Magnus Bosse is a molecular biologist and diplomat by training, and served many years in the United Nations. His involvement in numerous industrial biotechnology projects around the world enshrined a deep appreciation for cultural and biological diversity but as a someone fonder of substance than protocol, he left international relations and now concentrates on select topics in network biology.
Dr. Bosse is also a noted writer, with a clear focus on watchmaking technologies and independent watchmakers. His work has been featured extensively on online watch fora such as PuristS and Luxe178, the latter of which he co-founded and currently serves as Managing Director. He has also been featured in print publications and newspapers globally. Most recently, he published a book on the most complicated wristwatch in the world, the ‘Superbia Humanitatis’ created by Louis Élysée Piguet, Franck Muller and Paul Gerber. All his in-depth knowledge about watchmaking and the industry culminated in his joining a group of friends, led by Ming Thein, and launching the independent brand MING.
Magnus Bosse holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Rostock, Germany and currently lives in Vienna, Austria.
Praneeth Rajsingh – Chief of Operations
With his background in risk management and finance, Praneeth focuses on optimizing operations, improving the effectiveness of the brand’s marketing efforts and the timing and sequence of product development and launch.
As the youngest member of the team, he also brings a different perspective to design and strategy discussions. Praneeth Raj Singh holds a BSc in Business Administration (Actuarial Science & Finance) from Drake University, United States of America.
Yeng Fook Chek
As Managing Director of Tenaga TIUB Sdn Bhd, a multi-disciplinary engineering and construction company, Chek brings significant entrepreneurial and managerial expertise and along with the other co-founders, is responsible for setting overall company strategy.
Yeng Fook Chek holds a MBA from City University Business School, United Kingdom.
In addition to setting overall company strategy, Kin-Meng also oversees corporate affairs for the company. In this role, he calls upon his years of experience as a Financial and Corporate Consultant with Price Waterhouse Coopers, and over a decade as Chief Executive Officer of his private property development company, delivering numerous, award-winning luxury and mass-housing projects both in Malaysia and the United Kingdom.
Kin-Meng also serves with the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association of Malaysia, an NGO that represents, to the government, a membership of over 1,500 property development companies that contribute over 10% of the nation’s GDP. Kin-Meng holds a BSc in Business Management from King’s College, University of London, United Kingdom.
As a pioneer in the market for independent, high-end watchmaking in South East Asia and Director of Miluxe Pte Ltd, a well-known watch distributor and retailer in Vietnam, Jacky Lim has significant experience in the luxury watch industry and serves in an advisory capacity.
Miluxe Pte Ltd, is the largest distributor by market share in its class for the region, and Jacky Lim brings this experience and business success to MING.
Official website: www.ming.watch