In true MING form, 2021 continues to be a year of constant change. When we presented the 27.02 in January, we also introduced early access for existing customers and multiple order batches to help improve the order process.
17.09, which debuts next week, will bring further changes in the form of a time limited batch. As this is a significant change, I wanted to delve into the rationale and motivation behind it.
It's no secret that the request/ question/ complaint we receive most often has to do with production volumes. We've addressed, on several occasions (here and here), the challenges of a young, independent brand attempting to scale volumes significantly in a short period of time.
Some issues like the supply of movements we've resolved by moving to new movement sources but other challenges such as watchmaker capacity remain. We're also still a small brand with limited resources and a desire to remain independent (translation: we will not take on funding/ investment that requires us to change our brand philosophy and practices).
Enter, the time limited order batch. Production for certain models is no longer restricted to a pre-fixed quantity but by the period of time we accept orders. For instance with 17.09, we can now guarantee a watch for every order placed within a ten (10) minute window.
What's made this possible? To start, our movement supply is no longer constrained and we are able to order additional movements as necessary. There are also no other components with significantly extended lead times (an issue we had with the 18.01 Abyss and ceramic bezels for instance).
What's the catch? Longer wait times. All orders received during the time limited batch, will only begin production after we conclude the order window and have a final count of watches.
This means that delivery can only begin 12 months later (March 2022) and can extend further depending on how many watches we have to produce. We will require a 50% non-refundable deposit to confirm orders and the balance will be payable once watches are ready to ship.
This naturally leads to a few further questions:
- Why a deposit? While we've always collected full payment at the time of order, we've also been able to provide a specific delivery estimate. In this case, we will only be able to provide delivery estimates after we collect deposits, finalise quantities and begin production. We also realise that a 12-15 month wait time is quite different from our usual 3-6 month wait time.
- Why is the deposit non-refundable? To dissuade flippers and other bad elements from treating the watch as a free 'option' and then reneging on their commitment to purchase. As we've said before, we want our watches to go to collectors who will enjoy them.
- Why limit orders to ten minutes only? Because it's our first time implementing this system and we don't want a situation where customers are potentially waiting two years for delivery.
- Why discontinue models? MT tends to have far more ideas that we have time or resources and there are other watches we'd like to produce and launch as well. It is unlikely that we will ever have a watch in continuous production.
I hope this post clarifies some of the rationale behind our new changes and demonstrates that we do listen to feedback and that consideration of every single detail doesn't just stop at watch design, but extends through everything we do.
Thank you in advance for your support of the 17.09!
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