Hands-On: The Extra-Flat Ming 27.01

Historically, extra-flat watches have generally had solid casebacks which, while understandable from an engineering standpoint (a solid caseback is more rigid and offers better support for an extra-thin movement), has always seemed a bit of a shame. While a display back can certainly be abused (the phenomenon of so-called display-back finishing, where a simulation of real high-grade movement finishing is given to only the elements visible through the caseback, happens less frequently than in previous decades, thank heavens), it can, under the right circumstances, also mean the watchmaker has the opportunity to offer further interest to the owner. In the case of the 27.01, the re-engineering of the base caliber really delivers, and then some. The individual, very slim cocks and bridges supporting the going train and the balance give a wonderful air of transparency, nearly equal to what you might get from a full-on openworked movement – in fact, perhaps even better, as an openworked movement can easily create a sense of clutter which would have been inimical to the design of the rest of the watch.

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