Chronograph 1 is Kurono Tokyo’s first ever chronograph, designed by Japanese watchmaking extraordinaire Hajime Asaoka. A 38mm column-wheel chronograph, the Chronograph 1 features a monochromatic art-deco design language that is distinctively Hajime Asaoka. The watch is limited to 68 pieces per dial variant.
Available in Black or White, the central design feature of the dial is a vertical pinstripe motif at its core that provides differing contrasts depending on the source of light. Polished steel studs that indicate hours are then followed by alternating gray or black/white rings that culminate in a detailed tachymeter scale at the edge.
A high-polish steel surround features a date window in contrasting white with black numerals. At ‘3’ and ‘9’ are contrasting elapsed time and seconds subdials respectively, finished in a concentric guilloche pattern, with the elapsed-time subdial at ‘9’ set with a uniquely designed high-polished subhand in the shape of a traditional Japanese’ kyudo ‘ arrow.
Taken as a whole, the entire effect of the design is a breathtaking link between modern watch design and the romanticism of classical dial layouts. As the first chronograph by Kurono, considerable care and time has been put into the design and overall look-and-feel by Hajime Asaoka, and aims to achieve sophistication through simplicity. The Chronograph 1 takes the promise of ‘a well-priced, well-made watch’ and brings it to a whole new level aesthetically.
For the Chronograph 1, Hajime chose the mechanical chronograph calibre NE86A from one of Japan’s most esteemed movement manufactures – positioned by them as its newest flagship chronograph movement and successor to the 6S.
The 311-part movement combines traditional chronograph features like a column wheel, vertical clutch, and a magic lever winding system – with a unique three-pointed hammer system that starts, stops, and resets all three wheels simultaneously. This allows for all the counters to advance continuously rather than only at one-minute intervals.
Additionally, instead of driving the minute and hour counters from the chronograph seconds wheel, each is driven by a powered wheel with its own clutch. This delivers increased accuracy and longer-term durability. The watch measures 38mm excluding the crown/pushers and has a power reserve of 45 hours.
The chronograph retains the key elements of the high-polished steel case and hands that Kurono is renowned for – and more importantly – also features the unique box-sapphire watch glass so as to leverage its higher refractive and magnification performance.
Model: KURONO CHRONOGRAPH 1
Material: Steel with solid case back
Case diameter: 38mm
Thickness: 13.9mm including sapphire
Glass: high-curvature sapphire crystal
Finish: Lacquer with vertical pinstripes
Power reserve: 45 hours
Complications: Chronograph, date window
Jewels: 34 rubies
Water resistance: 3 ATM
Hours, Minutes, Day, Chronograph
Black crocodile leather strap with pin buckle
Strap width: 20/16 mm