KURONO is a mechanical watch brand founded by master watchmaker Hajime Asaoka.
An extremely talented independent watchmaker from Japan, Hajime manages the premium watch brand HAJIME ASAOKA based in Tokyo, Japan. The highly exclusive handmade atelier watches by Hajime Asaoka usually sell above US$50,000. Every year, only a handful of clients get the opportunity to acquire one of these extra-ordinary mechanical watches. Hajime Asaoka is also a permanent member of the prestigious AHCI (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants), Switzerland since 2015.
In 2019, Hajime Asaoka founded a new brand named KURONO to offer affordable yet high-quality mechanical luxury timepieces designed by him and made in Japan. Under this new brand, you will discover more accessible and reasonably priced mechanical timepieces that share the design DNA of Hajime’s exclusive handmade atelier watches.
Although produced in limited editions, the KURONO timepieces are lesser expensive. For example, the retail prices of their latest Kurono Anniversary Green ‘森: mori’ and Kurono Chronograph models (now sold out) were US$1,790 and US$3,680 respectively.
All KURONO watches have been manufactured by Precision Watch Tokyo Co. Ltd, the same company that deals with the prestigious Hajime Asaoka atelier timepieces. KURONO sources cases, dials and movements from highly reputable manufactures based in Japan. For example, the brand’s time-only automatic models use premium Miyota 90S5 calibers and the KURONO chronograph model houses the Seiko SII NE86A automatic movement.
All KURONO watches feature the inscription Bunkyō Tokyo on their dials and case-backs as a reference to the locality in Tokyo where Hajime’s design studio is situated. The brand also donates a portion of proceeds to selected children’s charities in Japan and across the region.
Kurono Bunkyō Tokyo (2019)
The first collection from the brand is Kurono Bunkyō Tokyo, a classic three-hand, time only mechanical watch equipped with an automatic movement. Introduced in June 2019, the collection consists of three dial versions – Eggshell, Blue & Grey – each variant limited to 50 pieces only. All pieces sold out. The Eggshell white variant was reserved for the customers of Sincere Fine Watches, Singapore.
The Kurono Bunkyō Tokyo watch features a 316L high-polished stainless steel case with 37mm diameter. Fitted with sapphire crystal glass and secured with a solid steel case back, the watch has water resistance up to 3 ATM. The movement (Miyota 90S5) features 24 jewels and beats at 28,800 vibrations / hour. It provides a power reserve of 40 hours. The watch is fitted with a calf leather strap.
Kurono Classic ‘Reiwa’ (2019)
The second model from the brand is Kurono Classic ‘Reiwa’. This model was launched in December 2019 in two versions in Copper and Silver dial versions with a limited edition of 50 pieces per variant.
On first May 2019, Japan celebrated the beginning of the new reign of Emperor Naruhito soon after his father, Emperor Akihito abdicated the throne. The era of Naruhito’s reign is known as “Reiwa” according to Japanese traditions. The Kurono Classic ‘Reiwa’ watch celebrates this new era.
Completely sold out, this watch features a 316L high-polished 37mm diameter stainless steel case and complex two-part dial. The watch is paired with a genuine crocodile strap. The mechanical automatic movement (Miyota 90S5) that drives this timepiece features 24 jewels, beats at 28,800 vibrations / hour and provides a power reserve of 40 hours. Other features of this timepiece include, sapphire glass, solid caseback, Waterproof to 3 ATM and genuine alligator band.
Kurono Chronograph 1
In April 2020, Kurono introduced its first ever chronograph, designed by Japanese Hajime Asaoka. Dressed in a 38mm diameter 316L high-polished stainless steel case, the watch houses an automatic column-wheel chronograph movement. The Kurono Chronograph 1 boasts a monochromatic art-deco design inspired by the signature design principles of Hajime Asaoka.
Made available in limited edition versions in Black and Silver dials (68 pieces per version), all pieces sold out within a short period of time. The watch boasts a unique multi-layer dial design with a bi-compax layout. The central dial part features a vertical pinstripe pattern that provides differing contrasts depending on the source of light.
The sub-dials at 3h (small-seconds) and 9h (30 minutes chronograph counter) feature contrasting shades compared to the color theme used in the main dial part. It means that, the black dial version features silvered sub-dials and the silver dial version features black sub-dials. The sub-dials are finished in a concentric guilloche pattern. The elapsed-time sub-dial at 9h features a uniquely designed hand in the shape of a traditional Japanese ‘kyudo’ arrow. The dial also hosts a date window at 6h.
The movement used in this timepiece is a Seiko SII NE86A mechanical column-wheel automatic chronograph with vertical clutch. Beating at 28,800 vibrations / hour, this 34 jewels movement provides a power reserve of 45 hours.
The other features of the Kurono Chronograph 1 include sapphire crystal glass, solid stainless steel case-back, 3 ATM water resistance and calf leather band.
Kurono Anniversary 森:mori (2020)
In June 2020, Kurono presented its Anniversary Green ‘森: mori’ time-only watch in commemoration of the brand’s first anniversary. Produced in a limited edition of 288 pieces (all sold out), this timepiece features a 37mm diameter polished stainless steel case and a metallic green dial featuring a fine radial sunburst pattern.
The mechanical automatic movement (Miyota 90S5) that drives this timepiece features 24 jewels, beats at 28,800 vibrations / hour, and provides a power reserve of 40 hours. The watch is fitted with a sapphire crystal glass and a solid stainless steel case-back. Water resistant up to 30 meters, this timepiece is fitted with a 20mm wide calf leather band.