Kurono Calendrier ‘Type I’

Kurono Tokyo has announced the launch of Calendrier ‘Type I’, a new complete calendar watch designed by renowned Japanese watchmaker Hajime Asaoka.

This new automatic timepiece features a high-polished coin edge bezel and an Art Deco style khaki dial.

The cylinder dial is designed to curve from the center to the outer edge of the dial, and two dial layers are pressed together to create a three-dimensional effect. The numerals in Blackletter font are printed in a raised format to harmonize with this design.

Kurono Calendrier 'Type I'

The combination of high-polish leaf hands for the hour and minute hands with modern hands is a typical Kurono design. The hour and minute hands are curved at both ends, and are paired with a counterweighted second hand. The tips of the second and minute hands are bent by hand.

The other highlights include the railway-track minute markers at the periphery and two guilloche sub-dials with polished leaf hands.

The Kurono Calendrier ‘Type I’ watch is equipped with the Miyota 9122 automatic movement made in Japan. This 26 jewel calibre with center seconds and full calendar offers a power reserve of 40 hours.

Kurono Calendrier 'Type I'

The watch displays the day and month via two guilloche sub-dials positioned respectably at 9 and 3 o’clock. It displays the date via an aperture at 6 o’clock.

Made of 316L stainless steel, the case is mounted with a newly designed coin-edged bezel. The case sides are mirror-finished. The case-back is finished with a circular lettering design, as seen on vintage watches.

The box-type sapphire crystal is inspired by the domed acrylic glass of a vintage watch. Designed for the Calendrier ‘Type I’, its shape is 0.15 mm higher than that of an ordinary sapphire box crystal. Water resistance of this model is 5 ATM.

The suggested retail price of this limited edition Kurono triple calendar watch is JPY 243,000 (approximately US $1,787). Available from: 11 August 2022.

Technical details

Model: Kurono Calendrier ‘Type I’

Case
316L high-polished 38mm stainless steel case
Glass: box sapphire crystal
Solid caseback
Case diameter: 38mm
Thickness: 10mm (11.5mm including sapphire)
Water resistance: 5 ATM

Dial
Color: Khaki

Movement
Japan-made Miyota 9122
Jewels: 26 rubies
Frequency: 28,800bph
Power reserve: 40 hours

Functions
Hours, minutes, seconds, full calendar (month, day, date)

Strap
Leather
Width: 20mm

Origin
Made in Japan

KURONO 34mm

Japanese fine watch brand KURONO has launched a new 34mm watch with a stainless steel case.

The Kurono 34mm watch is available in four colour variations: White/Blue, Ochre/White, White/Red and Blue/Ivory. Each variant is limited to 80 pieces.

KURONO 34mm

The dial features Arabic numeral indexes, hour and minute hands with a luminescent finish. The blue colour of the hands is IP-plated on stainless steel to prevent rusting.

KURONO 34mm

This time-only automatic watch is equipped with the Japanese Miyota 90s5 movement. This 24-jewel calibre has a power reserve of 40 hours.

KURONO 34mm

The box sapphire is anti-reflective coated on both sides and has an anti-fouling coating on the surface. The Kurono 34mm has a newly designed case with water- resistant to 5 bar. It features a solid stainless steel case-back.

Technical details

Case
Diameter: 34 mm
Stainless steel case, water-resistant to 5 bar

Movement
Miyota 90s5 24 jewels automatic
Power reserve: 40 hours

Dial
Available colors: White/Blue, Ochre/White, White/Red and Blue/Ivory
Arabic numerals
Blued central hands for hour, minute and seconds
Luminescent coating for hands (hour & minute) and hour markers

Strap
Calf leather strap

Edition
Limited to 80 per dial variant

Price
JPY 150,000 (appx. US$1080)

Kurono Anniversary Grand Mori

Kurono has released the 2022 anniversary edition timepiece, Grand Mori ‘森’, featuring traditional Japanese lacquer ‘urushi’ craftsmanship.

The 2022 Anniversary Grand Mori ‘森’ is a work by sensei to reflect the concept “”nature is the teacher”” – the philosophy that Hajime Asaoka pays special attention to and tries to implement in his designs. It features a 37mm diameter case made of 316L stainless steel.

Kurono Anniversary Grand Mori watch

Inspired by the canopies of the forest, the pattern on the dial mimics the unveiling of the sun rays seeping through the layers of the trees. The metallic green shade of the dial not only embodies the foliage but also enhances the intricate details of the pattern under different angles and lighting, making it alluring each time one looks at it.

Kurono Anniversary Grand Mori

The 2022 Anniversary Grand Mori ‘森’ features the traditional Kyoto-style handmade Japanese lacquer technique. Each dial is a masterpiece that is individually handcrafted by the female craftsmen in Kyoto who inherited the technique.

The 2022 Anniversary Grand Mori ‘森’ – as an anniversary watch – aims to deliver incredible value by bringing high-level artisanship at wider levels of accessibility.

Kurono Anniversary Grand Mori

Each of the 2022 Anniversary Grand Mori ‘森’ dial is crafted by hand by a master craftsperson. For the first time, the dial is gold-gilded before the application of urushi. This is on purpose as the yellow gold base together with the translucent green urushi will allow for warmer and richer tones so as to enhance the depth of the patterns. The subtly slanted Arabic hour markers printed in silver on the urushi dial gives a light dynamism to the overall feel of the watch.

Kurono Anniversary Grand Mori

The subtle, distinctive trait of the urushi is that when exposed to natural and UV light, it will turn brighter over time due to moisture loss which usually takes years.

Kurono Anniversary Grand Mori

Each Kurono Anniversary Grand Mori watch houses a Miyota 90S5 self-winding movement that drives hour, minute and seconds hands.

The caseback highlights Hajime-sensei’s signature embellished in bold kanji calligraphy alongside the impression of his one-of a- kind hanko stamp.

Technical details

Case
316L high-polished 37mm stainless steel case
Thickness: 7mm (excluding sapphire glass)
Unique box sapphire glass
Embellished caseback
Waterproof to 3 ATM

Dial
Hand-applied urushi lacquer dial

Movement
Japan-made Premium Automatic movement 90S5 by Miyota
28,800 vibrations / hour, power reserve 40 hours

Strap
Black calf leather band with green embellished sides
Width: 20mm at lugs, 16mm at buckle

Origin
Made in Japan

Kurono Chronograph II White ‘Shiro’

From his affordable watch label Kurono, independent Japanese watchmaker Hajime Asaoka presents the new Chronograph II in white. Nicknamed ‘Shiro’, this new timepiece is a refined classical interpretation of his iconic Chronograph II design launched in black in early 2021.

Kurono Chronograph II White 'Shiro'

Shiro has a 38mm diameter stainless steel case. Its white dial comes with numerous improvements like higher definition printing, greater depth of field, thicker lacquer, light refraction, concentric guilloche, parallax overprinting and ‘kyudo’ arrow hands.

Kurono Chronograph II White 'Shiro'

It features central hour & minute hands, date at 6 o’clock, pulsometer and tachymeter scales, small-seconds at 3 o’ clock, chronograph centre seconds hand and chronograph 30 minute hands at 9 o’clock. The brilliant color theme of the dial was achieved by techniques like fine sandblasting, silvering and lacquering.

Kurono Chronograph II White 'Shiro'

This timepiece is equipped with the Seiko (TMI) NE86 self-winding calibre. This flagship movement combines traditional chronograph features like a column wheel, vertical clutch, and a magic lever winding system.

Kurono Chronograph II White 'Shiro'

It has 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 NE86 movement offers a power reserve of 45 hours.

Technical details

Model: Kurono Chronograph II White ‘Shiro’

Case
316L high-polished 38mm stainless steel case
Solid caseback
Thickness: 13.9mm including sapphire
High-curvature sapphire crystal
Water resistant to 3atm

Dial
Multilayer dial
Combination of bright-white and heron-white
High-polished domed-steel hour markers
A pronounced slope at the dial periphery
Recessed sub-dials with diamond-cut steel surrounds
Improved multi-layer printing for exceptionally crisp text
Pulsometer scale in red
Telemeter scale in black
Date at 6 o’clock

Movement
Caliber NE 86
Japan-made mechanical self-winding chronograph movement
45 hour power reserve, frequency of 28,800 bph, 34 rubies

Price
JPY 428,000 (US$3,700)

Availability
Public sale for global customers starting on 24 Feb 2022
Time: 11.30pm (Japan Standard Time)
Shipping: April 2022

More details: https://kuronotokyo.com/pages/chronograph-ii-white-shiro

KURONO GRAND HAGANE

The Kurono Grand Hagane watch takes inspiration from the ancient sword making techniques.

Japanese swords are made from very high purity steel called “Tamahagane”. This steel is produced from an ancient Japanese tradition. Tamahagane (玉鋼) means precious steel.

KURONO GRAND HAGANE watch

Grand:Hagane urushi design is inspired by “Tamahagane”. The dark amber hue of the Grand:Hagane dial reveals a subtle yet visually stunning urushi design. The unique urushi dial pattern was designed to resemble the rare and distinctive tobiyaki spots commonly seen inthe hitatsura style of hamon.

This time, Hajime Asaoka-sensei designed and implemented this “Tamahagane” image pattern for the urushi dial. Some people carry “Tamahagane” as a good luck charm because of its “stone language”. It has the meaning of “turning negative environments and emotions into positive outcomes,” and it also contains Hajime-sensei’s wish and sincerity during these challenging times.

KURONO GRAND HAGANE

Hajime-sensei’s ancestors were swordsmiths. His interest in Japanese swords is also the starting point of his metalworking techniques in watchmaking and the Grand:Hagane serves as an homage to his ancestors.

Continuing from the Kurono Grand:Akane watch, the beautifully finished Urushi lacquer dials are handcrafted piece by piece by craftswomen in Kyoto who inherited the Kyoto-style Japanese lacquer technique.

KURONO GRAND HAGANE

Kyoto lacquerware is based on a technique introduced from the Tang Dynasty in the Nara Period (710-794) and has been handed down from generation to generation for more than a thousand years based on Kyoto’s unique aesthetic sense.

The beautiful Urushi lacquered finish depends on the excellence of the polishing process. To polish it, they first find a small piece of charcoal without impurities. Then, the dial is polished using only human fingertips. The work is so delicate that even the slightest wisp on the fingertip can cause striations on the dial, which would have to be rebuilt from scratch. This is one reason why there is such a large rejection rate during the QC process.

Urushi lacquer is made from the filtered sap of the Japanese rhus vernicifera tree. The lacquer absorbs moisture from the air as it hardens, making the lacquered surface perpetually shiny and slick. Over time, urushi will become harder and more scratch-resistant as the curing process continues even after the initial manufacture.

KURONO GRAND HAGANE

The black lacquer used in this project is called “Roiro,” which is a chemical reaction in which iron oxide is added to raw urushi and the iron turns the lacquer black. In Japan, this traditional coloring method has been used for a long time to produce a clear and transparent lacquer.

This time, the process of applying several thin layers of Roiro Urushi lacquer and polishing it is used so that the design of “Tamahagane”, the base material, is slightly transparent. The metallic shine of the base metal is covered with a veil of lacquer that shines as if it were wet, allowing us to enjoy the various expressions of the tama-koh patterns depending on the light. Sunlight – specifically UV light – will, over time, lighten and make it more translucent and warmer or cooler.

KURONO GRAND HAGANE

Indices on the dial display for the first time display a complex character font called “Koji”, which was introduced from the east to Japan in ancient times. Even now, due to its complexity, it is still used in Japan for important documents to prevent the rewriting of amounts.

Technical details

Model: Kurono Grand Hagane

Case
316L high-polished stainless steel case
Case diameter: 37mm
Thickness: 7mm excluding sapphire
Glass: Sapphire crystal
Special embellished caseback
Water resistance: 3 ATM

Dial
Hand-applied urushi lacquer dial with hamon design

Movement
Premium-grade Miyota 90S5 Japan-made mechanical automatic movement
Power reserve: 40 hours
Jewels: 24 rubies
Frequency: 28,800bph

Functions
Hours, Minutes, Seconds

Strap
Black calf leather band
Buckle: Pin buckle
Strap width: 20/16 mm

Launch date
December 2021

Origin
Made in Japan

KURONO SEIJI Limited Edition

Founded by Hajime Asaoka, Japanese luxury watch brand KURONO TOKYO presents SEIJI, a new limited edition timepiece reserved for female collectors.

KURONO SEIJI Limited Edition

This elegant wristwatch comes with the signature KURONO case with 37mm diameter and made of stainless steel. It boasts a blue-green lacquer dial. Limited to 500 pieces, 50% of allocations will be reserved for KURONO Contributors and existing customers. 50% of allocations will be for public sale.

KURONO SEIJI Limited Edition

The new KURONO 青磁:SEIJI is the brand’s second solid lacquer dial watch. The dial is finished in a celadon-like bluish green finish. This stunning shade was created by hand by master watchmaker Hajime Asaoka himself in his atelier in late 2020.

KURONO SEIJI is equipped with a mechanical automatic movement with a power reserve of 40 hours. The watch comes with a white calf leather strap.

KURONO SEIJI Limited Edition

SEIJI is limited to 500 pieces, with fulfilment in October for 388 pieces, and January for 112 pieces.

Allocations

  • 2021 KURONO Contributors: 38 pieces
  • Existing watch customers: 172 pieces
  • Existing accessory customers: 40 pieces
  • For public sale: 250 pieces

The brand has already forwarded Expression of Interest forms to the existing customers. Public Registration of interest will be available on http://www.kuronotokyo.com from 22.30 hrs* on 3rd September to 22. 30 hrs* on 4th Sep.

(*JST: Japanese Standard Time)

Technical details

Movement
Mechanical automatic winding
Jewels: 24 rubies
Frequency: 28,800bph
Power Reserve: 40 hours

Case
316L high-polished stainless steel case
Diameter: 37mm
Thickness: 7mm (including sapphire crystal)
Glass: Sapphire crystal
Water Resistance: 3 ATM

Strap
White calf leather
Strap Width: 20/16mm

Dial
Finish: Lacquer in bluish-green

Origin
Made in Japan

Edition
Limited to 500 pieces

Price
JPY 197, 000 / USD1, 793 excluding applicable taxes/VAT

Kurono Anniversary 朱鷺:Toki

To mark the second anniversary of the brand, Kurono Tokyo presents a limited edition timepiece named TOKI.

Founded by independent Japanese watchmaker Hajime Asaoka, Kurono Tokyo produces high-quality, Japan-made luxury timepieces. The Kurono special second-anniversary edition 朱鷺:Toki features a metallic coral radial sunburst dial inspired by the Japanese crested ibis (Nipponia Nippon).

Kurono Anniversary 朱鷺:Toki
@Kurono Tokyo

A rare, exotic and protected species, the crested ibis radiates a beautiful shade of dark-pink tinged vermilion, when it flies high in the sky. Likewise, the dial of the new watch exudes an exceptional array of coruscating metallic coral shades ranging from crimson to vermillion red, and under certain lighting conditions a touch of purple.

Kurono Anniversary 朱鷺:Toki
@Kurono Tokyo

The polished finishing of the stainless steel case perfectly harmonizes the dial color. Inside the 37mm diameter case, beats a premium automatic movement manufactured by Japanese company Miyota. The new Kurono Anniversary 朱鷺:Toki is priced at priced at USD1,738 / JPY189,900.

Kurono Anniversary 朱鷺:Toki
@Kurono Tokyo

The Kurono Anniversary 朱鷺:Toki watch is available for time-limited order on 21st May 2021 2300hrs JST at http://www.kuronotokyo.com

Technical details

Movement
Premium-grade Miyota 90S5 movement
Mechanical automatic winding
Power Reserve: 40 hours
Jewels: 24 rubies
Frequency: 28,800bph

Case
316L high-polished stainless steel case
Diameter: 37mm
Thickness: 7mm (including sapphire crystal)
Glass: Sapphire crystal
Water Resistance: 3 ATM

Dial
Finish: Metallic coral radial sunburst
Made in Japan

Strap
Black calf leather
Strap Width: 20/16mm

Price
JPY 189,900 / USD 1,738 excluding applicable taxes

KURONO CHRONOGRAPH 2

Inspired by the commercial success of its CHRONOGRAPH 1 model launched in 2020, Japanese watch brand Kurono has now released the second edition of this series.

The new Kurono Chronograph 2 features a more refined and sophisticated design language by Japanese master watchmaker Hajime Asaoka.

A 38mm column-wheel chronograph, the Chronograph 2 takes Hajime-sensei’s art-deco sensibilities to the next level – bringing together the copper, silver, and dark brown color palette of the critically acclaimed Reiwa watch into a multi-layered chronograph dial.

KURONO CHRONOGRAPH 2

The dial features contrasting layers of gloss black and dark brown as its base, accentuated with a copper tachymeter and silver chronograph scale at its center and circumference respectively.

The central design feature of the watch is the unusual placement of the tachymeter scale closer to the center of the dial, intersecting with the elapsed time and seconds subdials at ‘3’ and ‘9’ which are finished in a concentric guilloche pattern.

As the subdials are recessed and finished differently, a lot more effort was required to manufacture and align the copper scale to prevent parallax error and ensure accuracy. This results in a higher-than-normal dial rejection ratio compared to previous Kurono watches (except for Grand:Akane).

KURONO CHRONOGRAPH 2

Polished steel studs that indicate hours are then followed by alternating gloss black or dark brown rings that culminate in a silver chronograph scale at the edge. A high-polish steel surround features a date window in contrasting silver with black numerals. Uniquely designed high-polish subhands in the shape of the traditional Japanese ‘kyudo’ arrow complete the look.

The new chronograph retains the key elements of the high-polished steel case and hands that KURONO is distinctively renowned for – and more importantly – also features the unique box-sapphire watch glass that leverages its higher refractive and magnification performance for enhancement to light-play.

Chronograph 2 was designed with light-play in mind – by blending dark dial elements with metallic copper and silver scales, with the high-polish metallic surrounds and hands.

KURONO CHRONOGRAPH 2

Different levels of ambient light and light sources bring out the different emotions of the watch. When indoors in the morning light, the brown layers portray deep grey undertones with the tachymeter taking an almost reddish hue.

At noon in the sun, the center of the dial exudes a rich brown tone with the orange copper and silver tones simply scintillating. At night, the watch becomes almost stealth-like, with the high-polished chrome surrounds, hands, and hour indices taking center stage.

At ‘3’ and ‘9’ are contrasting elapsed time and seconds sub dials respectively, finished in a concentric guilloche pattern, with the elapsed-time sub dial at ‘9’ set with a uniquely designed high-polished sub hand in the shape of a traditional Japanese ‘kyudo’ arrow.

The principles of kyudo archery are sometimes summarised as ‘truth, goodness and beauty’, where truth relates to shooting with a pure mind, goodness to a person’s character, and beauty to gracefulness and the refined etiquette of kyudo.

KURONO CHRONOGRAPH 2

For the Chronograph 2, Hajime chose the mechanical chronograph caliber NE86A from one of Japan’s most esteemed movement manufacturers – positioned by them as its newest flagship chronograph movement and successor to the 6S.

Touted by the manufacturer as a premium caliber, 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 system 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.

Technical details

Model: KURONO CHRONOGRAPH 2

Case
Material: Steel with solid case back
Case diameter: 38mm
Thickness: 13.9mm including sapphire
Glass: High-curvature sapphire crystal
Water resistance: 3 ATM

Dial
Finish: Lacquer with vertical pinstripes

Movement
Japan-made mechanical automatic movement
Power reserve: 45 hours
Complications: Chronograph, date window
Jewels: 34 rubies
Frequency: 28,800bph

Strap
Black crocodile leather
Buckle: Pin buckle
Strap width: 20/16 mm

Functions
Hours, Minutes, Day, Chronograph

Launch date
February 2021

Kurono Grand:Akane

The Grand:Akane is Kurono’s first artisan-level timepiece. It comes with a uniquely made urushi dial featuring a ‘Hamon (刃文)’ pattern that is finished with the traditional Japanese ‘Niiro (煮色)’ chemical treatment, and then sealed by an additional layer of sukiurushi (transparent lacquer).

Unlike most urushi-based watch dials in the market today, watchmaker Hajime Asaoka refrained from using hand-painted designs, favoring instead a ‘forged’ approach to the creation of the Grand:Akane’s dial design elements.

Kurono Grand Akane watch

The result is a beautiful urushi dial of contrasting red hues, which leverages the unique thick box sapphire for lightplay. Additionally, the use of suki-urushi as the sealing layer of the dial will result in different color shades over time according to the usage of the owner.

The Grand:Akane is the result of more than a year of development and its unique is created by a urushi master craftsman to Hajime-sensei’s design and exacting standards.

HAMON (刃文) DESIGN

Hamon (刃文), meaning ‘blade pattern’, is a visual effect created by the hardening process typically done on blades. The pattern mimics that of a mountainous terrain with peaks and dips, and historically deemed as evidence of the maker’s effort to produce the finest work. In the case of the Grand:Akane, the Hamon visual effect is repeated throughout the dial giving it an ethereal contrast of lighter and darker red.

Kurono Grand Akane watch

The origin of the Hamon dates back to the 8th century AD. Legend has it that the renowned swordsmith, Amakuni Yasutsuna, noticed that the emperor and his soldiers returned from battle with broken swords.

After careful examination and the determination to create a blade that would not break mid-combat, Amakuni and his son spent 30 days in seclusion coming up with the solution, and ultimately tradition, of differentially hardening the blades, thus birthing the design of Hamon. Hajime-sensei designed his interpretation of Hamon as a homage to his ancestry to samurai blade makers on the patrilineal side.

Differentially hardened blades have a harder cutting edge than the spine of the blade, and the hamon is the outline of this hardened zone. This results in a blade of two uniquely colored metals, with the hamon as the contrasting pattern between the two.

Kurono Grand Akane watch

The dial design is finished with Arabic numerals in silver, and the character “茜” (Akane) at the 6 o’clock position alludes to the color of the dial based on the image of a daruma sunset.

The base dial is metallic and finished in a lighter red that is similar to the redder Japanese sunset (‘daruma’) that typically occurs during late-autumn to early-spring. A darker, nonmetallic Hamon pattern reveals the base color by using the traditional Japanese ‘Niiro煮色’ chemical treatment method.

NIIRO METHOD

Niiro (煮色) quite literally translates to the boiling/broiling of colour. It is a historically distinct patination technique, exclusive only to Japan, that is responsible for the coloration of copper and its alloys into irogane metals.

This method has existed for at least 600 years, but its history may extend over 1200 years due to it being intrinsically linked to the production of certain older metals. There is little to no documentation of the details on niiro, especially the compositions used to bathe the metals, as it was not something meant to be wide-spread, but instead only kept and passed on within Japanese craft circles.

Kurono Grand Akane watch

The process of Niiro comprises of heating up the metal to be treated in a special liquid or solution. The piece must first be extremely clean to ensure quality and predictability of the process, and the boiling/broiling of the colour is done with the piece suspended in a copper container.

Ultimately, the final colour depends on the duration of the boiling period – with red taking up to 10 hours. After this core patination process, the piece is then washed in cold water before being coated with suki-urushi to seal it in.

URUSHI & SUKI URUSHI

Urushi lacquer is made from the sap of the Japanese rhus vernicifera tree. To harvest the sap, a couple of slashes are made in the tree for it to seep out. Once the sap is obtained, it is filtered several times through layers of special paper.

The result is a translucent lacquer which color ranges from very light to a dark amber. Urushi, to many especially collectors, is seen as a miraculous substance. Urushi cures naturally through a process of oxidation and polymerization into a material with remarkable properties for a natural substance.

Kurono Grand Akane watch

As the urushi lacquer hardens, it absorbs moisture from the air. This makes the lacquered surface perpetually shiny and slick. It also makes it very durable and able to withstand erosion from water, acids, alkalies, alcohol, and changes in temperature, which is the main reason lacquer became an art form to begin with. Over time, urushi will actually become harder and more scratch resistant as the polymerization process continues on even after the initial manufacture.

Suki-Urushi (or clear lacquer) seals the Hamon pattern on the Grand:Akane dial. Sunlight – specifically the UV light – will over time lighten the top suki-urushi layer and make it more translucent, and warmer or colder in shade.

Technical details

Model: Kurono Grand:Akane

Case
Material: 316L high-polished stainless steel case
Case diameter: 37mm
Thickness: 7mm including sapphire
Glass: Sapphire crystal
Water resistance: 3 ATM

Dial
Red metallic base with hamon design, sealed using suki-urushi

Movement
Premium-grade Miyota 90S5 Japan-made mechanical automatic movement
Power reserve: 40 hours
Jewels: 24 rubies
Frequency: 28,800bph

Functions
Hours, Minutes, Seconds

Strap
Special black calf leather with red sides
Buckle: Pin buckle
Strap width: 20/16 mm

Launch date
November 2020

KURONO WATCHES

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.

Kurono Anniversary 森:mori (2020)
Kurono Anniversary 森:mori Limited Edition

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.

Kurono Chronograph 1
Kurono Chronograph 1

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.

Collections

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.

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.

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 KURONO Anniversary Green mori watch is fitted with a sapphire crystal glass and a solid stainless steel case-back.

[Discover more KURONO watch models]

Website: https://kuronotokyo.com/

KURONO CHRONOGRAPH 1

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.

KURONO CHRONOGRAPH 1

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.

Technical details

Model: KURONO CHRONOGRAPH 1

Case
Material: Steel with solid case back
Case diameter: 38mm
Thickness: 13.9mm including sapphire
Glass: high-curvature sapphire crystal

Dial
Finish: Lacquer with vertical pinstripes

Movement
Self-winding mechanical
Power reserve: 45 hours
Complications: Chronograph, date window
Jewels: 34 rubies
Frequency: 28,800bph
Water resistance: 3 ATM

Functions
Hours, Minutes, Day, Chronograph

Strap
Black crocodile leather strap with pin buckle
Strap width: 20/16 mm

KURONO Anniversary Green ‘森:mori’

The Kurono Anniversary Green ‘森:mori’ watch continues the iconic art-deco design introduced by Hajime Asaoka, with its single-piece dial encased beneath a high-curvature box-sapphire crystal that mimics acrylic glass of the past, and provides a unique light-play. The dial is a specially picked color by Hajime-san in scintillating metallic green with a subtle radial sunburst pattern.

KURONO Anniversary Green mori watch

Depending on how the light hits at different times of the day or from different angles, the dial displays shades of viridian and emerald, to pine and forest green. This ‘light play’ is further accentuated by the magnification effect of the box-sapphire, as well as the polished dial elements and hands.

KURONO Anniversary Green mori watch

This Kurono watch features a 316 steel case with a solid case back, uses a Japanese-made mechanical self-winding ebauche movement with a power reserve of 40 hours. Its size is 37mm due to Hajime-san’s preference for timeless and more classical dimensions but wears larger due to the design of the lugs.

Technical details

Model: KURONO Anniversary Green ‘森:mori

Case
316L high-polished stainless steel case
Case diameter: 37mm
Thickness: 7mm including sapphire
Glass: Sapphire crystal
Water Resistance: 3 ATM

Dial
Metallic green radial sunburst finish dial

Movement
Mechanical automatic winding
Power Reserve: 40 hours
Jewels: 24 rubies
Frequency: 28,800bph

Functions
Hours, Minutes, Seconds

Strap
Black calf leather
Buckle: Pin buckle
Strap width: 20/16mm

Edition
Limited to 288 pieces

Price
JPY 189,905 (USD 1,790)

Launch date
May 2020

Origin
Made in Japan

KURONO ‘REIWA’

The ‘REIWA’ watch by Japanese brand KURONO was introduced in December 2019 to mark the beginning of the new reign of Emperor Naruhito soon after his father, Emperor Akihito abdicated the throne.

KURONO is a watch brand founded by world-renowned Japanese master watchmaker Hajime Asaoka. Introduced in 2019, this new bran’s debut collection is Kurono Bunkyō Tokyo and ‘REIWA’ is the second model.

As the first Hajime Asaoka Sensei design to be introduced in the new reign of Emperor Naruhito, the new Kurono Classic is nicknamed ‘REIWA’.

KURONO ‘REIWA’ watch

Its complex two-part dial provides a glint of metallic sophistication at the periphery – off-set by the serenity of a perfect solid coloured center. Hajime sensei wanted the design to exude elegance whilst ensuring the design captures attention in the light.

Available in Copper or Silver, the design provides differing contrasts depending on the source of light. The manufacturing process of the two-part dial – blending scintillating metallic elements with a zen-like dark center is much more time consuming compared to our other solid color dials.

KURONO Classic ‘REIWA’ watch

The design takes advantage of the unique boxiness of the sapphire glass – leveraging the almost 90-degree angle to allow for slight illumination and magnification of the dial’s metallic periphery.

And unlike the previous line, the ‘Reiwa’ is fitted with a black crocodile leather strap to match Hajime sensei’s design intent.

Technical details

Model: KURONO ‘REIWA’

Movement
Mechanical automatic winding
24 jewels, 28,800 vibrations / hour, power reserve 40 hours

Case
316L high-polished 37mm stainless steel case
Sapphire glass
Solid caseback
Waterproof to 3 ATM

Strap
Genuine alligator band (20mm at lugs, 16mm at buckle)

Origin
Made in Japan

Edition
Limited to 50 pieces per dial variant