As the first Hajime design to be introduced in the new reign of Emperor Naruhito, the new Kurono Classic is nicknamed 'Reiwa'. Its complex two-part dial provides a glint of metallic sophistication at the periphery - off-set by the serenity of a perfect solid-colored center. The watch is paired with a genuine alligator strap, and is aimed at more discerning collectors.
The Reiwa's dial is much harder to manufacture as it features a dial that blends metallic and non-metallic components seamlessly. KURONO is proudly made in Japan, hand assembled, and remains limited in production at just 50 pieces per dial variant. Variants, once sold out, will not be reintroduced in the future.
'Reiwa' continues its mission to deliver to watch collectors outside Japan a more accessible timepiece that shares the design DNA of Hajime Asaoka's exclusive atelier watches, but at a more affordable price.
“It has always been my wish to make my designs more accessible to a wider audience, and especially those that are just starting out in watch appreciation, or as a complement to their existing handmade Hajime Asaoka atelier watch.”
Kurono Classic 'Reiwa'
A Play with Light
The new 'Reiwa' sits apart from the regular monochromatic dials of the previous watches. Hajime Asaoka wanted the design to exude sophistry, and allow the design to capture a little more attention in the light.
The manufacture of the two-process dial - blending scintillating metallic elements with a zen-like dark center is much more time consuming. And unlike the previous line, the 'Reiwa' is fitted with a black alligator leather strap to match Hajime's design intent.
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. This - coupled with the watch's highly-polished case and hands - provides an interesting study in terms of how light hits the watch from different angles.
The Kurono Classic 'Reiwa' is thus slightly more expensive to account for the increased cost of manufacturing for the two-process dial, and the provision of the alligator strap.
Price & Specification
Kurono Classic 'Reiwa' is now Sold Out
- Limited to 50 pieces per dial variant - Mechanical automatic winding - Unique two-process dial in metallic and solid finish - Sapphire glass - Solid caseback design - signed by Hajime Asaoka - 24 jewels, 28,800 vibrations / hour, power reserve 40 hours - Waterproof to 3 ATM - 316L high-polished 37mm stainless steel case, hands & indices - Black alligator leather band (20/18) - Made in Japan
MSRP at SGD 2,988 [US$2,190 excl. applicable taxes]
“There should be nothing excessive. And things that were previously complicated, should be made as simple as possible."
Widely recognized as one of the world's top-ranked independent watchmakers, Hajime Asaoka started his watchmaking journey in 1997, taking inspiration from the traditional handmade practices of George Daniels but throwing in his unique perspective of refinement and modernity - a watchmaking philosophy that is distinctively Japanese.
Today, owning an original Hajime Asaoka handmade watch is a privilege in itself - irregardless of the long waiting lists and lead times, and the fact that much of his collection gets sold out within months of introduction.
If you are interested in handmade atelier watches by Hajime Asaoka, prices start from US$51,000.
The production of KURONO is managed by Precision Watch Tokyo Co., Ltd - the same parent company as the more prestigious handmade Hajime Asaoka atelier.
Precision Watch Tokyo has brought together the same case and dial makers that supply to Grand Seiko, to deliver a high-quality product that is both accessible yet exclusive in number.
The dial and caseback - signed Bunkyō Tokyo - refers to the special ward in Tokyo where Hajime's design studio is located, providing a subtle correlation to the genius and motivations of the watchmaker.
Premium Movement Made in Japan
MIYOTA 90S5 PREMIUM
Hajime chose the calibre 90S5 - Miyota's highest end movement from its Premium series. Balancing affordability with over-the-top construction quality, the cal.90S5 is made in Japan, features a stop-seconds automatic mechanism with a 40 hour power reserve.
KURONO FOR THE ASHINAGA AFRICA INITIATIVE
For every 'Reiwa' purchase, a portion of the proceeds will go towards The Ashinaga Africa Initiative.
Beyond simply providing financial aid, Ashinaga's program ensures that students receive the education, training, networks, and opportunities needed to realize their vision for Sub-Saharan Africa. The Africa Initiative was started in 2014 to alleviate poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa by supporting the higher education of young orphaned students with the desire to make a difference.
All of Ashinaga's students have one shared, distinguishing feature: they have all experienced the psychological pain and economic hardship of being orphaned. This experience gives all of their students a strong sense of empathy and further drive to prevent such hardships for future generations.