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Kurono Tokyo was established in 2019 as a way for fans of Japanese independent watchmaker Hajime Asaoka to acquire his works at more accessible and affordable price points. With every timepiece selling out at the moment of launch, Kurono has seen numerous milestones thus far. 

An official nominee at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) awards in the years 2020, 2022, and 2023, some Kurono timepieces have also shared the stage with Hajime Asaoka’s atelier pieces at Phillips, Christie’s, and Sotheby’s Auction.

A Legacy of Timekeeping Excellence

A member of the AHCI since 2015 and a certified 'Gendai No Meiko' Master, Hajime Asaoka solidified his position as a global horological icon. He isn't just creating exquisite timepieces; he's shaping the future of watchmaking. Owning a Hajime Asaoka creation is more than acquiring a luxury watch; it's possessing a piece of art, a testament to the dedication and innovation of a true master. As Hajime Asaoka continues to captivate the world with his creations, one thing remains certain: his legacy as a pioneer in watchmaking and obsession with detail is firmly cemented.


Hajime Asaoka's expertise is well-recognized. A self-taught watchmaker and a certified master craftsman, he is a member of the prestigious Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI) and was awarded the title of ‘Gendai no Meiko’, Contemporary Master Craftsman by the Japanese Government, in 2022.

Hajime Asaoka's dedication to quality is unwavering. He personally inspects every Kurono timepiece and doesn't hesitate to reject those that fall short of his high standards. During the Anniversary Grand Mori launch, 17 out of 50 initial pieces were rejected, causing delays for some customers. Despite the impact on production, Hajime Asaoka prioritizes meticulousness to ensure exceptional quality.


Finished in a concentric guilloche pattern, the subdial is accompanied by a uniquely designed high-polish subhand in the shape of a traditional Japanese 'Kyudo' arrow. This embodies cultural significance in his work, ensuring that even the finest of details are given thought.

The guilloche pattern itself is a marvel of watchmaking artistry. Achieved through an ornamental lathe, the design is meticulously etched onto the subdial's surface. This intricate process creates a captivating play of light and shadow, adding depth and dimension to the dial.


The first Kurono watch hands were hand-bent over the roof of a die-cast toy car to ensure consistency in the angles. Today, every watch hand continues to be hand-bent, meant to match the curves of the dial and glass.

Sapphire Box Crystal

All Kurono are equipped with the sapphire box crystal as a glass for the face of the dial. Its density and physical properties are famous for being the world’s second-toughest mineral, suitable as a protective cover for watches. This allows our collectors to embark on their life’s journey with ease.


Overcoming significant engineering challenges, Hajime Asaoka takes in stride collectors' requests for a thinner case.

Every new timepiece sees improvement in its details and aims to present a synthesis of tradition and innovation. In the new MK.2, the actual thickness remains almost the same (sic: slightly slimmer at 13.5mm vs 13.9mm - 13.5mm is the thinnest chronograph equipped with the NE86), but the design balance has been pursued to the utmost limit so that the watch looks thinner as a 38mm exterior.

Rail Tracks on Dial

The watch dial wasn't just a canvas for Hajime Asaoka, it was a masterpiece in the making. His vision demanded a high-gloss finish and applied indexes, a visually stunning combination but incredibly difficult to achieve.

A perfectionist at heart, Hajime Asaoka relentlessly pushed boundaries, requesting refinements as minuscule as a 0.1mm reduction in the width of the minute track. This unwavering commitment to detail extended beyond design.

This relentless pursuit of flawless execution embodies the spirit of a bygone era, where craftsmanship reigned supreme.

Breguet Numerals

The resurgence of Breguet numerals on a new timepiece wasn't a simple design decision for Hajime Asaoka. He embarked on a meticulous journey to capture the historical essence of these indices. Drawing inspiration from the past, Hajime Asaoka meticulously replicated each stroke and the numerals was carefully chosen for its balance and aesthetic, ensuring the final design honored the heritage of watchmaking while remaining undeniably handcrafted. This dedication to detail exemplifies the unwavering pursuit of perfection that defines his work.

Color Mixing

Just like the Kurono 青磁:Seiji and the Kurono Anniversary Calendrier 'Type 1', the color was not chosen from color swatches, but instead Hajime Asaoka literally mixed colors by hand by himself in his atelier in late 2020.

This wasn't a decision made on a whim; countless samples and experiments preceded this final shade, each iteration a testament to his meticulous nature.

Hajime Asaoka's dedication to detail transcends color; every aspect of a watch bears the mark of his obsessive pursuit of flawlessness.

Urushi Lacquer

Kurono's urushi dials embody an obsession with handcrafted perfection. The natural lacquer, harvested from rare trees, takes months to cure and requires a flawless surface. Even a speck of dust can ruin a dial, leading to a high rejection rate. This meticulous process allows the urushi to develop a unique luster that evolves over time with exposure to light. Each Kurono urushi watch is not just a timepiece, it's a testament to the relentless pursuit of flawless, handcrafted beauty.

Chronograph Counter

Hajime Asaoka's meticulous attention to detail extends beyond the movement. Even seemingly minor aspects, like powering each chronograph counter with a dedicated wheel, ensuring long-term accuracy.

Honouring Contributors

A Kurono contributor is an existing Kurono watch owner who has made a significant contribution to the growth and promotion of the Kurono collector community. These are the collectors that have taken much time, effort, and pain to shoot amazing pictures or videos of their watch or wrist shots, and have actively promoted the watch either through their social channels or mass media.

To us, it doesn’t really matter if they have hundreds of thousands of followers or a few hundred, or if they use expensive camera setups or their phones. They are consistently the ones from whom one can really feel the love and excitement they have for their Kurono timepiece by sharing experiences, telling stories, helping new collectors along the way, and more. And every season, a new batch of contributors will be identified and added to the fold.

past collectors books

View past collectors books that we have produced with the help of our talented contributors over the years.

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