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The KURONO Anniversary special edition is a significant part of the brand line-up. It serves as an important reminder of our humble beginnings and the reason why the initiative was started - To create high-quality, Japan-made luxury timepieces that shares the design DNA of celebrated independent Japanese watchmaker Hajime Asaoka's exclusive handmade atelier watches.

Because of this, we spend a little more time in the consideration of every year's anniversary watch not just on the design phase, but across the entire manufacture process to deliver on two core promises - That every Anniversary watch will be exceptional yet highly affordable; and that whoever that has been waiting for one shall get one. 

To understand KURONO Anniversary is to understand Hajime Asaoka's philosophy as a watchmaker - his personal beliefs, inclinations, and motivations - and his approach to this year's KURONO Anniversary watch. It is our hope that his words will give you a better insight to the beginnings of this initiative, and the result of almost a year of planning - KURONO Tokyo is proud to present the KURONO Anniversary 朱鷺:TOKI. 

This year's anniversary watch is something Hajime-sensei crafted first and foremost as a watch he himself would like to wear, and then to extend his personal sense of style and refinement to a wider audience. 

The new KURONO Anniversary 朱鷺:Toki is priced at priced at USD1,738 / JPY189,900, and is available for time-limited order on 21st May 2021 2300hrs JST at


「 I have been fortunate to have two rare careers. One is as an independent watchmaker, and the other is as a designer. I started my career as a designer, and it went very well working for many big luxury brands. But no matter how good I thought a design was, the final decision was still from the client and at times they ask for questionable design changes. This was frustrating to me as the end-result would sometimes be more of what a boardroom created, than what I designed.


This was an important step to self-realization and why I became an independent watchmaker. I could make something I designed by myself, without anyone getting in the way. Watches would become a work of art that express my intentions fully.


KURONO was started because I wanted to have something that I wanted to wear myself, as the atelier watches I made have been in such high demand, that every single atelier watch is meant for clients. They have been waiting for so long, that it is only right that it reaches them the very moment it leaves my workshop, and that nothing is held back.


KURONO has been made with partners and suppliers that have supported me, and I am honored by this recognition of my reputation as a well-established watchmaker. 


KURONO is wholly my work as a designer, and it represents a complete expression of my own art, of my aesthetic intention, and of my philosophy. It gives me great pleasure in “making a watch for myself,” and then extending this to a wider audience.


Central to my design approach is a firm belief in my work to ‘never compromise on my designs.’ I create watches that I myself will want to wear, and it is my hope that others will share my taste as well. A good example of this approach is the watch I am wearing now - the upcoming anniversary watch – 朱鷺:TOKI. This is an important piece to me personally and I wanted to dedicate more attention to it."


~ Hajime Asaoka, Bunkyō Tokyo | 浅岡肇、東京都文京区 May 2021 

In celebration of KURONO’s second-year anniversary, Hajime-sensei had a specific aim to create a color that was as unique as possible to Japanese culture, and differentiate itself from the typical 'salmon'-shade dial popular amongst watchmakers in the West. 

The 316L high-polished stainless steel watch features KURONO's signature anniversary radial sunburst patterned dial that exudes an exceptional array of coruscating metallic coral shades ranging from crimson to vermillion red, and under certain lighting conditions a touch of purple. The color of the 朱鷺:Toki dial was inspired by the Japanese crested ibis, an auspicious bird with feathers of a shade akin to that of a rising sun, and is regarded as a symbol of happiness and good fortune. This emblematic Japanese bird emanates a beautiful shade of dark-pink tinged vermilion, also known as 朱鷺色Toki-iro, as it flies overhead soaring the skies. Hajime-sensei based the concept of the anniversary watch and the color of the dial off this subtle grace and allure, and aspired to portray this sentiment through his craft.


「 For 朱鷺:TOKI, I wanted a more refined color that was uniquely Japanese. The color would be copper-based, but it could not be the ‘salmon-color’ that the Western world was so fond of. I decided to base the color on the feathers of the Japanese crested ibis – 朱鷺色(Toki-iro)– which is the characteristic peach-colored hue seen as the ibis flies overhead. The Japanese crested ibis is deeply rooted in our national history and we can find it in the oldest official history document, “Nihon shoki (日本書紀)” (A.D 720) .


The construction of the anniversary dial took nearly a year’s work of perfecting - from ideation, to sampling, to production, and ultimately, finishing. 朱鷺:TOKI represented the highest number of prototype samples made in the consideration of a single watch.

The final color was unpredictable as the shade constantly changes depending on the thickness of the paint and can only be seen after it is physically applied. After myriads of samples and experimentations with different thicknesses and mixes of paint, Hajime-sensei continued to work on fine-tuning the gloss layer as well as other aspects of the watch till it matched his standards.

Lightplay on the 朱鷺:TOKI takes a new dimension depending on the type and color temperature of the light source. In white light the purplish-coral hues of the dial take centerstage, while in yellow light its golden hues are accentuated making it look less playful and more refined. 


「 When I was trying to perfect the dial color of 朱鷺:TOKI, I started with painting a bare metal plate with paint that I mixed myself. After hand painting a large number of color swatches and samples, I sent the couple I liked to the dial makers. They in turn, produced quite a few dial samples which you see here – of which I subsequently chose the one that was exact to my design intention.


The creation of the color I wanted for 朱鷺:TOKI was technically challenging. The desired color can only be achieved through the careful calibration of the thickness of the paint layer, with the bare metal dial beneath. The color of the dial changes depending on the thickness of the paint layer, and as such is impossible to predict how the final dial will turn out until it is actually produced.


This has been a labor of love, and it is my hope that collectors will appreciate 朱鷺:TOKI as much as I love wearing it myself.


The second-anniversary 朱鷺:Toki dial is a nostalgic reminiscence to KURONO's humble beginnings. As an independent watch designer with a passion for horology, Hajime-sensei established KURONO as a means to share his artistic taste with fellow watch enthusiasts. 

With atelier pieces in such high demand, Hajime-sensei never had time to create a watch exclusively for himself. KURONO was birthed for him to be more experimental with his creations, and to share this aesthetic with the world. This entailed creating his ideal designs and exacting them to standards of perfection as he views KURONO equally as important as his atelier pieces, and only aims to pursue and produce exactly as he envisions. 

It is our hope that the name KURONO will one day be recognized and admired by the masses - A timepiece highly admired by both creator, and consumer.

The KURONO special second-anniversary edition 朱鷺:Toki will be time-limited for exactly 10 minutes from the time of launch (21st May 2021 2300hrs JST).




  • Premium-grade Miyota 90S5 movement
  • Mechanical automatic winding 
  • 316L high-polished 37mm stainless steel case
  • Case Diameter: 37mm
  • Thickness: 7mm excl sapphire
  • Bracelet Strap: Black calf leather
  • Dial Finish: Metallic coral radial sunburst
  • Power Reserve: 40 hours
  • Jewels: 24 rubies
  • Glass: Sapphire crystal
  • Frequency: 28,800bph
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Strap Widths: 20/16mm
  • Made in Japan

    Please download high-resolutions images here

Estimated Deliveries
Mid-Jun thru Jul: 35% of orders
Aug thru Sep: 25% of orders
Oct thru Nov: 20% of orders
Dec thru Jan: 20% of orders

  • Price: JPY189,900 / USD1,738 excluding applicable taxes