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Kurono is delighted to present 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. Inspired by the canopies of the forest, this 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. The complexity allows for various interpretations and brings out harmony simultaneously, just like the concept of the canopies in nature.

The 2022 Anniversary Grand Mori features handmade urushi over a gold-gilded (color) dial by a master craftsman, and will be available from Friday 27th May at 11:00PM Japanese Standard Time. All orders taken within a twelve minute window will be fulfilled. Deliveries start from June 2022. 

(NB: Devices with OLED displays - such as smartphones - may reproduce the color tones of the dial more accurately)


Entirely shot by Hajime Asaoka featuring music from KOHKI, this video reflects the mood and sentimentality sensei puts into the 2022 Anniversary Grand Mori '森', as he walks through the different steps of the handmade urushi dial process through his lens. The urushi on the Grand Mori '森' is unlike others, as it requires true master-level craftsmanship - a national certification of skillsets that can only be passed down from master to apprentice through the ages. Today, only a handful of master-level urushi craftsmen still practice the art in Japan. From the unique self-cut tools and painstaking materials preparation, to the attention to detail of urushi application on the dial and final polish preparation by palm and fingers -  each handmade artisanal urushi dial takes months to produce. It is our hope that the  the 2022 Anniversary Grand Mori '森' will be treasured by collectors, and for generations to come. 

traditional Kyoto-style

handmade Japanese lacquer technique

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. Sharing the same sentiment as creators who aim to create the best products without compromise from Japan provided an opportunity for both the female craftsmen to work alongside with Hajime-sensei to achieve this goal. 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.

Urushi has been used as a lacquer in Japan for more than 10,000 years. The sap from the lacquer tree is refined and colored with pigments and other ingredients to produce a final work characterized by its beautiful finish and durability. Lacquer trees are 10 to 20 years old when their sap can finally be harvested. After the sap is collected, the trees die, and new trees are planted by hand. Only about 200 grams of sap can be extracted from each tree, making it extremely valuable and increasingly rare.

Each of the 2022 Anniversary Grand Mori '森' dial is crafted by hand by a master craftsperson.  The dial has a gold-gilded (color) before the application of urushi. This is on purpose as the yellow colour 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 - and alludes to the rustling of leaves in gentle wind.

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. For our Kurono customers, depending on the country you are situated in, the urushi dial will change color, creating a unique piece for each of you.

Kurono watches with the 'Grand' designation feature an elevated level of artisanal craftsmanship, and is differentiated not only by its innate beauty, but also with a signature caseback exclusive to 'Grand' watches. The focal point of this exclusive caseback is Hajime-sensei’s signature embellished in bold kanji calligraphy alongside the impression of his one-of a-kind hanko stamp.The 2022 Anniversary Grand Mori '森' will be available for purchase on Friday 27th May at 11PM Japan Standard Time. Like in past anniversary watch launches, all orders completed within a 12 minute window will be honored and fulfilled. Production of the Grand Mori '森' began in September 2021 and as such the majority of orders should be fulfilled by July 2022.  

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