Founded in 2018 as a way for legendary Japanese watchmaker Hajime Asaoka to create serial production pieces, Kurono Tokyo stands as one of the most exciting microbrands in the market today. With his reputation as an exceptional watchmaker, Hajime Asaoka was famed for designing one-off timepieces in close collaboration with his clients. With demand growing, he decided to launch his own brand and create timepieces that would cater to those that wanted affordable watches that shared design language with his other once-off pieces.
Following a year of operations, Kurono Tokyo released the Mori, an anniversary model, to celebrate. Originally limited to 50 units, the Mori sold out within a span of 5 minutes thanks to Kurono’s ever-growing popularity. Prompted by the almost-immediate sell-out, Kurono decided to keep the Mori online for another 10 minutes and generated another 238 units sold, for a total of 288.
Rarity aside, the Mori was a sell-out thanks to the gorgeous design language it employs. Featuring a stunning metallic green sunburst dial that Hajime Asaoka picked himself, the Mori bounces between shades of viridian and emerald, to pine and forest green. Decorated with the immediately distinctive Kurono logo, applied indices at 3, 6, 9, and 12, and concentric engravings, the Mori’s dial is left uncluttered, to be enjoyed by the wearer uninterrupted.
Returning the brand to “a state of contemplation and restfulness”, as the brand says, the Mori avoids complexities and takes refuge in its stunningly understated dial. Furthermore, it features a 37mm high-polished case and domed sapphire crystal, mimicking vintage design and adding another layer of dimension to the dial.
Existing as a wonderfully unique and rare timepiece, the Mori is not a watch that appears for sale often and one that I am incredibly proud to have for sale.